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College News

5th Annual Philosophy Day Scheduled for November 6-7 at St. John Fisher College


PITTSFORD, N.Y., November 2, 2007-St. John Fisher College will host "Philosophy Day: Philosophy and Utopias" on Tuesday, November 6 and Wednesday, November 7 in the Midlevel of the Golisano Gateway on campus. "World Philosophy Day" is observed globally as an occasion for people to reflect upon the importance of critical thinking, peace, international cooperation, and the love of wisdom. The sessions at Fisher are free and open to the public.

The events will begin on November 6 at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation titled "A Man for All Seasons, A Man for Our Time: The Life and Teachings of Saint Thomas More" by Father Al Cylwicki, CSB, an adjunct faculty member in the Mathematics Department.

On November 7, sessions will begin at 8 a.m. and are scheduled through 9:20 p.m. Topics include "Philosophy and the Utopian Imagination," "Philosophy and Health Care," "Utopias in Popular Culture," "Utopias and Racial Equality," "Imagining a Perfect World," and "Education and Utopia."

At 6:15 p.m., nationally-known author and lecturer Bruce Jacobs will deliver the keynote address, "Shut Up! What Has Happened to American Racial Discourse and How We Can Reclaim It."

Philosophy Day is sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an agency of the United Nations. UNESCO was founded in November 1945 and is dedicated to furthering the education of the world beyond classrooms and the publication of scientific breakthroughs. Turkey is the host of World Philosophy Day's international event, which will take place in Istanbul on November 22-23.

The full Philosophy Day schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, November 6

6:30 - 7:20 p.m.
Father Al Cylwicki, CSB: "A Man For All Seasons, A Man For Our Time: The Life and Teachings of Saint Thomas More."
Father Cylwicki is a member of the Congregation of St. Basil (the Basilian Fathers). He teaches mathematics at St. John Fisher College, and is a member of its Board of Trustees. An author of two books of homilies, Father Cylwicki is also an auto racing enthusiast and was a part-time chaplain for the Indy Racing League during 2005-2006. His talk will address the friendship between Thomas More and John Fisher, who were both Christian Humanists martyred by Henry VIII-a topic dealt with in the film A Man For All Seasons.

7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
A showing of the 1966 classic film, A Man For All Seasons.
Winner of six academy awards-including 1966 Best Picture-it stars Oscar Winner Paul Scofield, who won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his depiction of Sir Thomas More, a respected English statesman whose steadfast refusal to recognize King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn cost him his life. Featuring an all-star supporting cast-Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York, Vanessa Redgrave, and John Hurt-and directed by Fred Zinnemann, Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons is one of the great film classics of all time.

Wednesday, November 7

8:00 - 8:55 a.m.
Roundtable I: Philosophy and the Utopian Imagination
Participants: Welcome by David Pate, Dean of Arts and Sciences at St. John Fisher College; "The Trial of Pythagoras," an original play written by George Campbell McDade (retired Professor of Art, Monroe Community College), with the Not-Ready-For-Broadway Players; David Suits: "Epicurus and Utopia"

9:05 - 10:00 a.m.
Roundtable II: Utopias and Health Care
Panel Discussion: Paul Fuller (Sociology, St. John Fisher College); David Baronov (Sociology, St. John Fisher College); Katrina Arndt (Special Education, St. John Fisher College) and students from her Human Exceptionality class.

10:10 - 11:05 a.m.
Roundtable III: Thomas More's Utopia
An open discussion on Thomas More's famous book, plus: "Philosophical Jeopardy." Master of Ceremonies: Susan Dawn Wake (Philosophy, St. John Fisher College). Test your knowledge of philosophy and win "valuable" prizes.

11:15 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Roundtable IV: Utopias in Popular Culture
Participants: Dee Hogan (English, St. John Fisher College): "Brave New Poetry"; David White (Philosophy, St. John Fisher College): "Pirates and Utopia"; Steve Huff (English, RIT): "The Facts," and other poems.

12:20 - 1:15 p.m.
Roundtable V: Utopias and Racial Equality
Presenter: Bruce Jacobs, author of Race Manners for the 21st Century: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans in an Age of Fear.

1:25 - 2:20 p.m.

2:30 - 3:25 p.m.
Roundtable VI: Imagining a Perfect World
Participants: M.J. Iuppa (English, St. John Fisher College): "Utopias and Creativity"; James Moran (Philosophy, Daeman College): "Henry David Thoreau's ‘Paradise Regained'"; David White (Philosophy, St. John Fisher College): "The Oneida Experiment"; Tim Madigan (Philosophy, St. John Fisher College): "Immanuel Kant's ‘Toward a Perpetual Peace.'"

3:35 - 4:30 p.m.
Roundtable VII: Plato and Utopia
Participants: John Harman (Political Science, St. John Fisher College): "Plato, Mathematics, and the Forms"; Alfred Geier (Classics, University of Rochester): "Plato's Republic: An Individual Utopia."

4:40 - 5:35 p.m.
Roundtable VIII: Education and Utopia
Participants: Dan Drmacich (Principal, School Without Walls); Ed Schutt, David White, and Tim Madigan (Philosophy, St. John Fisher College); and students from the Philosophy of Education courses at St. John Fisher College.

5:35 - 6:15 p.m.

6:15 - 9:20 p.m.
"Shut Up! What Has Happened to American Racial Discourse and How We Can Reclaim It," presented by Bruce Jacobs
A graduate of Harvard University, as well as Rochester's School Without Walls, nationally-known author and lecturer Bruce Jacobs has addressed audiences across the United States and has appeared on NPR, Pacifica, C-SPAN, and dozens of radio and television talk shows. With his dynamic presence, his plain-spoken clarity on difficult issues, and his empathy with audiences, he is able to encourage people of good will to challenge racism and to work for the kinds of social and economic fairness that benefits us all.

For more information about Philosophy Day at St. John Fisher College, please contact Dr. Tim Madigan at (585) 385-5259 or


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