Schedule of Events
Philosophy Capstone Presentations
Dr. Brian Collins
The Moral Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin, the celebrated political theorist and historian of ideas, is a rather enigmatic figure by the standards of contemporary Anglophone philosophy. Whether because of his abiding interests, remote as they sometimes were from those of his peers', or his departure from, and even rejection of, certain central tenets of the Western philosophical tradition, many academics have not been quite sure what to make of his singular corpus. While Berlin may well be one of the last great thinkers of the Enlightenment, he is simultaneously one of its most incisive critics. My principal aim is to clarify his foremost arguments, and demonstrate that Berlin deserves recognition for his novel contributions not only to political philosophy, but to moral philosophy as well. It is my intention to show that a rich and coherent ethical theory, comprised of an interwoven set of beliefs concerning philosophical methodology, human nature, and values, underlies the fabric of Berlin's thought.
Dr. Brian Collins
Where is Consciousness?
You are a conscious piece of raw meat that thinks. The purpose of this project was to investigate how consciousness fits into our overall theory of reality. The mind-body problem is a problem that deals with the relation of mind, matter and behavior in all living animal organisms. The essence of the mind-body problem is that mind and matter do not seem to fit in the same world picture. This research focuses on how consciousness is integrated into our scientific worldview by investigating a monistic theory of reality called Panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. I argue that panpsychism cannot provide a complete theory of reality because it has been pursued with an ideological insistence to have a unified picture of the universe that is fundamentally physical and mechanical.