Gatepost Interview: Dr. Paul Bruno, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Honors Program

(Photo by Melina Bourdeau)

Can you briefly tell me about your educational background and resume?

I received my bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. from Boston College. When I first finished my Ph.D, I worked in high tech market research as a market analyst. I have now taught for 15 years. I’ve been at Assumption College, Providence College and here at Framingham State.

What courses do you teach at Framingham State?

I teach Logic, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy and Invitation to Philosophy. As well as an honors seminar that is titled, “On Justice.”

Can you tell me about your seminar?

The honors seminars are intended as interdisciplinary courses. Consequently, I use plays, television shows, philosophy, biblical narratives, all that center around the question of justice and how we understand justice.

What do you think are some of your biggest accomplishments?

I’m proud of earning a Ph.D. I was also awarded a Fulbright Hays Summer Grant, as well as a National Endowment for the humanities, NEH, Summer Seminar Grant on law in the humanities.

What was your best undergraduate experience?

At Boston College, I completed the IV Perspectives classes which were interdisciplinary courses that combine philosophy and theology. One course combined philosophy and theology. The second course combined philosophy and the arts. The third course combined philosophy and the social sciences. And the fourth combined philosophy and the natural sciences. I loved the historical interdisciplinary approach to all four of the classes.

Are you working on any projects right now?

This is my first year as the director of the honors program. So I have been dedicating most of my time to my administrative tasks. However, I was just asked to contribute to a Festschrift. There is a European tradition of having books published that are dedicated to a particular scholar. Jacques Taminiaux was my dissertation director and this Festschrift is going to be dedicated to him, so I was kind of honored to be asked to contribute.

Can you tell me a little about your role in the honors program?

So, I took over as the director of the honors program from Dr. Carolyn Maibor. Previous to this year, I was the assistant director of the program. So, I coordinate the course that we offer in the honor’s program and act as an advisor to honors students.

How do you think your students would describe you?

I’d like to know that too! I no longer know how my students would describe me. Perhaps as an old man with a sense of humor.

What would be a word of advice to your students?

Read, read, read. And that means read anything that is written in complete sentences and complete paragraphs. I think the importance of reading is fundamental to making your way in the world.

What are some of your favorite books?

“Plato’s Republic”, Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations”, Kant’s “Critique of Judgment”, “Anna Karenina” and “Madame Bovary”.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I like to play guitar. I like to exercise and I like to play basketball, or throw the baseball or softball with my kids.