ADDRESS (Work): Department of Philosophy
University of Hawaii-Manoa
2530 Dole Street #D301a
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
1972-75,76-7 University of Toronto B.A. (English/Philosophy)
1977-78 University of Toronto B.Ed. (Teaching Certificate)
1981-82 Queen's University (Canada) M.A. (Philosophy)
1982-88 University of Toronto Ph.D. (Philosophy)
DISSERTATION: The Epistemology of Metaphysics: A Refutation of Some Contemporary
Objections to Speculative Philosophy
Supervisor: Graeme Nicholson Advisor: Ian Hacking
SPECIALIZATIONS: Hermeneutics, Ethics, Philosophy of Law
COMPETENCIES: Process Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology,
Aesthetics, Logic, History of Modern Philosophy
ACADEMIC POSITIONS & FELLOWSHIPS:
1988-90 Lecturer in Philosophy (full-time), Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto
1990-95 Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Honolulu
1995-2009 Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Honolulu
1997-98 Liberal Arts Fellow, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
2004-05 Visiting Professor & Humanities Don, Trinity College, University of Toronto
2009 on Full Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Honolulu
2012 on Chair of the Philosophy Department, University of Hawai`i at Manoa
SERVICE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I
Thirteen years as Graduate Chair of the Philosophy Department
Two years as Undergraduate Chair of the Philosophy Department
Two years as a member (one as chair) of the Arts & Science Faculty Senate Exec. Committee
One year as a member of the UH All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs
Five years as a UH Manoa Faculty Senator [MFS]
Three years as a member (one as chair) of MFS Committee for Academic Policy & Planning
One year as chair of the MFS Committee on Research & Graduate Education
One year as chair of the MFS Working Group on Graduate Education
One year as a member of MFS Committee for Professional Matters
Two years as a member of UH Manoa’s Graduate Council
Member of the Manoa’s Centennial Fund-raising Campaign Committee (2003-4)
Member of two UHM tenure and promotion review committees (2008, 2010)
The Nature of Dignity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) 315 pp.
Abstract: ND deals with that form of dignity to which we sometimes aspire, rather than that form of dignity which we tend to presume that we always already possess simply by virtue of being human. The book opens with the contention that the Enlightenment assumptions that have traditionally been appealed to in justifying our conceptions of human dignity are no longer tenable, in light of what we now know about evolutionary biology and political economics. It goes on to argue that nonetheless dignity is a value to which we should remain committed, and offers a new set of conceptual underpinnings with which to replace the no longer tenable Enlightenment assumptions of Locke, Kant, et al.
A Companion to World Philosophies, coedited with Eliot Deutsch (Blackwell, 1997) 587 pp.
Volume ten in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series.
Justice and Democracy: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, coedited with Marietta Stepaniants (U.
of Hawai`i Press, 1997) 477 pp. Conference volume of the Seventh East-West
Dimensions of the Hermeneutic Circle (Humanities Press, 1996) 264 pp.
(reissued by Prometheus Books, 2000)
Abstract: DHC demonstrates how the development of hermeneutics in the 19th and 20th centuries coincided with a gradual increase in our appreciation of the subtleties and many variations of the hermeneutic circle. The cause of the progressive enlargement of the domain of hermeneutical inquiry in the past two centuries, I contend, has been our ongoing recognition of further and still further applications of the hermeneutic circle. To date, however, it has been taken as a given that the firm boundary beyond which this progressive extension of the hermeneutical domain cannot pass is the line that separates the human studies from the natural sciences. But because the natural sciences too are essentially interpretive, this boundary is in many respects arbitrary and inappropriate. Thus the second aim of DHC is to make explicit some of the more important ways in which the hermeneutic circle can be seen to function in the methodology of the natural sciences.
Review of Dorothy Emmet, The Passage of Nature in Philosophical Books, Vol. 34, No. 3
(July 1993) pp. 160-161.
Review of C.J. Misak, Truth and the End of Inquiry in Philosophical Books, Vol. 33, No. 2
(April 1992) pp. 88-89.
"Judicial Discretion and Right Answers" in Arend Soeteman, ed., Pluralism and Law: Legal
Reasoning, IVR 2001 Congress Proceedings, vol. 4 (Franz Steiner, 2004) pp. 19-27.
"Truth as a Regulative Ideal," The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. 13, No. 4
(December 1999) pp. 240-256.
“Knowledge, Justice, and the Globalizing Economy,” Peace Research Abstracts 37 (no. 5,
Entry on Paul Ricoeur in Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. Michael Kelly (Oxford University
Press, 1998) vol. 4, pp. 162-66.
Entry on Friedrich Schleiermacher in Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. Michael Kelly (Oxford
University Press, 1998) vol. 4, pp. 235-39.
"Grounding a Theory of Rights in Fallibilist Epistemology" in Justice and Democracy: Cross- Cultural Perspectives, (University of Hawaii Press, 1997) pp. 61-73.
"The Interrelationship of Moral and Aesthetic Excellence," The British Journal of Aesthetics,
Vol. 32, No. 3 (July 1992) pp. 209-220. (co-authored with Jamie Crooks)
[Reprinted in Ethics and the Arts, ed. David Fenner (Garland Press, 1995) pp. 303-317.]
"Metaphysics: Should It Be Revisionary or Descriptive?" International Philosophical
Quarterly, Vol. XXXII, No. 2 (June 1992) pp. 147-160.
"Rorty's Pragmatism and the Pursuit of Truth," International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.
XXX, No. 2 (June 1990) pp. 221-244.
"The Function of Metaphor," Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol. 20, No. 4 (December 1987) pp.
"A Fusion of Horizons: Gadamer and Schleiermacher," International Philosophical Quarterly,
Vol. XXVII, No. 1 (March 1987) pp. 3-17.
RECENT TEACHING ASSIGNMENTS:
Lower Division Undergraduate: Morals and Society, Introductory Symbolic Deductive Logic,
Introductory Inductive Logic
Upper Division Undergraduate: Theory of Knowledge, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science,
Philosophy of Law, Philosophy & Evolution, Ethics, Political Philosophy, Intermediate Logic
Graduate Seminars: Hermeneutics, Pragmatism, Individual Philosophers (Hume, Whitehead,
Heidegger), Contemporary Ethics, Contemporary Epistemology
MAJOR CONFERENCE PAPERS:
“Ecological Crisis and the Limitations of Democracy,” delivered at the Tenth East-West
Philosophers’ Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2011.
"Judicial Discretion and Right Answers," delivered at the Twentieth World Congress of the
International Association of Law and Social Philosophy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
"Truth as a Regulative Ideal," delivered at Pennsylvania State University's conference,
"Hermeneutics of the Science of Nature," University Park, Pennsylvania, June 1997.
"Grounding a Theory of Rights in Fallibilist Epistemology," delivered at the Annual Congress
of the Canadian Philosophical Association, Montreal, Quebec, June 1995.
"The Interrelationship of Moral and Aesthetic Excellence," delivered at the Annual Congress
of the Canadian Philosophical Association, Kingston, Ontario, May 1991.
"Why Davidson's `Method of Truth' is not the Appropriate Method for Metaphysics,"
delivered at the Annual Congress of the Canadian Philosophical Association, Kingston, Ontario, May 1991.
"The Legitimacy of Pursuing Truth: Polanyi Contra Rorty," delivered at Kent State
University's conference, "From Polanyi to the 21st Century: A Centennial Celebration,"
Kent, Ohio, April 1991.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
“Naturalistic Grounds for the Recognition of Human Dignity” – circulating for publication
Revision of entry on Paul Ricoeur for revised edition of Michael Kelly, ed., The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press).
The Conditions of Progress – a book-length manuscript on the conditions that foster, and those that impede, moral, social, political, scientific, and economic progress.
A book-length manuscript on the metaethical implications of evolutionary biology.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: American Philosophical Association (APA),
Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA),
AMINTAPHIL (Int’l Assoc. for Philosophy of Law)
Ron Pine, currently a professor of philosophy at Honolulu Community College
Dissertation defended May 1996
Ramon Sewnath, currently a lecturer at San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA
Dissertation defended May 1996
Russell Alfonso, currently a philosophy lecturer at Hawaii Pacific University
Dissertation defended August 1996
John Casey, currently a philosophy lecturer at various southern California community colleges
Dissertation defended December 1996
Chaehyun Chong, currently an associate professor at Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea
Dissertation defended May 1997
Marty Heitz, currently an associate professor at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Dissertation defended August 1999
Deborah Kissinger, went on to attend medical school in California
Dissertation defended December 2003
Matt Mackenzie, currently an associate professor at Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO
Dissertation defended May 2004
Brad Park, currently an associate professor at St. Mary's College, St. Mary’s City, MD
Dissertation defended December 2004
Kyle Takaki, currently a philosophy lecturer at Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu
Dissertation defended February 2008
Alejandro Barcenas, currently a senior lecturer at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Dissertation defended December 2010
Jeremy Henkel, currently an assistant professor at Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
Dissertation defended May 2011
Amy Donahue, currently an assistant professor at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
Dissertation defended August 2011
Geoff Ashton, currently an assistant professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Dissertation defended August 2011
Derek Skillings, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science at CUNY
Dissertation (in zoology, I was external examiner) defended April 2012
Nicholas Brasovan, currently an assistant professor at University of Central Arkansas
Dissertation defended May 2012
Andrew Lambert, currently an assistant professor at Western New England University, MA
Dissertation defended August 2012
I am currently serving on the supervisory committees for ten more dissertations in progress.