Dr. Steiner delivers award winning lecture

Bob Feeney, Staff Writer

The University’s Professor of Philosophy Gary Steiner, 2020 recipient of the Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching Award, presented his lecture “Pedagogy and the Human Vocation” on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Steiner specializes in the areas of Moral and Political Philosophy, with special focus on the Moral Status of Animals, History of Modern Philosophy, Descartes, and 19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy.

Steiner is one of the six professors who were presented awards for excellence in teaching across the disciplines. The Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching Award is given annually to a professor that is nominated by their colleagues and selected by a committee consisting of deans, two representatives from the faculty and representatives from the student population.

The Zoom lecture was opened by Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Political Science Michael James, who introduced Steiner before the lecture. “As he rose through the ranks of the Bucknell professoriate, Gary established himself as a scholar in the areas of animal ethics and modern philosophy,” James, last year’s Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching award winner, said. “Despite his status as a global scholar, Gary remains a devoted servant to Bucknell University governments.”

Steiner’s lecture focused on the human vocation, in which he echoed the teachings and words of Western philosophers, to support his own findings on vocation. Steiner elaborated on his thoughts in support or opposition to certain ideas and writings from philosophers about the notion of calling and prior commitment.

Along with his lecture on philosophy and vocation, Steiner spoke to some of his experience teaching and advising: “as teachers we will make mistakes, the proper response to which is not to reproach ourselves or others for our erroneous judgement but instead to look ahead into the future in which we avoid that kind of mistake going forward. This means that in addition to an abiding humility, we as teachers need to remain both vigilant and very sincerely self-critical.” Steiner has been teaching at the University since 1987, when he began as a visiting assistant professor of philosophy.

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