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Moravian University
Philosophy Conference

2020 Online Program & Schedule

11th Annual Online Moravian University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Saturday, April 11, 2020

All session will be held online through Zoom

Registration will be required when entering each Zoom session. 

Each presentation will be between 12-15 minutes, and there will be 10-15 minutes for general questions to the presenters.  To attend any of the sessions you simply have to click on the link “ATTEND …”. All sessions are open to the public.

8:40 - 8:55 Welcome Remarks and Awards 


Dr. Cynthia Kosso, Provost and Dean of the Faculty,

Dr. Bernie Cantens, Ph.D. Chair of the Philosophy Department

  • Douglas Anderson Prize in Philosophy, awarded to Cody Yarnall
  • The Fredrick (Jiggs) McConnell Prize in Moral Philosophy, awarded to to Noah Rosenthal

SESSION A: 9:00 - 9:55 Metaphysics Chair Dr. Naraghi

A1) “Ethical Consequences of Theism” Graham Emel  (Drew University)

A2) “Meditation on Canto 15 of The Inferno Mind-Body Separation, Divine Truth, and the Intellect  of Ignorance” J. C. Gehman  (Boston College)

A3) “Who Solved the Murder of Evelyn Hardcastle” Sabrina Traver (Kings College) 

SESSION B: 10:00 - 10:55 Existentialism, Gadamer, and  Hermeneutics Chair Dr. Niemoczynski


B1) “Freedom to Love and Freedom to Leave: Authentic Love for the Existentialist” Ashley Pogash (West Chester University) 

B2) “Mutually Constitutive Conversation: A Proposal for an Essentially Personal Model of Conversation” Phillip Pipe (Eastern University)

B3) “Active Ignorance and Epistemic Resistance: Why Microaggressions Are Not Evidence of a Culture of Victimhood” Nina Kegelman (Franklin & Marshall College)  

SESSION C:  11:00 - 12:15 Epistemology and Contemporary Events Chair Dr. Cantens


C1) “Fake News as Epistemic Defeaters” Abdullah Wadood  (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, UMBC)

C2) “Does Evil Only Exist in Man? How we are the Evil Deceiver in Westworld” Alicia Wallace (Moravian University)

C3)  “The Duality of the Irrational and Rational” Justin Conner (University of Maryland)

Cancelled C4) "Should the U.S. Implement Restrictions for Treating Patients with the Coronavirus?" Devon Fogel (MoravianCollege) (Cancelled)

LUNCH BREAK 12:15 - 1:00  

PLENARY TALK 1:00 - 1:55 Chair Bernie Cantens

Keynote Speaker


Recorded Talk

"Learning from Propaganda"

Image result for joseph H Shieber

Dr. Joseph H Shieber, Lafayette College

Abstract: Can we learn from propaganda? If the question is asking whether we can acquire knowledge from propaganda, most people would answer, "No". I want to push back against this widely held view. By appealing to examples from the history of propaganda, I will suggest that propaganda can, in fact, be a source of knowledge. Along the way, I will sketch some criteria that must be met in order for propaganda to transmit knowledge. Finally, I will suggest that there is a second sense in which we can learn from propaganda: a proper consideration of propaganda as a potential source of knowledge can offer us lessons about the nature of knowledge more broadly.

SESSION D: 2:00 - 3:15 Ethics Chair Dr. Moeller


D1) “Criticism of John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle” Elissa Johnson (The College of New Jersey)

D2) “Transgender Freedom?” Asher Glynn (Northampton Community College)

D3) “Kill the Cop in Your Head! How the Trauma of (Social) Identity Limits Action” Sean Apparicio (CUNY–City College of New York)

D4) "A Critique of A. J. Ayer's Theory of Emotivism"  Timothy Robbins (Moravian University)

SESSION E: 3:20 - 4:35 Aesthetics, History and Fiction Chair Bill Falla


E1) “Interpreting Religious Paintings of Hell: How Hell is Depicted in Christian, Islamic and Buddhist Art” Ashley Price (Northampton Community College).

E2) “On the Demythization of Platonic Egyptology,” Terris Burton, (The College of New Jersey)

E3) “The Ethics of Reality Fiction: Promoting Publication, Proscribing Perniciousness” Chloe Berger (Bryn Mawr College)

E4) “Feeling Fictions: The Explanatory Power of Thought Theory” Alec Cohen, (Franklin and Marshall College)


Moravian Philosophy Faculty: Dr. Bernie Cantens, Chair, Dr. Arash Naraghi, Dr. Carol Moeller, and  Dr. Leon Niemoczynski.