Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 1991. M.A. Philosophy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 1988.
M.Div. Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 1981
B.A. Philosophy, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, 1975.
Areas of Specialization
Epistemology, Ethical Theory
Additional Areas of Teaching Competence
History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Introduction to Philosophy
Introductory Logic, Applied Ethics, Environmental Philosophy
Current Research and Writing Areas
Applied Ethics, Moral Epistemology, Critical Thinking, Religion and Higher Education
Graduate Philosophy Courses:
Theory of Knowledge
Justification, Reliability & Rationality
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Language
Advanced Logic/Theory of Meaning
A Priori Knowledge
Philosophy of Mathematics
Recent Kantian Ethics
Recent Contractarian Ethics
Survey of Greek Philosophy
Descartes and Spinoza
Kant's Metaphysics and Epistemology
Themes in the Philosophy of Religion
Graduate Theology Courses:
Philosophy of Religion
Reading in Kierkegaard
New Testament Studies
Old Testament Studies
New Testament Greek
Old Testament Hebrew
Professor (1998-present), Associate Professor (1995 to 1998), Assistant Professor (1992-1995), University of Dubuque, Dubuque, IA.
Visiting Assistant Professor (1990-1992), West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
Lecturer (1988-1990), College of Saint Mary (Lincoln program), Omaha, NE.
Instructor (1989-1990), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
Instructor (Fall Semester, 1987), Northwestern College, Orange City, IA.
Teaching Assistant (1984-1985 and 1986-1987, 1988, 1989), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
Summary of Courses Taught
Lower Level Undergraduate Courses:
The Art of Reasoning and Decision Making
Introduction to Philosophy (Historical)
Philosophical Questions (Topical Introduction)
Introduction to Religions and Worldviews
Ethics and Contemporary Issues
New Student Seminar
Upper Level Undergraduate Courses:
History of Ethics
Social and Political Philosophy
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
Philosophy of Religion
African and African-American Philosophy
Seminar on Religion and Higher Education
The Search for Coherence Between Beliefs:
A Study on the Relationship Between Coherence and Justifion
Dissertation Supervisor: Professor Robert Audi
This study investigates the relation between coherence and epistemic justification. Part One is primarily critical. A preliminary chapter outlines three reasons coherentist theories of justification are attractive and a basic anticoherentist argument which concludes that pure coherentist theories of justification cannot account for justification. Subsequent chapters flesh out this argument through a critical evaluation of the coherentist theories of Keith Lehrer and Laurence BonJour. Given this understanding of justification, a theory of epistemic responsibility is developed according to which coherentist considerations and methods play important roles as a believer seeks to be epistemically responsible. The resulting theory of justification and responsible belief shares many of the features which make coherentist theories attractive, yet provides a more adequate account of justifying reasons.
Book Review of Faith and Knowledge: Mainline Protestantism and American Higher Education, by Douglas Sloan, in Teachers College Record, Volume 98, Number 1, Fall 1996.
"""""">""Socratic Teaching and the Search for Coherence,"" in Knowledge, Teaching and Wisdom, edited by Keith Lehrer, B. Jeannie Lum, Beverly A. Slichta, and Nicholas D. Smith, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1996.
""Is Reflective Equilibrium a Coherentist Model?"" Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 23, Number 2, June 1993.
Professional Paper Presentations
The Vocation of Teaching: Themes and Models from the Presbyterian Tradition, with Peggy Cowan and Mary Shields, to the Consultation on the Vocation of the Presbyterian Teacher, August 10-13, 2000, Louisville, KY.
Toward a Theocentric Approach to Environmental Value,"" to a joint session of the Midwest Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the Dubuque Area Theological Forum, March 8, 1996, Dubuque, IA.
Why I Find Coherentism Unsatisfying"" to the Summer Institute on Knowledge, Teaching and Wisdom sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, July 29, 1993, Berkeley, CA.
Varieties of Epistemic Responsibility"" at the spring meeting of the West Virginia Philosophical Society, March 27-28, 1992, Morgantown, West Virginia, and at the Midwest Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, October 30-31, 1992, St. Paul, MN.
Is Reflective Equilibrium a Coherentist Model?"" at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Society, December 27-30, 1990, Boston MA.
Religious Experience and Foundational Beliefs"" at the Midwestern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, October 13-15, 1988, St. Paul, MN.
Professional Conference and Seminar Participation
Steering Committee Member and Participant, Consultation on the Vocation of the Presbyterian Teacher, August 10-13, 2000, Louisville, KY.
Associate Director, Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College, 1999-2001, Midwest Discussion Group.
Participant, Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College, 1998-1999, Upper Midwest Discussion Group.
Participant, Summer Institute on Knowledge, Teaching and Wisdom, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, June 23-July 30, 1993, Berkeley, CA. Institute Directors: Keith Lehrer and Nicholas Smith.
Participant, Wheaton College Summer Seminar, July 11-15, 1989, Wheaton, IL. Topic: Epistemic Warrant. Seminar Leader: Alvin Plantinga.
Participant, Summer Seminar on Science and Christianity, sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, August 11-16, 1987, Madison, WI. Seminary Leaders: David C. Lindberg, Keith Yandell, and Keith J. Cooper.
Unpublished Manuscripts (Available upon request)
Toward a Theocentric Approach to Environmental Value
The University of Dubuque: Our Tradition, Our Heritage, Our Future
Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Dubuque (1992 to present). Responsibilities as chair of a department with one full-time faculty member and several adjuncts include curriculum design, assessment, course scheduling, budgeting, multicultural course development, adjunct faculty development.
Project Director, ""Exploring Our Presbyterian Connection,"" a grant-supported project exploring the nature and meaning of Church-related higher education (1996 to present). Responsibilities include grant-writing, budgeting, organizing forums and discussions, leading faculty colloquia, teaching a seminar on Church-Related Higher Education.
Faculty Advisor (1992-present). Serve as advisor to philosophy and religion majors (1992 to present), to pre-seminary students (1992 to present), to Native-American Students (1993-present), and to first-year students (1995-present).
Chair, Undergraduate Faculty Assembly (1994-1996,1999-2000). Responsibilities included moderating faculty meetings and Educational Policy Council meetings, communicating with faculty, representing faculty on committees, serving as liaison to administration, overseeing faculty actions.
Task Force Member Tri-College Steering Committee (1995-1996). This task force was appointed by the Presidents of the University of Dubuque, Clarke College, and Loras College to produce an evaluative report on the cooperative programs between the three institutions.
Faculty Committee Member. University Planning, Advancement and Finance Committee, Admissions Committee, Academic Standing Committee, Library Committee.
Project Director, The Future of the Church-Connection at the University of Dubuque (1997-1999) A discussion group consisting of junior faculty members concerning the meaning and future of the University's connection to the Presbyterian Church. This position also involved participation in regional and national meetings of the Rhodes Consultation on the Future of Church-Related Colleges, funded by the Lilly Foundation.
Faculty Representative to the Board, 1997 to present. Represent the faculty of the School of Liberal Arts to the Board of Trustees.
American Philosophical Association, Society of Christian Philosophers