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Dominic P. Prianti

  • Assistant Professor
    Philosophy Department
  • Assistant Professor
    Honors Program

Hello! 

I am an Assistant Teaching Professor at Gannon University, having a rocking time teaching philosophy. 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. I was also a certified mathematics teacher (I stopped philosophy at the MA-level, and moved in that direction instead), and have done a bunch of other things. 

I've been blessed with two awards at Gannon University, both determined by students: The Excellence in Teaching award in 2015, and the Veritas in Caritate (Love in Truth) award in 2021. 

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 sufficiently answer. It probably started with obsessions with "why" questions in my youth, distrust of appeals to authority and tradition in my young teens, some heavy existential crises, and gifts with logic and abstract thinking---all at a pretty young age. Pursuing the world with a philosophical edge was an experience like "waking up" to me--a transformational one that I never left. Teaching it not only felt right from my first lecture in 2010, but helped to advance my pursuit to a more productive and helpful place, allowing philosophy to represent a larger part of me. You'll see it flows through my veins and that I'm probably not suited for much else. :)

I like to think of philosophy as examined living on steroids, as long as we include both the critical AND creative side of philosophical inquiry. Philosophy offers the foundations of much of critical thinking--both ethically and in toolkits, and seeks justified belief and the nurturing of virtue in matters of knowledge, ethics, meaning in life, and those important metaphysical questions about the soul, God, etc. I find the ethical side to being a philosopher to be the most important for me. In all of my interests, the concept, justification, and cultivation of philosophy for living seems to stand out as most important to me.

Although i'm a highly introverted guy, a really dig teaching. I get to share everything that intersects my interests and relevant philosophy for students, 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, watching so many bright minds at work, even if the process of examined living isn't exactly a comfortable one. Also, I can ALWAYS grow as an instructor, and I'm constantly modifying my classes and looking to develop more classes. Just this past Spring ('21) I attended a 16-week workshop by the Best Teachers Institute, and am ready to get my fingernails dirty building a supercourse (see Ken Bain's Supercourses). Also, one thing I've come to appreciate is that learning subjects that we are interested in for the sake of teaching the material might be the BEST experience for true lifelong learners. 

Other things I enjoy:

  • Chilling out with my two little boys. As I update this, one of my boys are 5 and the other is 8. They are pretty awesome. You'll hear far too much about my sons in class. We play a lot of video games and do general fun stuff together.
  • 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 doing it a month later. I also do A LOT of walking, whether reading, thinking through class lectures, or even practicing mindfulness. I love that my Fitbit allows me to challenge myself to 100,000 steps a week. Become my friend on Fitbit to get my butt in gear post-pandemic!
  • I listen to early-90s hard rock and metal, as well as progressive rock, although I'm mellowing a bit now. I love having my music in the background of my activities or simply sitting back for a meditative listen to my turntable. Alice in Chains has been my favorite band for far too long, especially when Layne Staley was alive. I still remember having my hair in dreadlocks and wearing an Alice in Chains Rooster shirt a long, long time ago as a 12 or 13 year-old (either 1993 or 1994). Now I listen to another old Seattle rocker--Mark Lanegan--too much. I also like chilling to really mellow instrumental music when either meditating or focusing deeply on my work. 
  • Of course I'm always buried in philosophy texts, and I write reviews for CHOICE and direct publishers. I read quite a lot, although like everything else it is hard to make the time for it. I use Audible and Alexa's robot voice for most of my reading, so that I could do house chores and exercise while getting a good read in.
  • I'm a big-time New York Mets fan. If you ever want to sidetrack me, bring them up. I'll most likely get miserable, too, although they have a new owner and look primed to challenge for a playoff spot in this 2021.
  • 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 I do bury myself in horror movies and some of my favorite series when I'm sick.

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 their subject-matter more than I do! 

  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Philosophy of Knowledge 
  • Logic 
  • Ethics
  • Comparative World Philosophy 
  • Virtue Ethics (two senior seminars)
  • Philosophy & Psychology (1 section, co-taught with my wife)
  • Fear & Trembling: Philosophy & Horror (1 section)
  • Coming in about a year, as part of the brand new Minor in Innovation and Creativity, co-taught with Dr. Snarksi: The Labyrinth: Philosophy & Creativity. Please check out the minor here: https://www.gannon.edu/mic/ 

Finally, I'm creating a new course called something like (or better than!) Insights into the Good Life: East & West. I've been transitioning my CWP class above into this sort of course--bringing contemporary interdisciplinary understandings of happiness and (mostly Classical) philosophical traditions together. I'm currently working diligently on making a "Supercourse" out of this class (see Ken Bain's book by this title), and I have a really good feeling that this class will be well-received.

  • 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
  • Assistant Teaching Professor, 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)
Dominic         P. Prianti

Phone: 814-871-7385
Office: PC 3206I

Contact Dominic Prianti