Philosophy

FACULTY

There are currently two full-time faculty in Philosophy and one part-time:

Dr. Connie PRICE

came to Tuskegee in 1971 and teaches 50% in the philosophy department and has a 50% appointment in the National Center for Bioethics and Health Care. She had majored in philosophy at William Jewell College ('67). more

Dr. Darryl Scriven darryl.scriven@tuskegee.edu

Dr. Marc GRANEY

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The philosophy faculty at Tuskegee University teaches and does research in the history of philosophy and in ethics, politics, and aesthetics. A service curriculum answers to general requirements, offering courses in all principal areas of philosophy, including ancient philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science, as well as business ethics and interdisciplinary courses in the humanities. Innovative instruction and scholarship include Eastern and African philosophy, feminism, cosmology, philosophy of film, philosophy of law, and bioethics.

History


The Tuskegee Institute philosophy department began in the late 1960's under the leadership of Dr. Howard Carter, Biology Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Visiting Philosophy Professor Richard Wasserstrom. It was a degree-granting program with an undergraduate major. In the early 1970's the department members acquired a series of NEH grants to administer many creative programs. These included: extensive professional development by the faculty; enhancement of the course, "Introduction to Humanities," to be multicultural and interdisciplinary (with the hiring of an art historian and an ethnomusicologist); film and lecture series; visiting professors.

Also in the 1970's, the department organized two conferences on "Philosophy and the Black Experience," one of whose proceedings was published as a single issue of Philosophical Forum 9, 1978 (ed. by McDade, Jesse and C. Lesnor). Cornel West would still write sixteen years later about this conference when elaborating on the identity of the black philosopher: "This is an issue that we have been struggling with for over sixteen years when we first came together that lovely evening at Tuskegee Institute in 1973. I want to wax nostalgic about this" ("The Black Underclass and Black Philosophers").

In the mid- and late-1970's the department commenced a professional ethics initiative. Faculty members prepared themselves in this area, and offered courses in bioethics and business ethics. Dialogues with deans and professors in engineering and agriculture produced possibilities of ethics courses in those areas as well. National participation even led to one member's holding office in a national agricultural ethics society. An environmental ethics course was added to the curriculum in the early 1990's, and one in applied ethics followed in 2000. Often, themes of professional ethics, ethics in science, ethics in food and agriculture, etc., were, and still are, the topic of concentration in particular semesters of courses in humanities, philosophy of science, and general ethics.

In 1998, following a University reorganization of Colleges and departments, philosophy was merged with psychology and sociology to form the Department of Psychology and Sociology.

In January 1999, the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care (BIOETHICS CENTER) was established as a partial response to the apology of President William J. Clinton for the United States Public Health Service Study on Syphilis conducted at Tuskegee, in Macon County, Alabama from 1932 to 1972. Most of the philosophy faculty have contributed substantially to the Bioethics Center. Besides courses, the philosophers have been responsible for the Center's film series, reading groups, Bioethics Club and Ethics Bowl participation by undergraduates, papers given at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, numerous Center publications, and many other activities.

The philosophy program started a minor in 2002, and a number of students have graduated with the minor. The faculty have been creative contributors and leaders in philosophy on a local, regional, national, and international basis for the entire forty-year history of philosophy at Tuskegee University.