Phi Sigma Tau 9th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference in Omaha, Nebraska
April 19, 2007 § 7 Comments
I just wanted to offer my thanks to everyone for all your support as I prepared my paper for the conference! Special gratitude is due to Dr. White and Dr. Matthias Vorwerk (for proofreading), Dr. Doolan (for his wonderfully helpful advice on presentations/questions), and Fr. Pritzl and Dr. De Groot for all their support. Everything went wonderfully. Not too many people came to hear my paper (nine or ten) but there was a half an hour of questions when I was finished, none of which I had expected. I thought there would be further questions on mimesis in Plato or maybe numbers in the Pythagoreans…no, most of the questions were about the quote from Augustine that I used in the second sentence of my paper (the one about the Eternal Numbers of God). Thankfully, we read that text in full for Dr. Doolan’s class a couple months ago, so I knew enough to give decent answers. I wasn’t nervous at all, and I think gave succinct answers to all the questions.
It was a lot of fun to chat and discuss philosophy with students from other universities and backgrounds. The conference as a whole was a real eye-opener: there were only two other students there out of 90 professors and students who had any real understanding in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. In fact, I spoke with one professor and he said he hadn’t cracked open Aquinas in 40+ years! That is really sad…
Most of the papers were on Darwin, Marxism, Feminism, or even. After one paper (on Hard vs. Soft Determinism) the professors and students spent the entire half hour Q&A session discussing what “hylemorphism” means – they honestly had no clue. It just goes to show what students of Philosophy and especially professors at the CUA School of Philosophy are up against. Thank God for CUA Philosophy, passing on the torch of Western philosophy to the ages.
All things considered, I had a great time at the conference and wish I could have been there for the whole thing. Perhaps I will be able to either (a) deliver a paper again in the future or (b) simply attend another conference, whether graduate or undergraduate. I would definitely like to at some point.