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Philosophy department faculty collaborate to produce interdisciplinary journal

Faculty members in Elon’s philosophy department have collaborated to produce a special issue of a national academic journal focused on the theme “Philosophy as Transformative Practice.”

The spring/summer 2008 edition of Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History and Science was guest-edited by Ann J. Cahill, associate professor of philosophy.

Cahill was joined by five of her colleagues and 11 Elon students and alumni in producing articles for the journal. The volume also includes articles by faculty members from other colleges and universities who attended conferences hosted by Elon on this topic in 2005 and 2007.

In her introduction to the volume, Cahill writes that, “Our seminars were opportunities to explore with others philosophy’s potential to transform people, groups, institutions, and dynamics.” As the author of the Bridges introduction, she explains that philosophy has the power to transform people if it is modeled as a way of life.

A special article co-written for Bridges by all seven Elon faculty is titled “An Unfinished Manifesto for Philosophy as Transformative Practice.” They argue that faculty members should move philosophy out of their academic departments and the theoretical realm and into everyday practice.

From the article:
“We are teaching a generation who must re-think and re-imagine many aspects of our world. This is not a time for timidity or technicalities! As teachers, we cannot settle for merely filling students’ heads with informational knowledge. We must be practitioner-guides who help novice practitioners on their road to wisdom and a flourishing life. We call upon philosophers to rejoin the world and to recommit to the practical passions that make wisdom precious.

Journal articles written by Elon faculty members, students and alumni included the following:

“Transformation Unlimited,” by Anthony Weston, professor of philosophy and environmental studies.

“Interlude: A Fable,” by Martin Fowler, lecturer in philosophy.

“Student/Faculty Partnerships in Course Re-Design: Learning About Who Students Are to Transform Them,” by Stephen Schulman, assistant professor of philosophy, with students Kimberly Duggins, Kelly Flannery and Caitlin McGarry and alumnus Collin Bright.

“Marching to Dewey: The Behavioral Foundations of Educational Transformation,” by Yoram Lubling, professor of philosophy, with students Kathy Stewart and Nicholas Sharrer and alumni Elizabeth D. Foggie, Brian Delsandro, Dominique Mitchell, Molly Guyer and Ross J. Simpson III.

“Seeking a Philosophy that Speaks to Its Time: Reflections on Thomas Wallgren’s Work,” by Nim Batchelor, associate professor of philosophy.

“Reanimating the Old in Service of the New: Reflections on Pierre Hadot’s Work,” by John G. Sullivan, Powell Professor of Philosophy Emeritus. 

Cover art for the Bridges issue was created by Anne Simpkins, associate professor of art.

Bridges (www.bridges23.com) is affiliated with Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania and is edited by Robert Seitz Frey. The journal is on file at Elon’s Carol Grotnes Belk Library, or may be purchased by contacting BRIDGES23@AOL.com.

Dan Anderson,
7/13/2008 7:06 PM