Professor of Philosophy
AOS: Philosophy of Law, Critical Thinking, Popular Culture and Philosophy
AOC: Environmental Ethics, Business Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Science and Religion, Philosophy of Education
B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1982 (Studies in Ethics and Religion)
M.A., University of Oklahoma, 1985 (Philosophy)
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1991 (Philosophy)
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, King’s College, 1992-1999
Associate Professor of Philosophy, King’s College, 1999 – 2005
Professor of Philosophy, 2005 -
Chair, Philosophy Department, 2003 - 2013
Director, King’s College Center for Ethics and Public Life, July 2003 – 2005
Faculty Council Chair, 2007-2008, 2011-2012
The Hobbit and Philosophy (coedited with Eric Bronson) (Wiley, 2012). (translated into German, Portuguese, Turkish, Spanish, and Polish)
The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy (edited volume, Wiley, 2010.) (translated into German, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Polish and Russian)
Basketball and Philosophy (co-edited with Jerry Walls) (University of Kentucky Press, 2007).
The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy (co-edited with Jerry Walls) (Open Court, 2005) (translated into Portuguese).
The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (co-edited with Eric Bronson) (Open Court, 2003) (translated into eleven languages).
Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction (co-written with James M. Wallace, Henry Nardone, and William Irwin) (New York: McGraw-Hill, 5th edition, 2013).
Original Intent and the Constitution: A Philosophical Study (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992).
B. Articles and Chapters in Books:C. Book Reviews:
“How to Read Harry Potter (and How Not To),” forthcoming in Corbin Fowler, ed., The Ravenclaw Chronicles: Reflections from Edinboro (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015).
“The New Textualism: The Potholes Ahead,” co-written with Ian Oakley, forthcoming in Ratio Juris.
“Life’s Purpose,” forthcoming in Think.
“Mearsheimer’s Mistakes: Why Colleges Should (and Inevitably Do) Provide Moral Guidance,” in Expositions, Vol. 17, No. 1: 33-41.
“Virtue-Centered Approaches to Education: Prospects and Pitfalls,” in Michael W. Austin, ed., Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Ethics (Palgrave, 2014).
“Legislating Morality: Scoring the Hart-Devlin Debate after 50 Years,” Ratio Juris, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2012): 117-32.
Who Could Have Deserved It? C. S. Lewis on Friendship,” in Suzanne Bray and William Gray (eds.), Persona and Paradox: Issues of Identity in C. S. Lewis, His Friends and Associates (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).
“Harry Potter and the Metaphysics of Soul-Splitting,” Reason Papers, Vol. 34, No. 1 (June 2012): 25-31.
“Freedom of the Seas: The Stoic Sailor,” co-written with Tod Bassham, in Sailing and Philosophy, edited by Patrick A. Goold (Wiley, 2012).
“Sherlock Holmes and the Ethics of Hyper-Specialization,” co-written with Bridget Costello, in Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy, edited by Philip Tallon and David Baggett (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).
“The Industrious Sherlock Holmes,” in Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy, edited by Philip Tallon and David Baggett (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).
“Should ‘Argument’ Be Defined without Reference to Use?” Proceedings of the Seventh Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (2011).
“A Hogwarts Education: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” in The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy.
“Choices vs. Abilities: Dumbledore on Self-Understanding,” in The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy.
“Just in Your Head? J. K. Rowling on Separating Reality from Illusion,” co-written with John Granger, in The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy.
“’My Precious’: Tolkien on the Perils of Possessiveness,” co-written with Anna Minore, in The Hobbit and Philosophy.
“The Adventurous Hobbit,” in The Hobbit and Philosophy.
“Lance Armstrong and True Success,” co-written with Chris Krall, in Mike Austin and Jesus Ilundain, eds., Cycling and Philosophy (Wiley, 2010).
“Popular Culture in the Philosophy Classroom: A Modest Defense,” co-written with Michael Austin, APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy, Fall 2008.
“Lifelong Learning and the Duty of Self-Improvement,” Think, Winter 2008.
“The Goal That Was and Wasn’t,” co-written with Regan Lance Reitsma, Think, Summer 2008.
“Lewis and Tolkien on the Power of Imagination,” in David Baggett, Gary Habermas, and Jerry Walls, eds., C. S. Lewis as Philosopher (InterVarsity Press, 2008).
“Hardwood Dojos: What Basketball Can Teach Us about Character and Success,” in Walls and Bassham, eds., Basketball and Philosophy (University of Kentucky Press, 2007). Co-written with Mark Hamilton.
“Running with the Seven C’s of Success,” in Michael Austin, ed., Running and Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007).
“Don’t Play on Tilt! Avoiding Seven Costly Critical Thinking Errors in Poker,” in Poker and Philosophy, edited by Eric Bronson (Open Court, 2006). Co-written with Marc Marchese.
“Justice Scalia’s Equitable Constitution,” Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006).
”Some Dogs Go to Heaven: Lewis on Animal Salvation,” in Gregory Bassham and Jerry Walls, eds., The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy (Open Court, 2005).
“Pissin’ Metal: Malvo, Columbine, and the Matrix of Violence,” in William Irwin, ed., More Matrix and Philosophy (Open Court, 2005). Co-written with Henry Nardone.
“Resist Not Evil: Jesus and Nonviolence,” in Jorge Gracia, ed., Mel Gibson’s The Passion and Philosophy (Open Court, 2005). Co-written with David Baggett.
“The Prophecy-Driven Life: Fate and Freedom at Hogwarts,” in David Baggett and Shawn Klein, eds., Harry Potter and Philosophy (Open Court, 2005).
“Gracia on Divine Revelation,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78:3 (Fall 2004): 485-87.
“Teaching Ought Imperatives,” Informal Logic, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Summer 2004): 11-16.
“The Zen of Hitting,” in Eric Bronson, ed., Baseball and Philosophy (Open Court, 2004).
“Reformed Epistemology and Chinese Mysticism,” World Hongming Philosophical Quarterly (Dec. 2003).
“Tolkien’s Six Keys to Happiness,” in Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson, eds., The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (Open Court, 2003).
“Depression, Informal Fallacies, and Cognitive Therapy: The Critical Thinking Cure?” (co-written with William Irwin), Inquiry 21 (3) (Spring 2002): 15-21.
“Linked and Independent Premises: A New Analysis,” Frans H. van Emeren, J. Anthony Blair, and Charles A. Willard, eds., Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, 2003.
"Work-Family Conflict: A Virtue Ethics Analysis," (co-written with Marc Marchese and Jack Ryan), Journal of Business Ethics 40 (2) (October 2002): 145-154.
“The Religion of The Matrix and the Problems of Pluralism,” in William Irwin, ed., The Matrix and Philosophy (2002).
“Emotional Appeals in the Film ‘12 Angry Men,’” in Frans H. van Emeren, Rob Grootendorst, J. Anthony Blair, and Charles A. Willard, eds., Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (1999) (co-authored with Henry Nardone).
“Freedom’s Politics: A Review Essay of Ronald Dworkin’s Freedom’s Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution,” Notre Dame Law Review 72 (1997): 1235-1276.
“Using the Film JFK to Teach Critical Thinking,” College Teaching 45 (1997): 10-13 (co-authored with Henry Nardone).
“Feminist Legal Theory: A Liberal Response,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy 6 (1992): 293-319.
“Rethinking the Emerging Jurisprudence of Juvenile Death,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy 5 (1991): 467-501.
“Ehring’s Theory of Causal Asymmetry,” Analysis 46 (1986): 29-32.
Review of Richard Ekins, The Nature of Legislative Intent, forthcoming in Ethics.
Review of Alister McGrath, C. S. Lewis: A Life,” Mythlore, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Fall/Winter 2013): 169-74.
“Textualism’s Last Stand: A Review of Scalia and Garner’s Reading Law,” in The Journal of College and University Law, 38:2 (2012), pp. 101-118.
Review of Robert MacSwain and Michael Ward, eds., The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis, Mythlore, Issue 113/14 (Spring/Summer 2011).
“Fish’s Purified Ivory Tower: A Review of Stanley Fish’s Save the World on Your Own Time,” in The Journal of College and University Law, 36:1 (2009), pp. 287-93.
Review of Erik J. Wielenberg, God and the Reach of Reason, in Faith and Philosophy, 27:2 (April 2010), pp. 236-40.
Review of Mark C. Murphy, Natural Law in Jurisprudence and Politics, The Journal of Catholic Social Ethics, 6:2 (Summer 2009)
Review of Robert A. Delfino (ed.), What Are We to Understand Gracia to Mean? Realist Challenges to Metaphysical Neutralism, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly (Summer 2007): 512-14.
Review of Joseph Desjardins (ed.), Environmental Ethics: Concepts, Policy, and Theory, Teaching Philosophy 24:1 (March 2001): 86-87.
“It Means What They Said: A Review of Keith E. Whittington, Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review,” The Review of Politics 62: 3 (Summer, 2000): 588-90.
Review of Geoffrey Scarre, Utilitarianism, Teaching Philosophy 23:2 (June 2000): 210-13.
“Interpretive Babel: A Review of Steven D. Smith, The Constitution and the Pride of Reason,” The Review of Politics 61:1 (1999): 159-60.
Review of Robert Lowry Clinton, God and Man in the Law: The Foundations of Anglo-American Constitutionalism, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 599 (September 1998): 188-89.
Review of Douglas Soccio, Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, Teaching Philosophy, 21:3 (1998): 275-76.
“Morality and the Constitution: A Review of Graham Walker’s Moral Foundations of Constitutional Thought: Current Problems, Augustinian Prospects,” Review of Politics 53 (1991): 718-21.
Selected Presentations and Other Scholarly Activities (Since 2000)
“Moral Education sat Hogwarts: The Role of Empathy in the Moral Life,” St. Andrews, Scotland, May 2012.
“Blurring Genres: How to Read Harry Potter—and How Not To.” Keynote address at Potterfest 2011, Edinboro University, October 2011.
“Harry Potter and the Metaphysics of Soul-Splitting.” Marymount Manhattan College, October 29, 2011.
“Who Could Have Deserved It? C. S. Lewis on Friendship,” C. S Lewis, His Friends and Associates: Questions of Identity Conference, Lille, France, May 2011.
“Should ‘Argument’ Be Defined Without Reference to Use?” International Society for the Study of Argumentation, Amsterdam 2010.
“”Same-Sex Marriage and the Definition of ‘Marriage’: What Can Philosophers Contribute?” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Conference, November 2008.
“C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire: A Critical Examination,” Oxbridge 2008, Oxford, July 2008.
“Lewis and Tolkien on the Power of the Imagination,” Messiah College, February 24, 2006.
“Teaching Students to Think Critically about Advertising,” ISETL-2005, Cocoa Beach, FL, October 2005.
“Quantum Physics and Eastern Mysticism,” First World Hongming Philosophy Conference, Honolulu, July 2004 (with Derrick Boucher).
“The Zen of Hitting,” 16th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, June 2004.
Chair, Session on Carolyn Korsmeyer’s “Probable Philosophies and Impossible Plots” Conference on Philosophy and the Interpretation of Popular Culture, Buffalo, April 2004.
“The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy:” talks and book signings at Harvard University, UPenn, Covenant College, Fall 2003.
“Fifteen Classroom-tested Techniques for Promoting Active Learning,” 33rd Annual ISETL Conference, Ft. Collins, CO, Oct. 2003 (with Henry Nardone).
“Using the Plous Test to Teach Critical Thinking and the Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making,” 13th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, Feb. 2002 (with Marc Marchese).
“Using Role-Playing to Teach Critical Thinking about Moral Relativism,” 13th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, Feb. 2002 (with Henry Nardone).
“The Religion of the Matrix and the Problems of Pluralism,” Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association, Bloomsburg, Nov. 2001.
Assessment Workshop, Bucks County Community College, Jan. 2002 (with Jean O’Brien).
Chair, session on Jorge Gracia’s How Can We Know What God Means?, American Catholic Philosophical Association, Albany, Nov. 2001.
“Reformed Epistemology and Chinese Mysticism,” 12th International Congress of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, Beijing, July 2001.
“Teaching Critical Thinking across the Curriculum,” In-service workshop, LCCC, August 2001.
“Critical Thinking as the Keystone of the Curriculum,” The King’s College Course-Embedded Assessment Institute, Oct. 2000 (with Jim Wallace and Amy Parsons).
“Using the Plous Test to Teach Critical Thinking and the Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making,” 20th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform, Sonoma State University, July 2000 (with Marc Marchese).
“An Integrated Approach to Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking,” 20th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform, Sonoma State University, July 2000 (with Jean O’Brien and Bob Paoletti).