Adventures in Philosophy at Notre Dame
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Preface and Acknowledgments
This is a story about the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy. It covers a period extending roughly from the mid-1930s through the first decade of the new millennium. I have been a member of this department since 1958. The story is based on my own memories, on the memories of other...
Time passes at Notre Dame like everywhere else, despite the aura of eternal presence projected by the Golden Dome. Constructed of iron and steel with a thin overlay of almost pure gold, the Dome is probably the best-known campus landmark in the world. It is held in...
Part I: From Thomism to Pluralism
Chapter 1: A Bastion of Thomism
Joe Bobik was the first new colleague to greet me when I arrived at ND in the fall of 1958. Joe had joined the department two years earlier, having previously taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Within the next few months we became close friends. We played piano...
Chapter 2: Breaching the Ramparts
Maverick that he was, Fr. Leo Ward did not play a major role in changing the academic profile of the department. There is nothing in the records of the time to suggest that his dissatisfaction with textbook Thomism had much influence on how his colleagues taught their...
Chapter 3: The Gates Swing Open
Fr. Hesburgh was convinced that the Philosophy Department’s textbook version of Thomism stood in the way of the university’s pursuit of excellence. This conviction motivated his persistent and ultimately successful effort to bring Ernan McMullin back to ND. Ernan returned...
Chapter 4: Pluralism
Ernan McMullin became department chair in 1965, during the final throes of American Thomism described in the last two chapters. In the words of ND historian Philip Gleason, whereas Thomism had “reached its high point in this country in the 1950s . . ., the ideal of a ‘Thomistic...
Part II: From Pluralism to Professionalism
Chapter 5: Centers and Institutes
A major factor in ND’s growing reputation as a research university has been its increasing number of centers and institutes for specialized study. Taken as a group, these organizations both enhance the university’s visibility and bring in money to help defray faculty expenses. The...
Chapter 6: Sea Change
The transition from Thomism to pluralism depicted in chapter 4 had little immediate effect on the general culture of the department. People were still cordial toward each other and interested in each other’s work. There still were ample opportunities to interact socially with colleagues...
Chapter 7: Professional Philosophy
Time was when aspiring philosophers had little help in choosing among graduate schools beyond advice from their undergraduate teachers. My own experience around 1950 is a case in point. Of my three main teachers at Grinnell, two (Hippocrates George Apostle and...
Chapter 8: Entering the New Millennium
Within the five years following 1999, department size increased from 38 to 43, and Catholic membership decreased from 50 percent (19 of 38) to 40 percent (17 of 43). Remaining unchanged was its lack of a common mission and its disinclination to address the issue. A consequence was that the department moved into the new millennium with...
Ernan officially retired from the university in 1994 at the age of sixtynine, but retained his previous office in Decio Faculty Hall. His home then was at the end of Oak Park Drive in South Bend, where he had lived for over twenty years. In 2001 he moved with the department to...
Index, About the Author, Back Cover
Page Count: 376
Illustrations: 8 halftones
Publication Year: 2014
OCLC Number: 879745973
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Adventures in Philosophy at Notre Dame