Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department
My professional interests lie primarily in ethics and the philosophy of religion, and I've written and spoken quite a bit on the relationship between ethics and God. More recently I've become interested in the question of how human beings could acquire moral knowledge (knowledge of what is right and wrong, good and evil, etc.), which has drawn me into empirical moral psychology, the scientific study of the cognitive processes that generate human moral beliefs, emotions, and actions.
I recently gave a talk at a meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology on the role of disgust in moral cognition in which I defended the idea that even though it appears that our moral judgments are often heavily influenced by our emotions, such judgments can constitute knowledge. At DePauw I regularly teach Ethical Theory and an upper-level course focused on the question of whether moral knowledge is attainable and, if so, how it can be attained.