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Philosophers to attend
gathering at Clayton State

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Philosophy students from across the southeast, and one from Belgium, will converge on the Clayton State University campus today and Saturday during the school's Second Annual Southeast Philosophy Congress.

Nearly 30 presentations are scheduled across the two-day program, including discussions on free will, theological determinism, and one titled "Facebook Me: An Examination of the Virtual Community."

Jack Zupko, an associate philosophy professor at Emory University, will give the event's keynote address on the "Ten Myths About Medieval Philosophy" today, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

"We have a broad range of topics and issues being presented," said Ron Jackson, a professor of philosophy at Clayton State and one of the event's organizers. Presentations are "fairly formal, and philosophers have 20 minutes for their presentation, and 15 minutes for questions and answers," he said.

Most of the presentations will be given at the James M. Baker Center, on the Clayton State campus, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., in Morrow, between 8:30 a.m., and 4:15 p.m.

Though still a new gathering, Jackson said this year's congress attracted twice as many scholarly submissions as last year's.

Among the students picked to present were three Clayton State students.

"It's always an honor to have our own students participate in this event," Jackson said.

The event will include other presentations like "Externalists and Failure to Deny Closure," and "If There Is a God, Then We Don't Have Free Will."

Jackson said the congress has been a collaborative effort between he, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Alex Hall, and Tom Barnett, chairman of the Communicative Arts and Integrative Studies department at Clayton State.

The university began offering philosophy as an undergraduate major in the fall of 2007.

"Before the university provided philosophy as a major, we conducted a survey to see if there was any interest," Jackson said. "About 300 students were interested in a philosophy major, and this response gave us the initiative to make this event possible."

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On the net:

Clayton State University: www.clayton.edu