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Walter Soffer

Professor Of Philosophy
Welles 105A
585-245-6260
soffer@geneseo.edu
Image
Portrait of Walter Soffer

Walt Soffer has been a member of the Philosophy Department since 1976. He received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1982.

Office Hours

Fall 2020 - M/W/F, 11:30-12:30
Also by appointment. 

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • B..A., Temple University, 1965

  • M.A., The Graduate Faculty, The New School for Social Research, 1970

  • Ph.D., The Graduate Faculty, The New School for Social Research, 1977

Publications

  • “The Methodological Achievement of Cartesian Doubt,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. XVI, No. 1, Spring 1978.

  • “Descartes, Rationality, and God,” The Thomist, Vol.42, No. 4, October 1978.

  • Review of Margaret D. Wilson, DESCARTES, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. XXXII, No. 4, 1979.

  • Review of John J. Blom, DESCARTES: HIS MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. XXXIII. No. 4, June 1980.

  • “Kant on the Tutelage of God and Nature,” The Thomist, Vol. 45, No.1, January 1981.

  • Review of Dominick A. Iorio, NICOLAS MALEBRANCHE: DIALOGUE BETWEEN A CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER AND A CHINESE PHILOSOPHER ON THE EXISTENCE AND NATURE OF GOD, The Review of Metaphysics,
    VOL. XXXIV, No. 2, December 1980.

  • “Husserl’s Neo-Cartesianism,” Research in Phenomenology, Vol. XI, 1981.

  • Review of Hector-Neri Castanada, ON PHILOSOPHICAL METHOD, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, December 1981.

  • Review of Peter A. Schouls, THE IMPOSITION OF METHOD: A STUDY OF DESCARTES AND LOCKE, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol.XXXV, No.2, December 1981.

  • “Descartes’s Rejection of the Aristotelian Soul.” International Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XVI, No. 1, 1984.

  • Co-editor, THE CRISIS OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY: A STRAUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE, SUNY Series in Political Theory, Albany: SUNY Press, 1987.

  • FROM SCIENCE TO SUBJECTIVITY: An Interpretation of Descartes’s MEDITATIONS, Contributions in Philosophy, Number 33, Westport: Greenwood Press, 1987.

  • “Dreaming, Hyperbole, and Dogmatism,” Idealistic Studies, Vil. XVIII, No. 1, January 1988.

  • “Wisdom and Consent, Ancient and Modern: A Response to Sander H. Lee, 'An Epistemic Discussion of Participatory Democracy in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS’, “ Proceedings of the Nineteenth Conference on Value Inquiry: THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: An Explanation and Defense of Ideas and Issues in the U. S. Constitution, 1988.

  • “Modernity’s Problematic Nobility,” Review of Stanley Rosen, THE ANCIENTS AND THE MODERNS, The Review of Politics, Vol.52, No. 2, Summer 1990.

  • “Descartes’s Rejection of the Aristotelian Soul,” in Georges J. D. Moyal (ed.) DESCARTES: CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS, VOL. III, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1991.

  • “Modern Rationalism, Miracles, and Revelation: Strauss’s Critique of Spinoza,” in LEO STRAUSS: POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER AND JEWISH THINKER, K. Deutsch and W. Nicgorski (eds.), Rowman and Littlefield, 1994.

  • “Descartes’s Secular Paradise: The DISCOURSE ON METHOD as Biblical Criticism,” Philosophy and Theology, Vol.8, No. 4, Summer 1994.

  • “Socrates’ Proposals Concerning Women: Feminism or Fantasy?,” History of Political Thought, Vol.XVI, Issue 2, Summer 1995.

  • “The Modern Affirmation of Existence,” Review of Laurence Lampert, NIETZSCHE AND MODERN TIMES, The Review of Politics, Vol.57, No. 1, Winter 1995.

  • "Dreaming and Direct Realism: Butchvarov’s Response to Skepticism,” in Larry Lee Blackman (ed.) THE PHILOSOPHY OF Panayot Butchvarov: A COLLEGIAL EVALUATION, Problems in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol.62, New York: The Edwin Mellon Press, 2005.

Areas of Interest

Modern Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy
Phenomenology and Existentialism
History of Political Philosophy
Ethics
Philosophy of Religion
Interdisciplinary Humanities

Classes

  • PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy

    Encourages critical thinking about fundamental problems that concern existence, knowledge, and value. As a means to this end, several philosophical works are read, discussed, and evaluated.

  • PHIL 218: Philosophy of Religion

    An examination of selected problems in the philosophy of religion. Topics include classical and contemporary arguments for and against the existence of God, existentialist approaches to religion, science and religion, the meaningfulness of theological language, miracles, freedom, death, and immortality.