Marquette University's Anti-philosophical Philosophy Instructor

As a former academic, headlines describing what appear to be questionable policies or practices in institutions of higher learning usually get my attention. When the fine print implicates a philosophy department, a subject I used to teach, I take a close look. Now, suppose you are an undergraduate at a large, private Catholic university that is one of the 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. You decide to enroll in a course given by the philosophy department that will explore the intersection between ethical theories and contemporary controversies -- a course of the sort I also taught years ago. The course is an elective. On the first day of class, you see on the board a list of moral issues potentially up for discussion: gay rights, gun rights, and capital punishment. Let me stop here for a moment and comment that, in my view, the first of these three topics is philosophically “thinner” than the other two. The morality of...(Read Full Article)

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