David Kyle Johnson

Associate Professor of Philosophy

King's College; Wilkes-Barre, PA

Office: Hafey-Marian 513

Phone: 570-208-5900 ex 5242

Fax: (570) 208-5988

Email: davidjohnson@kings.edu


Recent News:

I was asked to guest write, on the “War on Christmas,” for the London School of Economic’s blog on American policy and Politics. You can find all three of my articles here.
                          
I was interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor on the effect of the Santa Claus lie. You can find the article here.

My blog post, Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie went viral, with over 40,000 reads.

I appeared on Huffington Post Live, to talk about the effects of the Santa Claus lie, on December 16, 2013.

In April 2012, I was asked to appear on Massimo Pigliucci podcast Rationally Speaking , regarding my paper "Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis"
            Listen to the podcast here.
            Begin my four part guest blog post on the paper, here.

In December 2011, I presented on my book Inception and Philosophy for the Authors@Google program at Google headquarters.

I write a blog for Psychology Today, called "Plato on Pop," with William Irwin. You can find our blog here:

In the book, Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone I mentioned in my chapter “Against the Santa Claus Lie” that you could download my paper on the History of Santa here, on my page. However, that chapter is now included in my forthcoming book: The Myths That Stole Christmas, which you can pre-order here.

Links to My Articles

  • “The Failure of the Multiverse Hypothesis as a Defense of Theism” Forthcoming in Sophia. You can read the paper here.
  • “What Would Dutton Say about the Paradox of Fiction?” Forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature. You can read the paper here.  
  •  “The Failure of Plantinga’s Solution to the Logical Problem of Natural Evil” Philo 15 (2):145-157 (2013)  You can read the paper here.
  • “A Refutation of Skeptical Theism” Sophia 52 (3):425-445 (2013) You can read the paper here.   
  •  “Do Souls Exist?” Think 12 (35):61-75 (2013) You can read the paper here.
  • "Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis" Philo 14 (2):161-175 (2011)  You can read the paper here.
  • “God, Fatalism, and Temporal Ontology” Religious Studies; 45(04):435 – 454 (2009) You can read the paper here.
  • “Why Religious Experience Can’t Justify Religious Belief” Forthcoming in Philo. You can read the paper here.

My Books


 

Education

 

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Ph.D., Philosophy, May 2006

M.A., Philosophy, Aug 2002

 

Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma

B.A., Religion and Philosophy, magna cum laude, May 2000

 

Areas of Specialization

 

Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Free Will, Logic

 

Areas of Competence

 

Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Ethics/Applied Ethics

 

Employment

 

Associate Professor of Philosophy – King’s College (PA), 2012 to present.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy – King’s College (PA), 2006 to 2012.

Instructor for “The Great Courses” – The Teaching Company (2013 to present)
                Exploring Metaphysics (Complete)
                Big Questions in Philosophy (In Progress)
Graduate Assistant – University of Oklahoma, Spring 2001 to Spring 2006.
Adjunct Professor – Oklahoma Baptist University, Fall 2003 to Fall 2004.
Research Assistant – University of Oklahoma, with Dr. Linda Zagzebski on her book “Divine Motivation Theory,” 2003.

 

Dissertation

 

Divine Omniscience and the Fatalist Dilemma

Committee: Linda Zagzebski (advisor), Reinaldo Elugardo, Jim Hawthorne, Chris Swoyer, Shmuel Shepkaru

 

PUBLICATION

 

Books

Inception and Philosophy (editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). (This book has been translated into Chinese and is available on Audible.com.)
                                       
Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, Hume to House (co-editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Heroes and Philosophy: Buy the Book, Save the World (editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).

 

Academic Journal Publications

 

“The Failure of the Multiverse Hypothesis as a Defense of Theism” Forthcoming in Sophia
                                                                                                                        
“What Would Dutton Say about the Paradox of Fiction?” Forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature.

 “The Failure of Plantinga’s Solution to the Logical Problem of Natural Evil” Philo 15 (2):145-157 (2013)

“A Refutation of Skeptical Theism” Sophia 52 (3):425-445 (2013)

 “Do Souls Exist?” Think 12 (35):61-75 (2013)

“Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis” Philo 14 (2):161-175 (2011). I was invited to write and appear on Massimo Pigliucci’s (chair of the Department of Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College) blog and podcast (Rationally Speaking) regarding this paper, and it is also reprinted in Massimo’s book Blogging as a Path to Self Knowledge (Rationally Speaking.org, 2012).

“God, fatalism and temporal ontology.”  Religious Studies, 45(4): 435–54.This paper was nominated for the 2009 Excellence in Philosophy of Religion Prize (sponsored by St. Thomas Philosophy of Religion Project). It was also presented at the Pacific Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers on Theology and Ontology, Azusa Pacific University,Feb 22-24, 2007. It was also presented at the Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association’s Fall Meeting, Bloomsburg University, Oct. 28, 2006.

“Using Socrates to Teach the Virtues of Liberal Arts.” Ethics and Critical Thinking Journal 4 (2008).

 

 

Conference Papers

“A Debate Between a Theist and a Santaist, Act II” (Co-Authored with Ruth Tallman) Presented at the 6th annual Lighthearted Philosophers Society Conference (October, 2013).

“Why Religious Experience Can’t Justify Religious Belief” Presented at 2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association conference (Misericordia University).

 

“A Debate Between a Theist and a Santaist” (Co-Authored with Ruth Tallman) Presented at the 6th annual Lighthearted Philosophers Society Conference (October 12, 2012). (This paper won the Best Paper of the Conference award.)

 

“A Refutation of Skeptical Theism.” Presented at the Eastern Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers (Fordham University, March 19, 2011).

 

“Using Socrates to Teach the Virtues of Liberal Arts.” William G. McGowan School of Business at King’s College/Franklin Publishing/Ethics & Critical Thinking Conference (King’s College, Nov. 1, 2008)

 

“The Argument from Reason: Lewis’s Fundamental Mistakes.” Presented at Oxbridge, 2008; “C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, The Self in Search for Meaning,” (Oxford, UK, July 28-Aug. 8, 2008).

 

 “Theism and the Multiverse Hypothesis: Did God Create More than One Universe?” Presented at the Central Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Oklahoma Baptist University, April 09. Also Presented at Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association’s Fall Meeting, Bloomsburg University, Oct. 27, 2007.

 

“The Time Beyond Time: An Examination of C.S. Lewis’s Solution to Theological Fatalism.” Presented at the “C. S. Lewis: the Man and His Works, a 21st Century Legacy” conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on Oct. 26, 2007.

 

“Fatalism, The Real Way Out: The Failure of Frankfurt, Three-valued Logic, and Open Theism.” Presented at the North Texas Philosophical Association, 2005 Spring Meeting; Apr. 8, 2006, University of North Texas. 

 

“Philosophy’s Influence on Film.” Presented at, and published in the proceedings of, the 4th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities; Honolulu Hawaii, Jan 2006.

 

“On the Severity of Theological and Logical Fatalism.” Presented at the North Texas Philosophical Association, 2005 Spring Meeting; Apr. 23, 2005, Southern Methodist University; and at Philosophy Department Colloquium, University of Oklahoma, May 6, 2005.

 

 

Conferences Attended (without presenting)

 

Alvin Plantinga Retirement Celebration, May 20-22, 2010. University of Notre Dame.

 

Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association, Spring Conference, King’s College April 21st, 2007 (Organizer)

 

 

Pop Culture and Philosophy Articles

 

“Jon Stewart and the Fictional War on Christmas” in The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy, Jason Holt (ed.), 2013.

“Science, Religion, South Park, and God” in The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy, (Robert Arp (ed.), and Kevin Decker (ed.), Wiley, 2013

“Tolkien’s Just War” in The Hobbit And Philosophy (Greg Bassham (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

“Inception and Free Will: Are They Compatible?” Co-Authored with John R. Fitzpatrick in Inception and Philosophy (David Kyle Johnson (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

“Taking a Leap of Faith: A How-to Guide” in Inception and Philosophy (David Kyle Johnson (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

“Area God Hospitalized, Slowly Dying” in The Onion and Philosophy (Sharon Kaye (ed.), Open Court, 2010).

“Is The Doctor The Doctor? Am I Still Me?” in Doctor Who and Philosophy (Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka (eds.), Open Court, 2010).

“Wikiality, Truthiness, and Gut Thinking: Doing Philosophy Colbert-Style” in Introducing Philosophy through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, Hume to House (William Irwin and David Kyle Johnson (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

“The Santa Claus Lie: The Truth We Should Tell Our Children” in Christmas - Philosophy for Everyone: Better Than a Lump of Coal (Scott Lowe (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

 “Colbert, Truthiness and Thinking from the Gut” in Colbert and Philosophy (Aaron Schiller (ed.), Open Court, 2009).

“Francis Griffin & The Church of The Holy Fonz: A Study of Religious Exclusivism and ‘Real’ Religion” in Family Guy and Philosophy (Jeremy Wisnewski (ed.), Blackwell, 2007). A truncated version of this chapter was also published in issue 39 of The Philosophers’ Magazine under the title “All praise the Fonz,” 2009.

 “Racial Quotas, Affirmative Action, and The Office” in The Office and Philosophy (Jeremy Wisnewski (ed.), Blackwell, 2008).

“The Obscene Watermark: Corporate Responsibility at Dunder-Mifflin” in The Office and Philosophy, (Jeremy Wisnewski (ed.), Blackwell, 2008).

“Johnny Cash, Prison Reform and Capital Punishment” (co-authored with Rev. Lance Schmitz)  in Johnny Cash and Philosophy (David Werther and John Huss (eds.), Open Court, 2008). 

 “‘A Story that is Told Again, and Again, and Again’: Recurrence, Providence and Freedom” in  Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy (Jason T. Eberl (ed.), Blackwell, 2008).

“The Virtuous Batman: Bruce Wayne as Moral Exemplar” (co-authored with Indy Rhodes) in Batman and Philosophy, (Mark White and Robert Arp (eds.), Blackwell, 2008).

“Revenge and Mercy in Tarantino: The Lessons of Ezekiel 25:17” in Tarantino and Philosophy, (Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad (eds.), Open Court, 2007).

“Cartmanland and the Problem of Evil” in South Park and Philosophy (Robert Arp (ed.), Blackwell, 2006).   Revised and reprinted The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy, (Robert Arp (ed.), and Kevin Decker (ed.), Wiley, 2013

 

INVITED PRESENTATIONS (OVERVIEW)

                                            

Simulation Hypothesis and Natural Evil
American Humanists Association, Philadelphia, PA (June, 2014) North Eastern Conference on Science and Skepticism (April, 2012)
Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia (December, 2012)
Lehigh Valley Humanists (December 1st, 2013)

 

Implanting an Idea: Inception Should have Won Best Picture
Google Headquarters, Mountain View CA, (Dec. 16th, 2011) View Here
North Dakota State University (Oct, 2012)
Lehigh Valley Humanists (December, 2012)

 

Identifying the Conflict Between Science and Religion
Department Colloquia at North Dakota State University (October 2012)

 

Arguments for God’s Existence, and Why They Fail
Unitarian Universalist Church of Wyoming Valley (Aug 28th, 2011)
Lehigh Valley Humanists, (May, 2011)
Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia (Oct. 2011)

 

Celebrating Christmas: Why, Who, and How?
Humanists Association of Greater Philadelphia (Sept 29, 2013)
Lehigh Valley Humanists, (December, 2011)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Wyoming Valley (December, 2009)

 

Santa Claus: From Whence He Came (And Why He Should Leave)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Wyoming Valley (December, 2010)

 

 

Works in Progress

 

Exploring Metaphysics (An Introductory Textbook)

The Myths That Stole Christmas: Seven Misconceptions that Hijacked the Holiday and How We Can Take it Back (Book)

Identifying the Conflict between Religion and Science (Article)

A Debate Between a Theist and a Santaist (Article)

Why Justified belief in Miracles is Impossible (Article)


Public Philosophy / INVITED PRESENTATION DETAILS

 

Plato on Pop. A blog, with William Irwin, for Psychology Today where we explore the intersection of philosophy with pop culture.

Guest Blogger for the London School of Economics’ Blog on American Politics and Policy

Featured in a Christian Science Monitor article on the effect of the Santa Claus lie on children’s critical thinking skills. http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2013/1217/Does-belief-in-Santa-Claus-hamper-or-hinder-critical-thinking

“Implanting An Idea: Inception Should have Won Best Picture” (A lecture on my book Inception and Philosophy. For Google’s “Authors@Google” programs, as the Key Note Address for the 2012 Undergraduate Conference at North Dakota State University, and for the Lehigh Valley Humanists (Dec., 2012).  (You can see my presentation of this lecture at Google here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ginQNMiRu2w)

I was asked to, and appeared, at the 2012 NECSS conference to discuss my paper “Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis" (NYC, April 21st); my appearance was broadcast on the podcast Rationally Speaking (hosted by Massimo Pigliucci). (This also included a four spot guest appearance on his blog)

“Identifying the Conflict between Science and Religion” for October 2012 Department Colloquia at North Dakota State University.

“The Arguments for God’s Existence, and Why They Don’t Work” (A lecture that details the major arguments for God’s existence (8 total), and the numerous reasons they fail.) Presented to Lehigh Valley Humansits and Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia

“Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis” (A lecture explaining my paper of the same name, which argues that theist’s inability to answer the natural problem of evil commits them to believing that we live in a computer simulation.) Presented to Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley Humanists and the American Humanist Association’s national meeting.

“From Whence Christmas Came and Where it is Going.” (A lecture on the history of Christmas, the supposed War on Christmas, and the non-religious person’s right to celebrate the holiday.) Presented to Lehigh Valley Humansits, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wyoming Valley and The Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia

“From Whence Santa Came, and Why He Should Leave” (A lecture on the history of Santa Claus, and why people should not teach their children to believe that he literally exists.) for Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wyoming Valley.

“Sorry Virginia” a 2009 op-ed for the Baltimore Sun on teaching children to believe in Santa Claus.

I was interviewed, as part of a panel discussion, for the Huffington Post Live news cast, on the issue of the Santa Claus lie. (December 16th, 2013)

I was featured on a Canadian radio show, Kingkade & Kelly (AM 770, Calgary), in a discussion about the Santa Claus lie (December 9th, 2013).

King’s College Radio Interviews:
                The end of the world (December 5th, 2012)
                The Hobbit (November 18th, 2012)
                Ghosts (October 31st, 2011) 

 

 

Professional Organizations:

                

The American Philosophical Association

 

Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophical Honors Society)

 

Delta Epsilon Sigma (national scholastic honor society for students, faculty, and alumni

of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition.)

 

Honors

Winner of the 2012 American Philosophical Association Op-Ed Contest (for Blog “Watson in Philophical Jeopardy)

Joseph S. Ellin Memorial Essay Prize at the 6th Annual Light Hearted Philosophers Society Conference (for “A Debate Between a heist and a Santaist”)

Nominated for the 2009 Excellence in Philosophy of Religion Prize (for “God, Fatalism and Temporal Ontology”)

The Kenneth Merrill Teaching Award (2004-2005)

 

President of Oklahoma University Philosophical Society (2001-2002)

 


Courses Taught at King’s College

 

Freshman Level Courses:

Critical Thinking

Liberal Arts Seminar: Myth Busters: Christmas, Santa, and Other Weird Things

Liberal Arts Seminar: Myth Busters: The Bizarre Brain and Other Weird Things

Liberal Arts Seminar: Myth Busters: The End of the World and Other Weird Things

 

Sophomore Level Courses:

Business Ethics

Introduction to Logic

Introduction to Philosophy

Pop Culture (e.g., South Park, Sci-Fi) and Philosophy

World Religions

Fundamentals of Science

 

Junior/Senior Level Courses:

Metaphysics

Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy of Religion

Predicate Calculus/Modal Logic

Probability and Induction

Meta-Logic