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VII. Permanent Faculty

John Basl
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
PhD University of Wisconsin - Madison

John's work focuses on issues in ethics, especially applied ethics, and in the philosophy of biology.  In ethics, much of his work has focused on issues of moral status. Within environmental ethics, John has focused on the question of whether non-sentient organisms and collectives can be said to have interests and whether such interests are morally relevant. Within bioethics, his focus has been on whether and how the moral status of non-human research subjects might be altered. In addition to issues of moral status, he is also interested in the ethics of environmental restoration and the ethics of biotechnology more generally.  In the philosophy of biology, John's work has primarily been concerned with the levels of selection where his focus has been on whether collectives, such as biotic communities and ecosystems, might be units of selection distinct from the individuals that compose them.

Michael Bradie
Professor of Philosophy
B. S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M. A. Boston University
PhD University of Hawaii

Since coming to Bowling Green in 1968, Professor Bradie has taught courses in a wide range of areas.  His primary interests are in the philosophy of science, epistemology and logic.  He has been involved in developing interdisciplinary courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of physics. Professor Bradie has published numerous articles on the philosophy of science and epistemology.  His most recent publications include "Assessing Evolutionary Epistemology," "Darwin and the Moral Status of Animals," "What Does Evolutionary Biology Tell Us About Philosophy and Religion," and "Models, Rhetoric and Science."   A book on evolution and ethics, The Secret Chain: Evolution and Ethics, was published by SUNY Press in 1995.  In addition to his professional roles in Bowling Green, Professor Bradie has been a Visiting Scholar at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard (1984), the History and Philosophy of Science Department, Indiana University (1986) and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh (1992-93).

Donald Callen
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
B.A. Roberts Wesleyan College
M.A. SUNY, Brockport
Ph.D. Temple University

Professor Callen's teaching and research interests are the philosophy of art, Continental philosophy, and post-modern theory.  In addition to courses in aesthetics and philosophy of film, he also teaches courses in contemporary French philosophy, focusing especially on Derrida, Lacan and new thinkers such as Lipovetsky and Nancy.  Currently his research is focused on continental approaches to environmental philosophy.  He has published many articles on the philosophy of art including a recent article, "Stories of Sublimely Good Character" (Philosophy and Literature).  He has also co-edited a volume of papers in aesthetics by Monroe Beardsley, The Aesthetic Point of View, and volumes of proceedings from the BGSU conferences in Applied Philosophy.  Recent publications include an article on Beardsley which appeared in the Oxford Companion to Aesthetics.

Christian Coons
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
B.A. University of California, Davis
Ph. D. University of California, Davis

Christian Coons came to Bowling Green from the University of California at Davis. Christian has published in Ethics, perhaps the top journal for work in ethics and related areas. He was awarded the prestigious Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship for the 2003-4 year and he was also awarded the Michael V. Wedin Teaching Award in 2003 by the UC, Davis philosophy department.   His research interests include population ethics, moral epistemology, theory selection in normative ethics, and axiology.  He hopes to one day justify a substantive normative claim without using any substantive normative assumptions.

Louis I. Katzner
Professor of Philosophy
A.B.      Brown University
M.A.    University of Michigan
Ph.D. University of Michigan

Professor Katzner has been at Bowling Green since 1968.  A member of the department during the 1970s and early 1980s, he played a central role in developing the applied philosophy focus and the Ph.D. program.  From 1985-98 he continued teaching on a limited basis while serving as Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate College.  His research, publications, and teaching have focused on ethics and social philosophy.  He is best known for his work on affirmation action and discrimination -- "Is the Favoring of Women and Blacks in Employment and Educational Opportunities Justified?" (Feinberg & Gross, Philosophy of Law).  He has also taught philosophy to children and published in this area as well.  Most recently, his scholarship has focused on issues in graduate education.

Fred D. Miller, Jr.
Professor of Philosophy
B.A.  Portland State University
M.A.  University of Washington
Ph.D.  University of Washington

Professor Miller came to Bowling Green in 1972 with a specialization in ancient Greek Philosophy, especially Aristotle.  His interests include social philosophy, philosophy of law, business ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy in science fiction.  Currently he is the Executive Director of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center which he, along with other members of the Department, founded in 1981. He is the author of Nature, Justice and Rights in Aristotle's Politics (Oxford University Press, 1995). He has published articles on Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers in Philosophical Review, the Review of Metaphysics, Philosophical Quarterly, and Ancient Philosophy.  His recent essays on classical philosophy include "Aristotle on Rationality in Action," "Aristotle on Natural Law and Justice,"  “Aristotle’s Philosophy of Soul,” and "Plato on the Parts of the Soul."  He also contributed the article "Aristotle's Naturalism" to The Cambridge History of Ancient Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2000), "Aristotle's Political  Philosophy," to the Stanford (Internet) Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu), and "Classical Political Thought" to The Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy (Greenwood Press, 1997).  He is currently at work on A History of Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Later Scholastics.  In October, 1998 he was elected President of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy.

Michael Weber
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Philosophy
B.A. Williams College
M.A. Oxford University
Ph.D. University of Michigan

Michael Weber joined the BGSU Philosophy Department in 2008.  He previously taught at Yale University, having earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1998.  His dissertation was a defense of the rationality of satisficing – choosing what is simply “good enough” instead of what is best.  Since then, his work has focused on the role of emotions in ethical life and ethical theory, and on rational choice theory.  More recently he has been working on issues in egalitarian theory.  His recent publications include the following: “Is Equality Essentially Comparative?” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (2007): 209-226; "More on the Motive of Duty," Journal of Ethics 11 (2007): 65-86; "'Tough-Minded' Theories in Ethics," Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review XLV (2006): 747-54; “Are Terrorists Cowards?” Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (2005): 331-42; "Compassion: An Evaluation of Nussbaum’s Analysis and Defense," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (2004): 487-511.

Kevin Vallier
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
B.A. Washington University
PhD University of Arizona

Kevin's interests lie  within political philosophy, political economy, normative ethics and philosophy of religion. He is presently writing a book manuscript on the proper place of religious commitment in liberal politics tentatively titled Beyond Separation: Uniting Liberal Politics and Public Faith.He spent the ’11-’12 school year as a research associate at Brown University’s Political Theory Project.  He has published articles appearing in journals including Utilitas, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Public Affairs Quarterly, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and The Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Sara Worley
Associate Professor of Philosophy
B. A.  Reed College
Ph.D University of Pittsburgh

Professor Worley came to Bowling Green in 1991 after completing her graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research and teaching interests are primarily in the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and feminism.  With respect to the philosophy of mind, she is especially interested in questions of mental causation, and in finding a way of reconciling the "manifest image" of human beings, according to which we are rational agents, responsible for our actions, with the "scientific image" of human beings, according to which we are mere physical objects whose behavior can be completely explained by the laws of nature.  Related interests in the philosophy of science and metaphysics include questions about causation, explanation, and realism (both scientific and metaphysical).  Recent publications include "Belief and Consciousness" (Philosophical Psychology, 1997), and Determination and Mental Causation" (Erkenntnis, 1997),  "Mental Causation and Explanatory Exclusion" (Erkenntnis, 1993) and "Feminism, Objectivity and Analytic Philosophy" (Hypatia, 1995).  She is currently doing research on consciousness, mental causation and agency.

Ian Young
Senior Lecturer
B.A. (Hons) University of Otago
M.A., Ph.D. Bowling Green State University

Ian's main area of interest is political philosophy, particularly in issues relating to multiculturalism and nationalism but he also retains strong interests in applied ethics in fields such as environmental ethics and issues relating to war and peace. He teaches a variety of undergraduate courses, including introductory courses, political philosophy, business ethics, medical ethics, philosophy of death and dying, environmental ethics and the philosophy of peace and war. In connection with the latter, he helped to create the minor in  Peace and Conflict Studies at BGSU.  He also teaches courses at BGSU's Chapman Learning Community and in the Political Science department.  In addition to the above, he serves as the Undergraduate Advisor for the Philosophy Department, maintains the department's website,  is the Faculty Advisor to the Philosophy Club, and is also the coach of the BGSU Ethics Bowl team.   He is originally from New Zealand and closely follows the progress of the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, as well as his favorite football team, Leeds United.