Faculty Profile

Crispin Sartwell

Associate Professor of Philosophy (2004), Department Chair

Contact Information


East College Room 203B


Author of "Political Aesthetics" (Cornell University Press, 2010), "Six Names of Beauty" (Routledge 2004), and many other books. Interests include hip hop and other popular musics, anarchist political theory, epistemology, Asian philosophy.


  • B.A., University of Maryland, 1980
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1985
  • Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1989

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

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 201 Ancient Philosophy
This course is an introduction to central questions, claims and arguments in ancient philosophy, centering on the work of Plato and Aristotle. Potential questions include: What is the value of reason and knowledge? What is knowledge? Is it always better to be just than unjust? What constitutes a good human life? What kind of thing is a human being?Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 251 Philosophy of Religion
This course focuses on philosophical issues arising from religious belief and practice.Topics treated may include: the existence and nature of god or gods; the contested relation of a god to moral values; faith and reason as sources of belief or ways of believing, as expressed in classic texts by thinkers such as Aquinas, Hume, Kierkegaard, and William James, as well as in contemporary texts. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 256 Philosophy of Mind
This course investigates the nature of the mind and its relation to the brain, body, and the surrounding world. Analyses of these topics will draw on information from fields such as psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, or computer science. Prerequisite: one previous course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 391 Philosophy of Cognitive Sci
This seminar focuses on the conceptual foundations of cognitive science as well as some relevant contemporary discussions. Topics may include the nature of introspection, implicit attitudes, "mental pointing", or the nature of mental imagery.