Friday, March 29, 2013

Happiness returning

Coming to MTSU, Fall 2013-
PHIL 3160 –
Philosophy of Happiness
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:40-4:05 pm, James Union Building 202. Examining the concept of human happiness and its application in everyday living as discussed since antiquity by philosophers, psychologists, writers, spiritual leaders, and contributors to pop culture.
 “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Aristotle

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” - Marcus Aurelius

 “Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”   Immanuel Kant

“Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure”

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”  Edith Wharton

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”   Albert Camus

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”   Ernest Hemingway

“That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” 

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy… I'd far rather be happy than right any day.” ― Douglas Adams

Join the conversation! For more info contact Dr. Phil Oliver,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baseball, literature, culture

On Friday, April 5, MTSU will once again host the annual Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture. This national conference will feature a diverse array of essays that discuss baseball’s unique role in literature, as well as American sporting and popular culture. Of particular interest, Former Baseball pitcher and author Jim Bouton will deliver the conference luncheon address from 12:45-1:15 in the JUB Tennessee Room. While Bouton’s injury-plagued career lasted a decade, he is best known for penning the seminal baseball “insider” book Ball Four, which documents his experiences with the expansion Seattle Pilots during the 1969 season. Indeed, a New York Public Library exhibit in 1995 selected Ball Four as the only sports book in a “Books of the Century” exhibit, while a 2002 Sports Illustrated poll identified the book as the “third most important sports book of all time.” In addition to authoring four additional baseball-themed books, in 1977 Bouton invented the still-popular Big League Chew shredded gum.

Following his presentation, Bouton will answer audience questions and will briefly remain available to sign autographs.

The Bouton lecture and the rest of the Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture sessions are free and open to the MTSU community.

Faculty and students may also consider attending the morning keynote address given by Dr. Andrew Hazucha from Ottawa University (KS) entitled “A Jim Bouton Retrospective:  Zen and the Politics of the Knuckleball.” This event will take place from 8:30-9:15, also in the JUB Tennessee Room

Faculty interested in receiving an electronic copy of the Conference schedule, or a more detailed description of Dr. Hazucha’s presentation, should contact one of the co-coordinators listed below.

The Jim Bouton lecture is graciously sponsored by the Distinguished Lecturer’s Fund, the Virginia Peck Trust Fund, and the College of Liberal Arts.

Please feel free to contact either of the Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture co-coordinators if you have any questions.


Ron Kates
Professor of English
Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture Co-Coordinator

Warren Tormey
Associate Professor of English
Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture Co-Coordinator

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sartre's cat

Does it humanize the author of Les Chemins de la libert√© to know that he worked with a cat? I prefer to think on my feet, with dogs. But, √† chacun le sien.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Ought We to Sustain?

is Prof. Kelly Parker’s title for this year's final Applied Philosophy Lyceum on Friday March 22, 2013, at 4 pm in Room 304 of the James Union Building on the MTSU campus.
Parker's presentation will focus on the global environmental crisis. As we collectively look to the future, questions of sustainability loom large. But sustainability, Parker will argue, is far from a value neutral notion. How, and by whom, are competing conceptions of justice, gender equity, and human rights to be weighed and evaluated? The problem of humanity's future survival cannot even be raised, let alone answered, without engaging both in theory and practice with the kind(s) of communities and environments for which we hope and struggle.
Kelly Parker is currently Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University where his main interests are American philosophy and environmental philosophy. He earned his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University and holds a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Texas A&M University.

He is the author of THE CONTINUITY OF PIERCE'S THOUGHT (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998). Other publications include: "Pragmatism and Environmental Thought" (in ENVIRONMENTAL PRAGMATISM, A. Light and E. Katz, eds., Routledge Press, 1996), "Josiah Royce on The Spirit of the Community and the Nature of Philosophy" (JOURNAL OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY 2000), and "Normative Judgment in Jazz" (THE NORMATIVE THOUGHT OF CHARLES S. PEIRCE, Fordham University Press, 2012). He is co-editor of the books TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY/TEACHING SUSTAINABLY (Stylus Press, 2012) and JOSIAH ROYCE FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Lexington, 2012).

The lecture is free and open to the public. A discussion period and an informal reception will follow. For more information, contact the MTSU Philosophy Department at 898-2907. 

Monday, March 4, 2013


Joshua's Bioethics report today, on the dystopian vision of Lois Lowry's The Giver, was a bit alarmist. Science will not give us a monoculture, in fact it's probably our last best defense against a world of mindless conformism. (I admit, though, we do seem to be approaching a pills-for-every-occasion kind of world.) But this blast from the past, which he used to "set the mood," took me happily back to 1969. I was a sick kid in a Minneapolis hospital, cheered by an 8x10 autographed black & white glossy of Twins' outfielder Bobby Allison... and (perversely, morbidly?) by Zager & Evans:

Saturday, March 2, 2013


We have the right of pursuit, but capture's not guaranteed (said Ben Franklin). Accelerating Intelligence News