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The Hays and Margaret Crimmel Colloquium on Liberal Education

9/16/13 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Eben Main

Learning to Flourish: Connecting the Past and Future of Liberal Education
Daniel R. DeNicola

Professor of Philosophy
Gettysburg College

Today's champions of liberal education face worried friends and many foes, let alone pressures that threaten our "institutional mission and business plan." Building on the ideas of his recent book, Dan DeNicola argues that five distinct but related paradigms have connected liberal education to the hope of human flourishing. He attempts in this talk to take on the foes, bolster the friends, and separate the genuine from the apparent threats.

Dr. Daniel R. DeNicola has had many roles in higher education including student, parent, faculty member, department chair, dean, provost and vice president, trustee, consultant, and visiting scholar.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio University, and earned his masters and doctorate in philosophy and philosophy of education from Harvard University, under the direction of Israel Scheffler, Roderick Firth, and John Rawls. He spent twenty-seven years at Rollins College serving a faculty member, Dean of the Faculty, and (for nearly a decade) Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. He became Provost of Gettysburg College in 1996. For the 2006-07 year, he became Vice President for Program Development, working to develop two special organizations he had helped bring to Gettysburg: The Eisenhower Institute (a public policy center in Washington, DC.) and the Leonard Bernstein Center (a program promoting arts across the curriculum). Following a sabbatical year in Italy, he returned to full-time teaching.

Prof. DeNicola is the author of Learning to Flourish: A Philosophical Exploration of Liberal Education (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2012), and of many articles and relating to his research interests: ethics, education, theories of the emotions, and ancient Greek philosophy. Prof. DeNicola was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University (1991-92) at the Philosophy of Education Research Center, and has directed an NEH Summer Seminar on John Stuart Mill. He is a Fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society. His current projects include a book on ignorance.

He has taught a wide range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Recent courses include: Philosophy of Place, Philosophy of Color, Ethics & Economic Life, and First-Year Seminars titled Secrets & Lies and Designer Genes and the Ethics of Human Enhancement. At Rollins College, he twice received the Arthur Vining Davis Award “for outstanding teaching.” At Gettysburg, for his teaching while Provost, the Faculty awarded him the Distinguished Teaching Award at Commencement 2006.

Prof. DeNicola has led workshops for or served as a consultant to various colleges and universities, foundations, corporations, and even the Internal Revenue Service—on ethics.

He and his wife, Sunni, live in Gettysburg, PA. Sunni is currently a specialist in promotion and cataloguing for Musselman Library at Gettysburg College.