Philosophers network at conference

Heather Bing

Although Dean Jerry Feezel can’t and won’t choose his favorite department within the College of Arts and Sciences, he said he can’t imagine the college without the philosophy department or its continuous pursuit of wisdom.

This pursuit was celebrated on Saturday with the 13th annual May 4th Philosophy Graduate Student Conference. The conference hosted keynote speaker Jaakko Hintikka, professor of philosophy at Boston University, as well as 10 presentations of papers submitted by graduate students from around the United States.

Hintikka began the conference with his presentation, “It All Depends on What ‘Is’ Is.”

Because the word is used in different ways, the meaning may be ambiguous, Hintikka said. However, he is not convinced that the word itself is ambiguous.

The audience has become more diverse over the years, said Frank Ryan, associate professor of philosophy. Not only does the audience consist of philosophy graduate and undergraduate students, but now includes professors, members of other colleges and the community.

“The graduate students get to meet a top scholar in the field and other graduate students who may be studying at a university that offers a doctorate program in philosophy. It’s a great networking opportunity,” said Ryan.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected].