Dominic P. Prianti

Instructor, Philosophy Department
Phone: 814-871-7385
Office: PC 3206I
prianti001@gannon.edu

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Professional Experience

Biography

Hello! 

I am an instructor at Gannon University, having a blast teaching philosophy classes to my students. I moved here in 2009 with my wife Jessica Hartnett, due to her being hired here as a Psychology/ Applied Stats professor. We met in graduate school back in DeKalb, Illinois, although all who know me can tell pretty quickly that I am originally from the East Coast---Long Island, NY to be exact. I'm also a certified mathematics teacher, and have done a bunch of other things (as you can see some of the other jobs below). I love to work, but teaching philosophy is both work and play for me. You'll witness my enthusiasm in my classes, I'm sure. 

Why do I love philosophy? Well, I've been immersed in the subject since such a young age that it simply isn't a question that I could answer sufficiently. It started with a bit of a rebel nature, dissatisfaction with appeals to authority and obsessions with "why" questions at a very young age, and at this point of the journey I find this world overflowing and spreading to other disciplines, as I get to both continue to pursue and teach philosophy at the same time. And let me be clear--I take this job very seriously. It is to my belief that this is a very important time to offer the toolkits that philosophy can offer an individual mind, and I do my best to offer them to my students and continually sharpen my own tools myself. Philosophy offers the foundations of critical thinking in logic, and seeks justified belief and virtue attainment in matters of knowledge, ethics, meaning in life, and those important metaphysical questions about the soul, God, etc. I also find the ethical side to being a philosopher quite important--living the philosophical life uncompromisingly ("the unexamined life is not worth living"), and seeking "the good life" over the merely pleasurable, powerful, or popular life. My interests spread to Eastern philosophy and how contemporary scientific discoveries can enrich good philosophy and filter out mistaken views. In all of my interests, the concept, justification, and cultivation of virtue seems to stand out. I am currently writing a book dealing with the latter, and I look forward to sharing it when it is complete.

Why else do I like teaching? I get to share everything I'm interested in, and sprinkle the insights I've gathered along the way in my own humble quest for wisdom. In the teaching experience, I get to spread the joy and intrinsic motivation that comes along with grasping insights, or at least new tensions between insights. I also get to help facilitate critical thought about the all-important things in life, and watch so many bright minds at work. Also, I can ALWAYS grow as an instructor, and I'm constantly modifying my classes and looking to develop more (like the Comparative World Philosophy class I've just started in the Fall of 2014). Learning subjects that you are interested in for the sake of teaching the material might be the BEST experience for true lifelong learners. If you are a lifelong learner, I suggest giving teaching a shot. No joke.

Other things I enjoy:

  • Chilling out with my two little boys. They are pretty awesome. You'll hear far too much about my sons in class. 
  • Running. It's one of those deep joys only runners understand. I keep hanging it up after a leg injury, only to find myself back out there. I do A LOT of walking, whether reading, thinking through class lectures, or even walking meditation, and my Fitbit allows me to challenge myself to 100,000 steps a week.
  • I also listen to early-90s rock and both classical and contemporary progressive rock, and I love having my music in the background of my activities or simply sitting back for a meditative listen to my turntable. If you asked for my two favorites, I'd say anything done by the members of Alice in Chains, as well as anything done by Steven Wilson. I still remember having my hair in dreadlocks and wearing an Alice in Chains Rooster shirt a long, long time ago as a 13 year-old. I just started listening to meditative music (although some of the progressive stuff fit that category), and am learning to separate the "New Age" varieties from the deeper ones--that Zen flute has a chilling effect on me. 
  • I meditate nearly every day, and find it to be one of the most rewarding habits. I think we are finally catching onto it as a culture. 
  • Powernaps are great, too, and allow me to make up for the loss of sleep I tend to have.
  • Of course I'm always buried in philosophy texts, and I review them or read them for my own development. I've actually become quite adept at walking while reading, and hopefully I won't walk into you on the third floor of Palumbo. I tend to listen to more books than I get a chance to read myself, due to both time constraints and Audible's amazing selection.
  • I'm a big-time New York Mets fan. If you ever want to sidetrack me, bring them up. 
  • As far as television is concerned, I think I'm falling too far behind you all, minus kid shows. I seriously can't make the time for television right now, but bury myself in horror movies when I'm super-sick, or take the time to catch up with shows like "Better Call Saul".  

Come take one of my classes and have a blast with me! I have a pretty good reputation of making what you might call "dry" material pretty fun, and I don't think you'll find somebody who loves his/her subject-matter more than I do!

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Philosophy (far too many sections to count--I'm on my 17th semester teaching it as of Fall 2017)
  • Philosophy of Knowledge (5 sections)
  • Logic (10 sections)
  • Ethics (4 online sections, and first one live this semester)
  • Comparative World Philosophy (5 sections)
  • Virtue Ethics (2 sections: independent study and senior seminar)
  • Contemporary Moral Issues (2 sections--Edinboro University)
  • Happiness and Philosophy (non-academic course for Jefferson Educational Society)
  • Modern Philosophy (another non-academic course for JES)

Look for my upcoming Critical Thinking course soon!!!

Educational History

  • University of Illinois at Springfield, Secondary Mathematics Teaching Certification, 2010
  • Northern Illinois University, M.A. Philosophy, 2009
  • Stony Brook University, B.A. Philosophy, 2003
  • Suffolk County Community College, A.A.S. Mathematics, 2000

Professional Experience

  • Instructor, Philosophy, Gannon University, Erie, PA (Since August 2010)
  • Instructional Leader, Mathematics, GO-College, Erie, PA (December 2012-January 2014)
  • Temporary Adjunct Lecturer, Philosophy, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA (Spring 2012)
  • Teacher, Philosophy, Jefferson Educational Society, Erie, PA (I taught a couple of classes)
  • Teacher, Reading & Study Skills, Institute of Reading Development, Novato, CA (2011)
  • Emergency Substitute Teacher, Erie School District & Harborcreek School District, Erie, PA (2009-2011)
  • Permanent, Full-time Substitute Teacher, Hiawatha High School, Kirkland, IL (2006-2009)
  • Foreman, All Out There Yard Services, Mastic, NY (1995-2004)
  • Casual Garageman, United States Postal Service, Melville, NY (1998-2000)