The Henry Mixter
Penniman Chair in Philosophy
"The right attitude in philosophy
is to accept aims we can achieve only fractionally and imperfectly...It
means in particular not abandoning the pursuit of truth, even though if
you want the truth rather than merely something to say, you will have a
good deal less to say. Pursuit of the truth requires more than
requires readiness to attack one's own convictions. That is the only
real belief can be arrived at."
Thomas Nagel. The View From Nowhere
A.B. in Philosophy (cum
Davidson College, 1976
M.A. in Philosophy, The
University of Virginia, 1980
W.V. Quine and Ontological Commitment
Ph.D. in Philosophy, The
University of Virginia, 1983
J.S. Mill on Happiness and Morality
Courses and Teaching
Philosophic topics in contemporary
social issues (legal, medical, political, national and international); history
of political philosophy sequence; foundations
ethics, theories of ethics; philosophy of law, contemporary theories of
justice; introduction to
philosophy, and introductory reasoning. Also courses in the
College's interdisciplinary core curriculum.
social and political philosophy, philosophy of law; contemporary social
issues (abortion, capital punishment, religion and the law, free
speech, civil disobedience,
etc.); John Stuart Mill and consequentialist/utilitarian theory; human
rights, international law, and just war theory.
John B. Stephenson Fellowship for Faculty:
"Armed Humanitarian Interventions:
Rights, Wrongs, and Recourse to War Principles"
Appalachian College Association, 2008-09
Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute:
"War and Morality:
Re-thinking the Just War Tradition for the 21st Century"
George Lucas, Director. United
States Naval Academy, June, 2004.
Jesse duPont Summer Seminar for Liberal Arts College Faculty:
Legal, Ethical, and Political Dilemmas"
Allen Buchanan and Jeff
National Humanities Center,
Research Triangle Park, NC, June, 2003.
Finalist, National Endowment for
the Humanities Fellowships for College Teachers, 1991.
"John Stuart Mill: Happiness, Rules, and Character"
Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar:
Moral Limits of the
Joel Feinberg, Director.
University of Arizona, 1984.
W. Newcombe Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation,
Honors & Memberships
Omicron Delta Kappa
American Philosophical Association
Other Interests and Activities
" Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish,
at least the power of asking questions
which increases the interest of the world, and shows the strangeness and wonder
lying just below
even in the commonest things of daily
American History, Native American culture and society,
golf, tennis, surfing,
and good discussions of
good books with good friends.
the doubts which it raises, is able to
suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the
tyranny of custom. Thus,
diminishing our feelings of certainty
as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may
be; it removes the
arrogant dogmatism of those who have
never traveled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense
of wonder by showing
things in an unfamiliar aspect."
Problems of Philosophy
Any questions or comments?
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Additional Contact Information:
Prof. Robert Hoag
203B Draper Hall
Berea, KY 40404
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