Faculty Profile

Chauncey Maher

Associate Professor of Philosophy (2008)

Contact Information


East College Room 202


Are there essentially social or normative aspects to cognition, knowledge, language or action? How so? Those are the sorts of big question that have interested me in my research and teaching. In the summer of 2012, I published a short book on "the Pittsburgh School", a group of contemporary philosophers focused on trying to understand how humans uniquely occupy a “logical space of reasons” .


  • B.A., University of Maryland, 2001
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 2002
  • Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2008

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

PHIL 103 Logic
The study and practice of forms and methods of argumentation in ordinary and symbolic languages,focusing on elements of symbolic logic and critical reasoning, including analysis and assessment of arguments in English, symbolizing sentences and arguments,constructing formal proofs of validity in sentential and quantificational logic.Offered every semester, or every three out of four semesters.

PHIL 261 ID, Global Culture, Allegiance
Society never ceases to address issues of meeting of cultures, race, tradition, modernity, belief, immigration, the local, the global, etc. These issues--where the question of identity arises--have not disappeared in global culture, multiculturalism and “post-identity/racial” society; rather they operate in new contexts and recently in that of the debate surrounding gender, immigration, national identity and patriotism in France and United States. As we read texts and watch movies, written and produced by authors from various periods, geographic locations and cultural positions, we will explore dimensions of core identity shaped by our allegiances and affiliations. We will assess identity/Culture as a plural and changing notion and will elucidate the complex ties that link writing/image to a range of intersecting topics that define individual and common identity. This course combines theory, research and student’s personal experience and explores how people perceive and shape personal identities and how they create, maintain, and use common/social/cultural identities. It will involve application of concepts both within class and outside class settings through class work, interactions, and interviews. Students are free to share their personal experiences, stories and identities in class. In other words, Students will explore both case studies and theoretical perspectives.

PHIL 401 Senior Seminar
A seminar focusing in depth on a selected philosophical topic, author or text with special emphasis on student philosophical writing and voice. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least one at the 300-level, or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 500 Independent Study