Dr. Worth, Professor of Philosophy

Meet the professors and students that make Furman amazing! This blog series is about the dedicated faculty and student body on Furman Campus.  This week I had the privilege of learning about the Furman Philosophy department where I interviewed Professor Sarah Worth! Hope you enjoy and please comment any questions you have about the Philosophy department or Furman!

What role do you have in the philosophy department?

“I am the department head and so that basically means I kind of herd cats and get a bunch of philosophers to be on the same page about some issues, and I schedule classes, and, you know, support students and figure out programming.”

What is your Favorite class offered in the philosophy department?

“Well my class obviously, I teach a philosophy of food class which is really fun and has been very popular but it’s been really rewarding for me as a teacher because we have a lab and we cook together.  I didn’t want to teach a class about food and not cook and eat together, and talk about food and its role in community and not have that community so it’s been a lot of fun for me, and I think it’s been a lot of fun for the students”

What are your favorite hobbies outside of Furman?

“I make jewelry! I buy beads all over the country when I travel for Furman and I do a bunch of silver wire stuff.  So it’s very gratifying to have something outside of Furman.”

What are you working on now inside of Furman?

“Teaching classes which takes a lot and I just finished my first book which will be coming out in January.  It’s called In Defense of Reading which is sort of a philosophical defense of what reading does for us cognitively, morally and socially. I talk about what being a reader does. Primarily dealing with reading fiction for the sake of reading fiction and discussing the benefits of that.”

Any specific undergraduate research opportunities within the philosophy department?

“I didn’t have a Furman advantage students this last summer but I have had one every other summer for the past three or four years that actually helped me do research for my book. And I am trying to think, Dr. Epright often has something going on because she is with the medical humanities and she often has students in the hospital systems.  We also have a program for senior philosophy majors.  It’s an honor program so you have to have a certain GPA and they get to write a senior honors thesis. So we only have one student this semester that qualities for that and she it writing a really interesting thesis about disgust and the law and what role disgust plays in some legal precedence.”

What kind of study away experiences are available through the department?

“Nothing specific to philosophy but we contribute to a number of different study away programs. I will be going to Italy in May for a class on food and philosophy called “Slow Food Italian Style” and it’s a May-X.  We go to Italy, cook food, talk about it’s cultural role, and go on hikes! it’s funny because most students lose weight on this trip, I know I did! but we eat and hike and talk about it and it’s awesome! But other than that a factually lead trip goes to Japan every other year for a cultural exchange and philosophy, which is also really awesome!”

What about Internships?

“We have a lot of double majors in philosophy and so a lot of our student’s internships are related to their other majors. An example is a student that had an internship last summer with the State Bureau of Investigations.  She is a double major in philosophy and psychology but I think what constitutes reason is one of the big questions that we deal with that she was dealing with in terms of the investigations she works with.”

What are some popular double majors?

“I don’t know if we have one department that is most used with philosophy as a double major, it’s a pretty even distribution.  We have a lot of people that want to go to law school that are philosophy majors and of a popular one is political science and philosophy.  We make philosophy fairly easy to be a second major because a lot of people aren’t going to come to college and major in philosophy but it is great as a supplement and it really helps people with writing skills, language skills, reading difficult material skills, that are all applicable in all kinds of different fields”

What’s one of your favorite things about being a professor?

“I love working with smart students I mean I wouldn’t come to work otherwise and I really like teaching.  I was doing a bunch of administrative stuff over the summer, like a lot of committee work and organizing and finding research and I really enjoyed it but when I got back into the class room, into the fall, I was like oh yeah this is why I do this.  I love this.”

What do you think makes Furman different?

“I think we have exceptional classroom teachers. A really nice balance on the faculty of demands for teaching and research which benefit each other and I think that Furman does really well with the research and internships part that is integral to really high quality undergraduate learning experience.”

If you want to know more about the Furman philosophy department or the Furman Advantage schedule a tour of our beautiful campus or contact admissions! Roll Dins!!!

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