Chair / Professor — Political Science, Philosophy & Religion
Ph.D. Washington University, December 1985
M.A. Washington University, December 1983
J.D. Marshall-Wythe School of Law, May 1981
A.B. College of William and Mary, May 1978
RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS
Philosophy of Law and Social/Political Philosophy
Applied Ethics (Business, Environmental, Medical)
Symbolic Logic (Introductory and Advanced)
My area of specialization is the philosophy of law, but my scholarly interests are wide ranging. I am currently involved in four diverse major research efforts.
The first research project I have under way is a joint effort with Bill McKinney at Southeast Missouri State University investigating the uses and misuses of what is called the precautionary principle in environmental law, ethics and policy. Of particular interest are the very different interpretations placed on the precautionary principle adopted by environmentalists and environmental lawyers.
The second project that I have underway in legal philosophy is more historical in focus. I am examining the conceptual and personal links between the American philosophical pragmatists (particularly Dewey) and the American Legal Realists (particularly Holmes and Llewellyn).
My third research project in legal philosophy examines the intersection between the law of bankruptcy and environmental protection as an object lesson in normative conflict. I am concerned with how norms adversely affect one another and with the question of how courts should proceed when face with competing norms.
Finally I am collaborating with Michael Kagan of LeMoyne College on a book manuscript titled Critical Thinking as a Martial Art. This is an introductory text in informal logic and critical thinking with a distinctive theoretical and pedagogical twist. We argue that critical thinking and informal logic are two components of a broader intellectual martial art which is aimed at helping one answer the question "How should I live my life?" That art is the art of rational argument or rational inquiry.
TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE