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Celebration of Philosophy and Humanities Symposium


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 5, 2004 – The Philosophy Department at Virginia Tech is celebrating several anniversaries: the 20th anniversary of the founding of the joint philosophy department, the 10th anniversary of the master’s program, and the 50th anniversary of philosophy in the curriculum.

The celebration revolves around the Philosophy Spring Conference and Humanities Symposium “‘Peirce-pectives’ on Metaphysics and the Sciences,” scheduled for April 23-25. The department also is hosting a reception for alumni from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 23, at L’Arche. This year also marks the 90th anniversary of Charles Sanders Peirce’s death, the philosopher that is the focus of the 2004 conference.

Peirce (1839-1914) plays a unique role in the history of American philosophy and of American scholarship in general. Although mistakenly identified as merely a background figure in the development of Pragmatism, his role as founder of this distinctively American movement is now beginning to be recognized. The implications of his ideas have not yet been fully developed. It is only in the past decade or two that his brilliant contributions to practically all academic disciplines (physics, astronomy, topology, criminology, optics, metaphysics, logic, architecture, anthropology, economics, linguistics, psychology, education, religion, law, politics, business and management, and computer science) have been discovered. His ideas have so pervaded our lives, that the term “pragmatist” is now part of our everyday vocabulary.

In conjunction with the international philosophy conference in April, the department also has planned several talks by Virginia Tech faculty members who have been influenced by Peirce’s ideas in their fields. Hans Rott, chair of the graduate program in architecture, will discuss “Architecture and Pragmatism: An Uneasy Relationship” at 2 p.m. Friday, April 16, in Lane Hall.

The conference is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Science and Technology in Society, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and the Office of the Provost. Special thanks to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. The project has been awarded Virginia Tech’s Humanities Symposium Award.

For more information, contact Dr. Rosa M. Mayorga at rmayorga@vt.edu, or go to the website at www.phil.vt.edu.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of apparel, housing and resource management, communication, educational leadership and policy studies, English, foreign languages and literatures, history; human development, interdisciplinary studies, music, philosophy, political science, ROTC, science and technology in society, sociology, teaching and learning, and theatre arts.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.



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