Who am I? How should we live?
What can we know? What can I hope for?
Many of these most basic questions are developed in depth by different branches of philosophy. For instance, ethics asks: what is good and bad, right and wrong? What is justice? Epistemology asks: what is knowledge as opposed to mere opinion or belief? How do we justify knowledge claims? Aesthetics asks: what is art and what is beauty? Logic asks: what are the rules of critical thinking and sound argument?
Philosophy encourages us to uncover presuppositions, to scrutinize arguments, and to reflect clearly and creatively about the most fundamental questions informing our legal, political, scientific, artistic, and moral pursuits. The Philosophy Department at Middlebury explores these pursuits through a diverse offering of courses, on topics both historical and contemporary. Students well-versed in philosophy gain outstanding preparation for graduate study and law school, as well as for medicine, business, and many other professions.
Behind nearly every facet of the sciences at Middlebury, the imprint of the STSS department can be found...
From the fabrication and repair of scientific equipment to supporting the college’s research vessel; from support and training for instrument systems to the development of analytical protocols; from animal husbandry to the preparation and setup of laboratories; from cultivation of exotic plant species in the greenhouse to overseeing environmental safety and regulatory compliance, STSS staff are at work in support of the college’s science teaching and research programs. STSS is also responsible for management of the college’s science center building, McCardell Bicentennial Hall, and for providing numerous direct support services to building occupants.
As senior Alexa Warburton opens the door to the cephalopod lab, a pungent smell escapes into the third-floor hallway of Middlebury College’s McCardell Bicentennial Hall. “It smells like the ocean,” she comments. And it should. Warburton, a senior biology major from Hopkinton, N.H., is spending her summer studying a member of the cephalopod family, Octopus bimaculoides . Her goal is to study the way these saltwater creatures learn, thereby furthering the already-extensive body of research on invertebrate intelligence.
Middlebury College has named Associate Professor of Geology David P. West as the recipient of the 2009 Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching.
West, a field geologist whose students have commended him for being “a master at explaining concepts” and “incredibly organized and effective,” will be honored at a reception open to the college community on Tuesday, March 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 104 of McCardell Bicentennial Hall.