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September 16, 2016

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Dr. Seth Mayer, professor of philosophy and religion
Photo by Karly Prichard

MU Welcomes Philosophy Professor 

Alaina Lewis


Originally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Seth Mayer studied Philosophy in Chicago and is now happy to join Manchester University’s Department of Religion and Philososphy. 

“I liked it, I wanted to teach at a liberal arts college, I wanted to focus on teaching,” Mayer said. “I was teaching at a much larger institution before I was here, so having that more personal connection to students and knowing people, the feeling that I was serving a region of the country in a really direct, useful way all seemed like things that were possible here.”

Mayer began his college career as a film studies major at the University of Chicago where he received his ungraduated degree. After a few classes, he soon realized he was more interested in the social sciences. “I was interested in issues related to politics, and related to justice and democracy and things along those lines,” Mayer said. “One semester I ended up taking a class in human rights, the philosophy of human rights and a class on the philosophy of Socrates, and I was, like, ‘this is what I was looking for.’”After graduation, he received his PhD from Northwestern University. He went on to teach at Auburn University in Georgia. Manchester had the qualities and small-school appeal he was looking for in a long-term position. 

When Mayer is not teaching, he runs, watches football, both college and professional, and watches professional basketball. Additionally, he really enjoys music; his last concert was Waxahatchee. And if allowed to see any concert, time travel permitting, he had quite the list. “After much deliberation, the musicians I'd most want to see live that you can't actually see now are Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Outkast, Fugazi, Arthur Russell, Neutral Milk Hotel and Daft Punk,” he said. “Concerts of musicians I haven't seen yet, but most want to see now, are Kanye West, Hop Along, Future, Sufjan Stevens and Kevin Gates. That's how I'm feeling today, anyway.”

Currently, Mayer is teaching a considerable lineup of classes, including Ethical Decision Making, a first-year seminar class and a bioethics class. Come January, he will be taking on another round of bioethics. During spring semester, Mayer will be teaching Introduction to Philosophy, Ethical Decision Making and bioethics.