Steve Gimbel

Professor of Philosophy

Steve GimbelFrom January through April 2023, Oasis invites you to attend “A World of Ideas,” four explorations into the world of philosophy, presented by our Featured Instructor, Professor Steven Gimbel, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

“During the world wars, there was this tearing down and rebuilding of the intellectual landscape. It’s such a fascinating period. You had these people crossing boundaries, having fascinating conversations with people that we wouldn’t expect they’d be talking to.“

“Intellectual cross-pollination is something that I think we’ve sadly lost because so many fields have become hyper-specialized. We forget about this wonderful time where you have these great intellectuals having deep conversations (and sometimes not so deep conversations) across lines that we now think are walls, but at the time were insignificant.”

Steven’s interest in philosophy began while studying physics. “I realized…that they don’t really focus on the big questions, which didn’t seem as exciting as the Carl Sagan Cosmos shows that I was watching. At the same time, I was taking some philosophy classes just for fun, and I fell in love with it. That’s when I discovered that there was such as a thing as philosophy in science…and there was no looking back.

Yet, his desire to explore “the big questions” really began in his childhood. “I was very lucky to grow up with a wonderful group of very intelligent friends. We would play off of each other, we would make puns with each other, we would have deep conversations and impassioned arguments with each other.”

Steven went on to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University after obtaining his B.A. at University of Maryland Baltimore County and his M.A. at Johns Hopkins. He offers his great wealth of academic and literary experience to his readers and students, and notes that Oasis Metro “in particular, has become a home to me. I’ve been teaching there long enough that I have a number of students I know are going to show up in classes. We often have the same sense of humor, and can banter back and forth, make jokes with each other. It’s less teaching and more just talking about great ideas with friends. And it’s wonderful not to have to grade exams.”

“What I’ve done with Oasis…is look largely at individual smart people, (but) what’s always interested me is not just smart people, but smart people in groups. You never know where the great ideas are going to come from.”

Steve will be teaching the following upcoming classes for Oasis:
A World of Ideas: The Bloomsbury Group on January 19
A World of Ideas: Paris Salons in the 20’s on February 16
A World of Ideas: Red Vienna on March 23
A World of Ideas: The Solvay Conferences on April 20

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