Faculty Highlights

Smaw’s Zombies, Serial Killers, and Madmen course receives national recognition

Philosophy professor Eric Smaw teaches one of Rollins’ most popular courses, Zombies, Serial Killers, and Madmen, which was featured on national NPR and in the Miami Herald just in time for Halloween season.

Zombies like the ones Americans see in The Walking Dead are not generally thought to have much of a philosophy beyond, “I want to eat your brain”; they do, however, kill people rather profligately. And that’s what interests Smaw, who has done extensive research on the subject of why people engage in murder, which required a deep dive into the subject of consciousness and diminished capacity. 

The course explores the brain and the concept of consciousness being a result of neurological energy inside the brain. It also explores the evolved and unevolved brain to give students the tools to talk about things like consciousness, freedom, and responsibility. 

Read the full coverage on NPR’s website and the Miami Herald’s website.

To learn more about this popular course, check out Cool Class: Zombies, Serial Killers, and Madmen