Associate Professor - Philosophy
Dr. Glowienka obtained his B.A. from the University of Scranton and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory University. His research and teaching interests include modern philosophy, metaphysics, and moral philosophy. He is the author of Leibniz’s Metaphysics of Harmony. In 2017, he co-directed the seminar "Re-Enchanting Nature: Humanities Perspectives" funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
As Annette Ryerson mentioned in this space last week, it is difficult to write about oneself in a time that calls for focus on collective solidarity and the common good. It is easier to write about the valuable things I am trying to achieve with my students, even in these times. I’ll start there.
I am a philosophy professor and, though philosophy is one of the oldest human pursuits, philosophy professors often have to justify their courses. Rarely do students study philosophy before college, so they naturally enter my classes wondering why Carroll asks them to take two philosophy courses, why they need to think more than they already have about things like ethics, the mind, time, God, knowledge, and the like. I love meeting this healthy skepticism more than any other aspect of my job. I have the pleasure of introducing students to and accompanying them through the study of philosophy, a discipline devoted to posing ambitious questions, wrestling with complexity, testing the compatibility of our various beliefs, and inspiring self-reflection and wonder. I am continually impressed by what Carroll students achieve once they develop a philosophical disposition. I regularly see them use philosophy to prepare better for their careers in law, counseling, research, medicine, the military, engineering, ministry, teaching, and business. And in the past weeks, I have heard them voice their desire to tackle the most urgent ethical questions we face: How do we allocate medical resources justly? How do we balance individual freedom and the common good? How do we preserve truth and fair media practices in a time of fear and disillusion? I don’t know where we are headed, but I trust Carroll students won’t shy away from complexity and rigor.
I grew up in Philadelphia, the son of parents who never attended college and who sacrificed significantly for my education. I went to the University of Scranton to study biochemistry, but left with a degree in philosophy with minors in German and theology. I then spent two years working with Spiritan missionaries, teaching philosophy to students from six African nations at the Spiritan Missionary Seminary in Arusha, Tanzania. I earned my Ph.D. from Emory University in 2013. My research is in early modern philosophy, with projects in both metaphysics (you can find a blurb about my book here) and moral philosophy.
In addition to teaching and research, Carroll has afforded me many other opportunities. I chair the committee responsible for implementing the new core curriculum that Carroll will launch in the Fall. We’re engaged in efforts to strengthen the integrative, interdisciplinary, and experiential components of liberal arts education at Carroll. I have twice co-directed a seminar for teachers funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The seminar, Re-Enchanting Nature, explores how the humanities can deepen our understanding of nature in a way that complements the sciences. Oh, and I met my wife here, so that’s pretty good too.
I told my Ethics classes this week that I don’t like to preach, but that these are exceptional times. So, one final, preachy note from an ethics prof: be ethical everyone. Be reasoned; be empathetic; practice simple virtues like courage, honesty, temperance, and generosity; distance but don’t abandon; embody the best of Carroll’s mission.