Beyond the Classroom

There’s a great deal more to Philosophy at PC than just meeting core requirements. Whether you’re a Philosophy major or minor (or not), you can get involved in Philosophy in lots of ways at PC.

Philosophy Club and Film Series

The Philosophy Club and Film Series meets three times per semester to discuss a variety of philosophical topics, without the aid of received views or interpretations. To be added to the mailing list, contact Dr. Edmund Dain edain@providence.edu.

Ethics Bowl

Join our Ethics Bowl Team – Regional Champions at the first attempt in 2013! Ask in the department office for more details.

Phi Sigma Tau / International Philosophical Honors Society

Providence College is home to a chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the International Philosophical Honors Society, which sponsors a number of events every year open to everyone on campus, including an annual induction ceremony for new members. Check the Phi Sigma Tau website for eligibility criteria or contact Dr. Samuel Murray smurray7@providence.edu for more information.

Licia Carlson, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, is the recipient of the 2024 Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award. The award is presented to a tenured member of the faculty at Providence College who demonstrates the highest standards in research, scholarship, and contributions to his/her field.

The recipient of this award will have made significant contributions to scholarly knowledge and earned the esteem of distinguished colleagues within his/her field of study. This award is administered by a selection committee that consists of five full-time tenured faculty members – at least one from each school – appointed by the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Carlson, who earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto, has been a member of the PC faculty since 2009. Her academic areas of expertise include philosophy of disability, biomedical ethics, philosophy of music, and feminist philosophy.

A nominator called Dr. Carlson “an amazing scholar” whose research in philosophy “is outstanding in several respects.”

“Her work is highly original, not simply in the sense of forwarding original views, but in the sense of opening up new philosophical areas and issues,” the nominator wrote. “She is a prolific author … and her work has received hundreds of citations.”

Dr. Carlson is the author of The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections (Indiana UP, 2009) and Shared Musical Lives: Philosophy, Disability, and the Power of Sonification (Oxford UP, 2022), which won the 2023 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Book Award. She also has co-edited three books, Philosophy and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy, Phenomenology and the Arts, and Defining the Boundaries of Disability: Critical Perspectives.

She has written numerous chapters and articles and serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Philosophy of Disabilitythe first professional journal devoted to this fieldHer current scholarship includes a short book on the philosophy of Albert Camus and a book on musical instruments, tentatively titled Musical Bodies: An Ode to the Violin. She also is a violinist with the Boston-based Longwood Symphony Orchestra and recently produced a short film in Italy called “Il Pezzo” based on her essay entitled “The Stradivarius.”

Yesterday we hosted David Chalmers for his talk, “From the Matrix to the Metaverse”.  We had 150+ attendees in a standing-room only event in Ruane where Dave spoke for about an hour and took questions, including some very thoughtful ones from our students.  Students (and faculty!) had a blast using the 10 VR headsets we had on hand before and after the talk.  

We heard the wonderful news today that Dr. Emann Allebban has been named a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend award!  This is an very competitive award, with the NEH awarding stipends to only ~10% of the 800 annual applications.

Dr. Allebban’s project, Women, Philosophy and the Islamic World, explores the philosophical contributions of women in the Islamic world. She will conduct archival research in Istanbul as the foundation for a book manuscript entitled Forgotten Philosophy: A History of Women Philosophers of the Islamic World for the Berkeley Series in Postclassical Islamic Scholarship.

Congratulations Emann!!!

Peter Costello, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, is the 2023-24 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award recipient. The award is presented annually to the Providence College faculty member “who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.”

Dr. Costello, who has been a member of the PC faculty since 2004, earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University and served on the faculty at Saint Peter’s College in New Jersey from 2001-04. At PC, he has taught various courses in philosophy, public and community service studies, global studies, women’s and gender studies, and the Development of Western Civilization Program. These include Phenomenology, Philosophy and Globalization, Contemporary Women in Philosophy, and Introduction to Public Service. Dr. Peter Costello, 2024 Accinno Award Recipient standing in front of a whiteboard

In his teaching statement, Dr. Costello said a fundamental tenet in his classrooms is his assumption that he can learn from each of his students. “Teaching is really not very effective, I don’t think, if the only thing that gets communicated is that I am the master of the material,” he wrote. “I have to be prepared to play the call and response of jazz — not just to assert myself as soloist.”

It’s this core principle that was cited by one of his student nominators who said Dr. Costello “taught me that my education should not be left up to the sole jurisdiction of my professors.”

“It’s my education … not anyone else’s. He demonstrated this moral principle every day in class, giving us the chance to discuss what compelled us about the reading – not what Professor Costello decided we should find compelling,” the student wrote. “I have never had a professor who cares so much about his students and their rights. He has inspired me and my plans for the future in ways I cannot even put into words. Providence College calls for their students to “seek more,” and no professor calls for their students to “seek more” than Peter Costello.”


More about Dr. Peter Costello:

  • Author of two books: Philosophical Children in Literary Situations: Toward of Phenomenology of Childhood (2020) and Layers in Husserl’s Phenomenology (2012)
  • Former director of the New England Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy at Providence College
  • Member of the American Philosophical Association and the Society for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience (SOPHERE)
  • Areas of academic specialty include 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, and philosophy of religion. Other academic interests include ethics, feminism, philosophy and literature, and Catholic intellectual tradition.

More about the Accinno Award

The Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award was created in 2002. John J. Accinno, C.P.A. ’46 & ’93Hon. established the award with a gift of $150,000 in memory of his brother Joseph. John Accinno served as a member of the Providence President’s Council for 13 years. A loyal alumnus, he established more than a dozen scholarships at the college and served in virtually every volunteer fundraising leadership position. He was a three-term secretary of the National Alumni Association (NAA) Board of Governors and earned awards for his generosity and service from the NAA and the Greater Providence Chapter of the NAA, the Mal Brown Club. Mr. Accinno, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and lived in Barrington, R.I., died in 2012.

The award program is administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching Award Selection Committee. The recipient receives a cash stipend, is formally acknowledged at Academic Convocation, and has his or her name inscribed on a plaque that is permanently displayed in the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Peter Costello on this well-earned honor!

David Chalmers from the Matrix to the Metaverse

Wednesday, April 17th Ruane 105

VR Headset experience 2:30-3:30 and 5-6 pm

Talk 3:30 – 5 pm

10 VR Headsets Available!

Seats are limited! Must register at: https://forms.office.com/r/3sgicvCLQp

Celebrating Women Philosophers Presents:

“The Philosophical is Political: Women Philosophers Engaged in the World”

Tuesday, April 30th 5 pm Harkins 300

Refreshments will be served!

Congratulations to Casey Burgess and Aidan Blanchette who have been selected as an inductee of Phi Beta Kappa, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor societies.

“Celebrating Women Philosophers” presents: Women Philosophers, Past and Present Presenters

Dr. Emann Allebban: Sitt al-‘Ajam bint al-Nafisal-Nafis (13th c.) Dr. Margaret Watkins: Mary Astell (1666-1731) Dr. Colin King: Christine Ladd Franklin (1847-1930) Dr. Vance Morgan: Marilynne Robinson (b. 1943)

Join faculty from the philosophy department to learn about philosophers spanning the 13th to the 21st century!

April 16th at 5 pm Slavin 64′ Hall

The School of Arts and Sciences 2024 Post-Sabbatical Talk

Monday, March 25th, 2024 3:00-5:00 pm The Fiondella Great Room, Ruane Center for the Humanities

Dr. Licia Carlson, Professor of Philosophy

“Celebrating Women Philosophers” Presents:

A film screening of Hannah Arendt

Pizza & Refreshments to be served

Thursday, February 22, 2024 6 pm Ruane LL05

“How does meaning work? Towards a Phenomenology of Objects, Bodies, and Other People” a talk by Dr. Peter Costello

Tuesday, February 13th 6 pm Harkins 300

Levels of Misinformation

Speaker: Jean Wagemans (University of Amsterdam)

Friday, February 9th, 2024 1:30-2:30 pm Guzman Hall, Room 250

Center for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics & Politics

Research Fellow Lecture
Date: Friday 8 December 2023, 3:00PM EST/8:00PM GMT
Professor May Sim, College of the Holy Cross
“Identity, Difference & Metaphysics: Comparing
Aristotle and the Early Confucians”

ZOOM INVITE
Topic: CASEP Research Fellow Lecture
Time: Dec 8, 2023 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://providence.zoom.us/j/92581715369?pwd=cXV2R2l4c3VoZ1pLbHE2UjNrWFpjZz09
Meeting ID: 925 8171 5369
Passcode: 961174

The School of Arts and Sciences is please to invite you to the 2022-2023 Interdisciplinary Scholarship Awards Presentations November 30, 2023 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Ruane Center for the Humanities Fiondella Great Room

Individual Interdisciplinary Awards Edmund Dain and Anthony Jensen

Dr. Licia Carlson is the 2023 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Book Award recipient in the concert music field. Congratulations to Dr. Carlson!!!!

2023 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Book Award
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Dedicated professor Dr. Alma Espartinez with her team who won first place in the Providence College Ethic’s Bowl hosted by the School of Business.

God * Mind * Object

Themes from Franz Brentano

A symposium of the Senior Seminar of the Department of Philosophy, Providence College May 6th 9 am – 1 pm Ryan 102

Featuring: Anthony Caruso ’23, Christian Collopy ’23, Julia Zgurzynski ’23, Ana Botelho ’23, Henry Gregory ’24, Caleb Goff ’23, Adam Habershaw ’23, Joshua Sears ’23, Samuel Gelinas ’23, Sarah Matthew ’23 With Guest Commentators: Jonathan Coppe ’18, Caelan Kerin ’18

Organized and moderated by Dr. Colin Guthrie King with generous support from the Providence College Department of Philosophy

Saint Mary of the Bay, Warren, RI. Theology Uncorked A wine and cheese reception with theological talk and discussion. Tuesday, April 11th 6:30 pm. What are you going through? Simone Weil and the miracle of attentiveness with Dr. Vance Morgan of Providence College

I don’t especially like Nietzsche, and rarely agree with him. As a professor of philosophy, I find that he is less original than is popularly assumed and less clear than he should be—not out of some mysterious profundity—so much as a recalcitrance or maybe inability to make plain what he thinks. Even so, I find it quite impossible to break away from Nietzsche. For my part, and I suspect for many readers who came upon him during their formative years, Nietzsche’s thought is so close to me that I’m always wrestling with it. Maybe that’s not a ‘result of’ but a ‘condition for’ reading it?

The Philosophy Department’s own Professor Edmund Dain, the winner of the 2021-2022 Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award, shares in episode 319 of The Providence College Podcast all about how he teaches students to philosophize.

Two of our prestigious Philosophy professors are recipients of the 2022-2023 Interdisciplinary Scholarship Awards. Congratulations to Dr. Edmund Dain for an Individual Interdisciplinary Award and Dr. Anthony Jensen for an Individual Interdisciplinary Award.
Dr. Edmund Dain

Dr. Edmund Dain, professor of philosophy, has been named the 2021-22 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award recipient. The honor is presented annually to the Providence College faculty member “who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.”  Dr. Dain joined the PC faculty in 2011 following his time as a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway, and has taught in more than a dozen areas of philosophy. At PC, Dr. Dain regularly teaches courses in “Philosophy of Mind” and other areas of contemporary philosophy, introductory courses in philosophy and ethics, and both the first and third semesters of the Development of Western Civilization (DWC) Program – focusing on the ancient and modern world, respectively. 

A student who nominated Dr. Dain for the award called his DWC lectures and seminars “fascinating” and the reason why they were taking a third course – Introduction to Philosophy – taught by him in the fall.

“He is extremely open, and he doesn’t urge students to conform to one narrow lane of thought.” the student wrote. “He often presents an overarching argument that a text expresses, talks about the common interpretations of the argument, and then challenges the common interpretation. He then gets the class engaged in relating the argument and our interpretations to the present in trying to understand ourselves.”

As impressive as the way Dr. Dain leads his seminars is how he sets an example of lifelong learning, his nominator said. “My biggest takeaway from having Professor Dain is that he’s shown he’s just as much a student as he is a professor,” the student said. “When other professors on the DWC team are lecturing, he pays attention and takes notes. From a student perspective, seeing him delve deeper into the presented material and seek to get as much out of the material as possible is admirable and encouraging.”

In addition to the work in the classroom for which he is being honored, Dr. Dain is an active scholar – authoring numerous academic journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, and regularly presenting his research at international conferences and workshops. His research focuses especially on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein – applying the insights and methods of Wittgenstein’s philosophy to contemporary problems in ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, among other areas.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Dain on this well-deserved honor.

More about the Accinno Award 

The Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award was established in 2002 as an outcome of the College’s strategic plan. John J. Accinno, C.P.A. ’46 & ’93Hon. established the award with a gift of $150,000 in memory of his brother Joseph. John Accinno served as a member of the Providence President’s Council for 13 years.

A loyal alumnus, he established more than a dozen scholarships at the College and served in virtually every volunteer fundraising leadership position. He was a three-term secretary of the National Alumni Association (NAA) Board of Governors and earned awards for his generosity and service from the NAA and the Greater Providence Chapter of the NAA, the Mal Brown Club. Mr. Accinno earned a B.S. degree in business administration and lived in Barrington, R.I. He died in 2012. 

The award program is administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching Award Selection Committee. The recipient receives a cash stipend, is formally acknowledged at Academic Convocation, and has his or her name inscribed on a plaque that is permanently displayed in Phillips Memorial Library. 

Phi Sigma Tau International Honor Society in Philosophy

2022 Initiation and Lisska & Cassidy Award Ceremony

Friday, April 8th 4 pm Ryan 102

We will be inducting the following students:

Class of 2022:

Lauryn F. Anthony * Celine B. Christianse

 Shayne Dias * Kathryn V. Doner

Cole P. Dougherty * Thomas P. Frezza, Jr.

Devyn E. Luden

Maya R. Mignano  * Madison R. Palmieri

Class of 2023:

Samantha B. Dietel * Elizabeth S. Duffy

Samuel S. Gelinas  * Matthew M. Osborne

Alyvia J. Resendes * Cristian H. Twyman

Julia J. Zgurzynski

 Class of 2024:

Christopher C. Azar

Dr. Giuseppe Butera, Philosophy Faculty Portrait, Headshot butera.giuseppe.head.jpg
Article: Online symposium offers techniques to defeat Assisted Suicide
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On Saturday, February 19, 2022, Dr. Joe Butera organized and hosted the “Defeating Assisted Suicide: Rhode Island Coalition Training Day” symposium.

Two of our prestigious Philosophy professors are recipients of the 2021-2022 Interdisciplinary Scholarship Awards. Congratulations to Dr. Raymond Hain for a Collaborative Interdisciplinary Award and Dr. Joseph Cosgrove for an Individual Interdisciplinary Award.

PC In The News

Distributed by the Office of Public Affairs, Government & Community Relations September 22, 2021 – October 5, 2021

 
September 27, 2021
Ibn Sina: The Persian polymath
BBC Podcasts
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Emann Allebban

Over a thousand years ago in the city of Bukhara in modern-day Uzbekistan, a young man was gaining a reputation for his great medical knowledge. His name was Ibn Sina and he was to go on to become one of the most influential physicians and philosophers not just in the Islamic world, but also in the West, where his writings were translated into Latin under the name Avicenna. For over 500 years, his five-volume Canon of Medicine was the most important medical reference book in the world. Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss Ibn Sina are: Nader El-Bizri, Professor of Philosophy and Civilisation Studies at the American University in Beirut; Peter E. Pormann, Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies at the University of Manchester; and Emann Allebban, Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Providence College in Rhode Island in the US. Image: 14th century illuminated portrait of Avicenna or Ibn Sina, Biblioteca Nazionale Florence, Italy

Every wonder what God might have to say about what’s going on around here these days? Be careful what you wonder about . . .

Congratulations to Dr. Jeffery Nicholas featured as one of The School of Arts & Sciences 2020 Summer Scholars

Congratulations to Dr. Licia Carlson 2020 SPaRC Covid-19 Grant Recipient

Congratulations to Dr. Raymond Hain featured as one of the School of Arts & Sciences Fall 2021 SAS Summer Scholars