Philosophy Professor Richard Capobianco Appointed Inaugural Humanities Scholar in Residence in the Meehan School of Business

February 19, 2019


Philosophy Professor Richard Capobianco

One of the advantages of Stonehill’s accredited Business program is how it cultivates in students the ability to think critically and creatively because of the College’s commitment to a liberal arts education.

The College’s two academic Deans have decided to make this foundation even more explicit by creating the first Humanities Scholar in Residence in the Meehan School of Business and appointing Professor of Philosophy Richard Capobianco to this position.

In recent years, Associate Professor of Management and Business Ethics Jegoo Lee has taught a course on Business Ethics. Lee’s research explores the intersections of corporate responsibility, business ethics, and family/social life. He will be on sabbatical next year researching why firms should care about the family of their employees as well as the employees themselves.

In 2019-2020, Capobianco, whose scholarship has been recognized nationally and internationally, will teach courses on Business Ethics and The Philosophical Foundations of Capitalism. He will also continue the practice of inviting guest speakers on ethical leadership and work with business faculty who are interested in incorporating a discussion of ethics and the foundations of capitalism into their courses.

“I’m excited for this opportunity,” says Capobianco. “I think this appointment signals to students, prospective students, and colleagues alike that Stonehill is serious about talking across the disciplines. I’m looking forward to thoughtful discussions with business faculty and business students, and to share these conversations across the campus with colleagues and students in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences.”

Competitive Edge
“We are really excited about having Richard join the Meehan School of Business next year,” says Business Dean Debra Salvucci. “I think it’s going to be great for students.”

A position like Humanities Scholar in Residence “helps distinguish a Stonehill business education from that of other colleges. Richard is an expert in his field. Having a philosopher in the business school will give students the opportunity to think differently, critically, deeper—all skills that employers value,” continued Salvucci.

“Having a Humanities Scholar in Residence in the School of Business also communicates that the rich tradition of the humanities remains firmly embedded in a Stonehill education,” adds May School of Arts & Sciences Dean Peter Ubertaccio. “It’s a reminder of our foundation as a liberal arts college—a reflection of the importance we place on philosophy and ethics.”

A longtime faculty member, Capobianco is a leading authority on the seminal 20th century philosopher Martin Heidegger. He is the author of two books: Heidegger’s Way of Being (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and Engaging Heidegger (University of Toronto Press, 2010). He is also an accomplished teacher: Capobianco was named as one of the nation’s top 300 professors by The Princeton Review and is also a past recipient of the Stonehill Teaching Excellence Award.

Bridging the Gap
Capobianco, who majored in economics and philosophy as an undergraduate, welcomes the opportunity to return to his roots and stretch his teaching and scholarship in a new direction. “The humanities need to engage business studies and business studies need to hear from the humanities,” he says. “This Humanities Scholar in Residence position is about opening up a fruitful dialogue between these two areas of human concern.”

Capobianco will be teaching Business Ethics, which he calls “a very important course. It gives students the habit of thinking ethically within a business context—to think about situations that might arise and how to address them.”

Salvucci points out that the Business Ethics course is not new: it has long been a staple of business education at Stonehill. “Every student has to take a moral inquiry course as part of the Cornerstone general education program,” she notes. “Most business students take Business Ethics to satisfy that requirement.”

The second course Capobianco will teach, The Philosophical Foundations of Capitalism, is one he created. “I think that it is valuable for business students to come to a better understanding of the core philosophical principles and values that underlie the economic system that we call ‘capitalism,’” Capobianco says. “To help business students understand the origins, development, and philosophical underpinnings of capitalism is to enrich a business education.”

Through all of his Humanities Scholar in Residence activities, Capobianco’s ultimate aim is for “business students to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of their chosen vocation as business students and, after they move on from Stonehill, as business men and women in society.”