Faculty Biography - Michael Herbst-Synowicz

Faculty Biography - Michael Herbst-Synowicz

Michael Herbst-Synowicz

Michael Herbst-Synowicz

Lecturer

B.A. University of Wisconsin
M.A. University of Wisconsin

847.635.1950
mherbsts@oakton.edu
Room 2430 Des Plaines

Personal Statement

As an undergraduate at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) I majored in biochemistry.  At Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) I continued my scientific studies by taking graduate courses in neurophysiology.  However, my personality resisted being increasingly narrowed (as I felt I was by this single-minded pursuit of science): I did not want to learn more and more about less and less.  I desired “cosmic understanding” (whatever that is), and soon learned that the best avenue toward this goal was philosophy.  Nonetheless, I was glad I had a strong scientific background which I felt and still feel is quite useful to the philosopher.  At some point I packed it in and went to philosophy school, getting a B.A. and then a M.A. in short order from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  My fascination at the time was in the area of the philosophy of logic and mathematics.  Since that time my interests have shifted toward social/political philosophy, as I have been painfully made aware of the obvious fact that policies humans come up with to manage and control people, can cause a great deal of suffering.  Since I took a rather unorthodox route in life, I have, without planning it, acquired a wide variety of experience in many diverse fields.  I was a medic in the U.S. Air Force, worked in the veterinary medical field (at a Humane Society) and in law enforcement (as a Humane Officer); I owned a manufacturing business in Detroit, canvassed for two non-profit organizations on social issues, and have taught philosophy for over a decade at six different institutions.  I am like many philosophy instructors who employ the Socratic Method (with its emphasis on discussion) in their classrooms, but I also like to draw on my experiences as well.  Students seem to appreciate seeing the connection between abstract philosophical ideas and their practical expression.