World Philosophy Day 2021


The 2021 Event was the First of its Kind! We enjoyed enlightening topics every 15 minutes.

  • 9 a.m. ET -- 9:15 a.m. ET Welcome (Dr. Bethanie Hansen) & "What is Philosophy?" (Dr. Andrew Israelsen)

  • 9:15 a.m. ET -- 9:30 a.m. ET Parenting and Critical Thinking Skills (Dr. Jonathan Surovell/Mr. David Whitehouse)

  • 9:30 a.m. ET—9:45 a.m. ET Basic Philosophy Concepts: Justice (Mr. Jon Saul/Dr. Andrew Israelsen)

  • 9:45 a.m. — 10 a.m. ET Philosophy of Liberation through Voices of the Poet (Dr. Terrence Threadwell)

  • 10:00 a.m. ET--10:15 a.m. ET Applied Philosophy: COVID Case Study (Ms. Lynn Mardon/Dr. Steve Wyre)

  • 10:15 a.m. ET--10:30 a.m. ET Philosophy of Religion (Dr. Chris Myers/Dr. Bjorn Mercer)

  • 10:30 a.m. ET--10:55 a.m. ET Ask a Philosopher (Dr. Steve Wyre)

  • 10:55 a.m.—11 a.m. ET Closing remarks (Dr. Bethanie Hansen)

Here’s the Recap from our 2021 Event….

Missed World Philosophy Day 2021? You missed a lot!

9:00-- 9:15 a.m. ET

Welcome, Dr. Bethanie Hansen, Department Chair, Religion & Philosophy, Art and Music

“What is Philosophy?” Dr. Andrew Israelsen, Faculty

Philosophy strikes many people as being mysterious, and indeed, it can be. However, at its heart, philosophy is characterized less by any abstract concept as by a feeling: love. The word philosophy comes from ancient Greek, and it means love of wisdom.  The philosopher is the person who passionately longs for understanding, and strives to live a life full of inquiry, understanding, and wonder. In this session we will briefly explore some of the forms this love of wisdom has taken throughout our shared history.

9:15—9:30 a.m. ET

“Parenting and Critical Thinking Skills” Dr. Jonathan Surovell & Mr. David Whitehouse, Faculty

We argue that one can improve one's parenting by improving one's critical thinking skills. We'll look at research on the benefits and learnability of critical thinking skills and discuss examples from our own lives that illustrate how these skills can be applied to parenting.

9:30—9:45 a.m. ET

“Basic Philosophy Concepts: Justice” Mr. Jon Saul & Dr. Andrew Israelsen, Faculty

Many of the concepts that are most important and essential in our lives are also, it turns out, the most difficult to define. Take, for instance, the concept of Justice. What is justice? Is justice a moral universal, the same in all times and all places? Or is it a shifting social construct that can be used for good or ill? Defining such terms has occupied the most gifted minds in history; in this session we will consider just a few aspects of this tricky but essential notion. Attendees will be asked to consider the basic idea of justice and consider their personal definition of social justice.

9:45—10:00 a.m. ET

“Philosophy of Liberation through Voices of the Poet” Dr. Terrence Threadwell, Faculty

The Philosophy of Liberation; thought by many to be a minor voice out of Latin America. A combination of several matrixes including economic, education, sociological, religion, and art. Within that last matrix, it's the poets that have raised their voices against oppression.  I aim to show that a Philosophy of Liberation is not local but global, with poets in the US speaking out against racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, and alienation. I hope that this presentation will make you aware of the voices of the oppressed.

10-10:15 a.m. ET

“Applied Philosophy: Covid Case Study” Ms. Lynn Mardon & Dr. Steve Wyre, Faculty

The covid pandemic exemplifies the ethical tension between individual human rights and the greater good of the community. In this session, consider what role philosophy and critical thinking can play in advanced planning for unexpected disasters and emergencies.

10:15-10:30 a.m. ET

“Philosophy of Religion” Dr. Chris Myers, Faculty & Dr. Bjorn Mercer, Dept. Chair of Communication and World Languages

Here's a pedagogical method to approach topics and students who bring up their own religious beliefs and practices in class and may even get into debates with the course material and one another (and perhaps the Instructor!).  And, how should Instructors comport themselves and their own religious beliefs/practices (if they have them) in the classroom, whether teaching religion, philosophy or other classes? How does philosophy relate to religion?  What is the philosophical approach to religious beliefs and practices? Have you heard of PMA - Positive Metaphysical Agnosticism?

10:30—10:55 a.m. ET

“Ask a Philosopher? Dr. Steve Wyre and Dr. Andrew Israelsen, Faculty

We answer attendees' burning questions and share ideas from some of our courses and resources that help you dig deeper into those questions.

10:55 a.m. ET

Closing Comments, Dr. Bethanie Hansen, Department Chair of Religion & Philosophy, Art and Music

Thank you for joining us!

We hope you enjoyed our 2021 World Philosophy Day Symposium and thank you for attending!

We hope to see you at our second annual event in 2022, to be held November 15th. Please use navigation at the top of this site to visit the 2022 event page and register to join us!

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