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Faculty Profile

Crispin Sartwell

Associate Professor of Philosophy (2004)

Contact Information

East College Room 203


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

2020-2021 Academic Year

Spring 2021

PHIL 205 Daoism
Daoism (or Taoism) is among the most ancient and most profound of world philosophies. This course begins with the ancient classics the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), Xunzi (Chuang Tzu) and the Liezi (Lieh Tzu) in English translation. We will go on to discuss profound later commentaries on these texts and their central ideas. These include the interdependence of opposites and the ecstatic affirmation of reality, cast in terms of a celebration of idiosyncrasy and spontaneity, and a critique of the rationalism of Confucius and his followers. We will also examine Daoist expressions in later Chinese poetry, painting, and calligraphy, and the influence of these ideas and texts on Chan (Zen) Buddhism and, later, on Western art and thought.

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 500 Independent Study

POSC 500 Independent Study