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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Dick Liebendorfer

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/carts/faculty_awards/dist_faculty_D_Liebendorfer.html
Distinguished Faculty - Dick Liebendorfer

Richard Liebendorfer Biography
College of Arts and Humanities Award, Minnesota State University, Mankato

DLiebendorferDr. Richard Liebendorfer is the Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Richard was the recipient of the University’s Arts and Humanities Award for his work developing and implementing two interdisciplinary programs: Cognitive Science and Philosophy, Politics and Economics. His changes fueled the growth of the Philosophy Department’s curriculum and added opportunities for students. Dr. Liebendorfer has initiated a proposal leading to more research opportunities for Philosophy Department faculty at Minnesota State University, and has made more than 30 presentations on various subjects at regional, national, and international conferences.

“My ambition is to continue to teach, read, learn, write and get students to experience and talk about the complexity and wonder of the world around them. My philosophy is that everything is more complex than you thought it was.”

Dick’s research pivots on the question of whether people’s cognitive capacities can be understood within science, or whether instead those abilities can be understood only through a narrative of culturally and historically embedded practice. This question spans work in the philosophies of the mind, language, cognitive science, and the last hundred years of philosophy in general. He is currently working on several interconnected papers that address aspects of this question.

“I am fascinated by the fact that we can think about our world, and reflectively, about ourselves. Plants can’t do that, and animals can’t do much of it.”
In his spare time, Dick enjoys playing the Asian board game “GO.” It is several thousand years old, and the oldest-known game of its kind; Dr. Liebendorfer believes it can be used as a metaphor for the complexities of our cognitive and linguistic abilities. Computer scientists are so far unable to write programming for computers to play it.
For further entertaining examples of the difference between human intelligence, animal intelligence and computer intelligence, please follow these links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dhc2zePJFE
http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/sociable/videos.html

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Awards:

College of Arts and Humanities Award, Minnesota State University, Mankato
National Endowment for the Humanities Award
Summer Teacher-Scholar Award
MSU Research Incentive Grantee
Faculty Improvement Grantee
MSU Presidential Merit Award



Publications:

  • “Science, the Secular and the Sacred,” in Politics, Pluralism and Religion, edited by Chandana Chakrabarti and Sandra Fairbanks, Cambridge Scholars Press, (June 2010), pp. 50-70.
  • “Wittgenstein’s Expressivism,” Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion, Spring 2007.
  • “Alasdair MacIntye,” Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, edited by Richard Hull, Thoemmes Press (August 2005), pp. 1564-1570.
  • “Herbert Fingarette,” Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, edited by Richard Hull, Thoemmes Press (August 2005), pp. 787-788.
  • “Philosophy of Mind and Technology?” in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Technology, edited by Carl Mitchum, JAI (2000), pp. 323-334.