Veroni Lecture to focus on dreams and philosophy

Ryan Knight

The department of philosophy will continue the Frank Veroni Memorial Lecture Series this year, and will feature Ernest Sosa, professor of philosophy at Brown University.

The lecture’s topic will be Dreams and Philosophy, and will be held on Oct. 6, in room 306 of the Student Center.

Deborah Smith, associate professor and chairperson for the Veroni Lectures committee, said the choice for the speaker this year was based on a ranking system.

Smith said Sosa was chosen for the lectures because he fit the epistemological style of philosophy teaching and ideas they wanted. Epistemology is the study of knowledge.

“You want a speaker that appeals to a philosophical audience, but someone who can also be interesting to someone who is not,” Smith said. “Sosa fits this style of speaker because he is an epistemologist.”

The topic, Dreams and Philosophy, has been of great interest to philosophers, Sosa said.

Sosa wants people to gain a better understanding of the nature of dreams and how they relate to some epistemological issues important throughout the history of philosophy.

“I hope in the course of my lecture to make it clear how dreams relate to such issues,” Sosa said.

The Veroni Lectures are in memory of Frank Veroni, a physician in the Painesville area, who passed away about eight years ago.

Michael Byron, associate professor of philosophy, said when Veroni passed, half of the money he possessed was given to area schools.

“As a lifelong supporter of education and the humanities, Dr. Veroni had been generous with his donations, though not specifically to Kent State,” Byron said. “When the court decided to donate the remainder of Veroni’s estate to area schools, Kent was on the list.”

According to Byron, the foundation office suggested the idea of an endowed lecture series, which is how the Veroni Memorial Lecture Series was established in the philosophy department.

Following the 2005 Veroni Lectures, Sosa will conduct a question and answer session with the audience.

“Philosophy on Wednesday” will be held the day before the lecture. This session will help prepare students and faculty for questions and answers that may be asked following Sosa’s lecture.

Smith said a faculty member will be named to conduct the “Philosophy on Wednesday” class session.

“Philosophy on Wednesday” really gives students and faculty an idea about what to expect from the speaker, Smith said.

“These are people we have been reading, and this gives us a chance to meet these people in person and ask questions that you can’t ask a book while you are reading it,” Smith said.

Philosophy students and faculty members are not required to attend the Veroni Lectures, Smith said.

Students who major or minor in philosophy tend to attend the lectures out of love for philosophy, as do people who write and study it, Smith added.

The Veroni Lectures will be free and open to the public.

For further information, contact the department of philosophy at (330) 672-2315 or send e-mail to [email protected].

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Ryan Knight at [email protected].