Faculty and Staff
William S. Dibrell
Professor Philosophy
Alfred University Contact Info
Office Location: Kanakadea Hall
Department: Human Studies  
Phone: 607.871.2703  
Email:    
William S. Dibrell
Education
Ph.D.: Philosophy
Michigan State University, 1979

M.A.: Philosophy
San Diego State University, 1974

B.A.: Philosophy/English
San Diego State University, 1971

Background
Current Research

 

Most recently I have been working on expanding our curriculum to include one upper-level offering on Chinese philosophy.  And this research has evolved to include a cross cultural treatment of the foundational importance of empathy, sympathy and what the Confucian schools would call “human heartedness.”  Thinkers as diverse as Franz de Waal and Adam Smith have asserted the importance of empathy to our social nature.  I am in the process of exposition and analysis of a variety of forms the empathy theories have taken from the ethics of care to the prominence of care in Heidegger’s Being and Time.  Clearly, there is a good deal to sort out among the family of terms just mentioned and that is part of the task as well.

 

 



Biography

I teach a variety of courses in traditional areas of philosophical interest:  Ancient Greek, Modern Philosophy, 19c Philosophy, ethics, logic, epistemology and topics in metaphysics.  In addition to courses in these areas I teach more specialized courses in the philosophy of mind, ethics, and social justice issues.  Several offerings cross list in political science as well as one course in psychology.

Most recently I have been working on expanding our curriculum to include one upper-level offering on Chinese philosophy.  And this research has evolved to include a cross cultural treatment of the foundational importance of empathy, sympathy and what the Confucian schools would call “human heartedness.”  Thinkers as diverse as Franz de Waal and Adam Smith have asserted the importance of empathy to our social nature.  I am in the process of exposition and analysis of a variety of forms the empathy theories have taken from the ethics of care to the prominence of care in Heidegger’s Being and Time.  Clearly, there is a good deal to sort out among the family of terms just mentioned and that is part of the task as well.

At AU academic advising by faculty is central to the success of our students. And, I do a variety of advising.  I have advised student clubs and currently advise philosophy, history and undecided students.  I have been a pre-law advisor for my entire career. 

University service is an important part of what I do.  I am a past president of the Faculty Senate and have served on numerous committees.  Most recently I was appointed Chair of the Alfred University “Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee.”  The SPCC committee has finished a three year comprehensive and inclusive development of the Universities strategic goals and key priorities. Further refinement and the implementation process are now in the hands of the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees. I am also an active member of our Social Justice Program Committee. AU is committed to social justice and service to the community. We are developing a curriculum to serve this commitment..

I am a member of the American Philosophical Association, the Creighton Club, the American Political Science Association and a member of Research Group 12 of the APSA “Biology and Politics.”

 



Teaching Interests

Primary:

Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language

Secondary:

Logic, History of Philosophy, Social and Political, Feminism, Philosophical Anthropology

 



Post-Doctoral Education

NEH Summer Seminar: Self-consciousness and Self-reference, Sidney Shoemaker, Cornell University 1985.

NEH Summer Seminar: The Nature of Reasoning, Gilbert Harman, Princeton University 1982.



Faculty Service

Fall 1983 - present - Division of Human Studies, Alfred University, Alfred NY.

Spring 1976 - Spring 1983 - Philosophy Department, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI.

Fall 1975 Part-time - Jackson Community College (Jackson Prison Program), Jackson, MI.



Links of Interest

Psyche: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Consciousness.

Epistemelinks

LSAC