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Academics

Philosophy

Questions that don’t have easy answers arise in every career and every industry. Studying philosophy gives you the tools necessary to ask and pursue them. In the Department of Philosophy, faculty members prepare you to present complex ideas clearly, evaluate opposing viewpoints, and craft careful and creative arguments. In addition to teaching students to think critically, philosophy challenges you to examine the ethical contours of everyday life. Whether studying accounting and finance or communications and management, the study of philosophy is crucial to developing the well-balanced, responsible leaders of tomorrow.

Course Offerings

Ancell on the Value of Truth in a Liberal Society

To what extent should a liberal government be based on truth? Freedom of thought and expression are hallmarks of a liberal society. But to have such freedoms, people must be allowed to believe and express things that are false. At the same time, a liberal society cannot flourish if lies and falsehoods pervade public discourse. Liberal societies thus have a complex, and at times, conflicting, relationship with the value of truth. Assistant Professor Aaron Ancell explores that relationship in his contribution to a collection of essays published by the Brookings Institute that explores the value of truth in governance from a diverse array of cultural and intellectual traditions.

 

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Seemann on Social Cognition

How do you make sense of others’ observed actions? Traditionally, this question forms one aspect of the so-called “problem of other minds”. In recent years, and motivated by discoveries in psychology, two radically different ways of answering the question have emerged. One approach takes it that only bodily movement is observable and that inferential work is required to find out what mental state causes or explains someone’s observed behavior. The rival view proposes that understanding others begins with social interaction in which embodied mentality is directly shared. Axel Seemann argues that these two approaches are not in fact incompatible and that each has something valuable to contribute to a full account of how we come to understand what people do.

 

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Moriarty Publishes Book in Business Ethics

Professor Jeffrey Moriarty’s book Business Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction has been published by Routledge. This book explores a variety of issues, such as the value and limits of markets, ethics in advertising, employee privacy, fair pay, health and safety, meaningful work, corporate political activity, corporate social responsibility, and the constellation of issues that attend international business.

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Campbell on the Good Life and the Good Death

What makes for a good death, and how does this fit with our best accounts of the good life? In his recent article “Well-Being and the Good Death,” Assistant Professor Stephen Campbell seeks to shed light on these questions. He argues that many of the things people commonly recognize as impacting the quality of a death—such as where one dies, one’s company in death, and the cause of death—are not adequately accommodated by the most popular and widely discussed theories of well-being and the good life. This fact points toward some needed reforms in our way of understanding the good life.

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Contact

Axel Seemann
Department Chair 
Smith Technology Center 104
781.891.2241
aseemann@bentley.edu

Stephen Campbell 
LSM Coordinator (Ethics & Social Responsibility)
Adamian Academic Center 117
781.891.2869
scampbell@bentley.edu

Annette Wong
Senior Academic Coordinator
Adamian Academic Center 109
781.891.2240
awong@bentley.edu