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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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4/22/2008 Honor society head to present philosophy lectures

press image McMINNVILLE – John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, will present the Walter Powell-Linfield College Philosophy Lectures Monday and Tuesday, May 5 and 6, at Linfield.

Churchill will present “By What Authority?: Liberal Education and the Presumption to Transform” on Monday, May 5, and “The Obscurity of Influences: Ludwig Wittgenstein and Liberal Education” on Tuesday, May 6. Both lectures will be at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall.

The first lecture will address the question: if liberal education is more than a service offered to a consumer and is a voyage of self-discovery and self-transformation, by what authority do educators offer students the opportunity to embark upon it? The second lecture will investigate the influence on liberal education of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most influential philosophers of last century.

Churchill, a native of Arkansas, was educated at Rhodes College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and at Yale University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 1978. He was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Hendrix College, where he also served as a professor of philosophy and twice as interim president. In the 1970s he served as an assistant American secretary to the Rhodes Scholarship Trust and has been active since then in the selection of Rhodes scholars.

Churchill's academic interests include the philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Dave Hume as well as the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion and the philosophy liberal education. He is the author of dozens of articles, book chapters, reviews, essays and stories which have appeared in journals and magazines in the U.S. and other countries. He is a member of numerous professional organizations.

Linfield has hosted the Walter Powell-Linfield College Philosophy Lectures since 1972. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa has 276 chapters on college and university campuses and over a half million living members. Its purpose is to advocate and recognize excellence in the study of the liberal arts and sciences.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2760.