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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.

Alumni Profile

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As a student, Jake Harris cofounded Students for Social Justice and lobbied to bring fair trade coffee to Oakton’s cafeterias.

 

IMPORTANT DATES


July 24
Incomplete (I) grades from spring 2014 semester for which faculty have not submitted final grades will become an "F" after this date.*

July 31
Classes end.

August 4
Faculty grading due.

August 4
Second summer interim classes begin.

August 18
Faculty return for fall 2014 semester.

August 22
Second summer interim classes end.

August 25
Fall 2014 semester classes begin.

August 28
Second summer interim faculty grading due.

September 1
Labor Day holiday. College closed.

September 21
Last day to submit proof of residency, business service agreements and chargebacks/joint agreements.

Full Academic Calendar