John Houston

I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere Nebraska, the son of hard working lower middle class parents. My high school years were a trial, and life did not really begin for me until I started college. Prior to college I worked odd jobs in construction, and spent many long days in the hot dry cornfields of Nebraska. It wasn't until I entered college that I was introduced to the life of the mind, and philosophy in particular. Having the privilege of an education was, for me, nothing short of transformative. I began my undergraduate career at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I took every class I could find in philosophy, and when there were no more to take, I packed my suitcase, hopped a Greyhound bus, and traveled to Binghamton University in upstate New York. After finishing my BA at Binghamton in 2002 I spent some time as an oblate in Mt. Saviour Monastery in Vestal, New York. From there I next journeyed to San Francisco, where I studied classical texts in a small Jesuit school for two semesters. During that time when I was not studying I worked as a "bouncer" (a job that will challenge anyone's faith in humanity) in Fisherman's Wharf.

After concluding my time studying in San Francisco I journeyed to the mountains of Colorado, where I enrolled in United States Truck Driving School and earned my class A commercial driver's license. Prior to entering graduate school I spent three years as an over-the-road truck driver, which afforded me the opportunity to make some money and see the country. What is more, it enabled me to spend 40 hours a week listening to lectures and books from nearly every field in academia: philosophy; history; economics; logic; literature; biology; physics; theology, etc. Needless to say, I covered a lot of ground during those years (forgive the pun). However, during this time I deeply missed the conversational aspect of philosophy. While driving I would often find myself so pregnant with ideas that I would call home and leave myself messages about things I wanted to think and write about when I wasn't behind the wheel. Some of this practice resulted in good material; some of it resulted in merely incoherent rambling. Finally, I knew I had to go back to school.

In 2006 I hopped out of my rig and back into the classroom as a graduate student at Purdue University. While teaching and working on my doctorate at Purdue I also studied Intensive Ancient Greek at the University of Chicago and taught ethics at Indiana University at Kokomo. While at Purdue I won a teaching award in philosophy, and during my final year I obtained a University Foundation Research Fellowship. This enabled me to finish my dissertation. In 2012 I completed my doctorate and accepted a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. My time at Wabash was a great experience, and the good people at Wabash will remain forever in my heart. While I specialize in ancient philosophy (and the philosophy of Aristotle in particular), my philosophical interests are diverse. I've taught courses in ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy; theoretical and applied ethics; the philosophy of human nature; philosophical perspectives on death and dying; and the question of ultimate meaning. I also retain strong research and teaching interests in the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of love and human sexuality.  While I love to teach and study philosophy, I love to play too. My extracurricular activities consist of professional arm wrestling, riding my motorcycle, and spending time with my family.

Research & Teaching Interests:
Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Love and Human Sexuality; Ancient Philosophy; Medieval Philosophy; Early Modern

Schedule Fall 2014:
PHIL 123-03A Philosophy of Human Nature (HM)
Days: Tuesday/Thursday
Time: 9:35-10:55am
Place: Quad 261
CRN #: 14115

HONR 250L-01A Philosophy of Human Nature (HM)
open to Honors students only
Days:  Tuesday/Thursday
Time: 11:10am-12:30pm
Place: Quad 343
CRN #: 14174

ETH 390-11A Ethics Common Seminar (ES)
Good, Evil & the Limitations of Human Nature
Days:  Mondays
Time: 6:15-9:15pm
Place: Quad 361

Schedule Spring 2015:
PHIL 331-01A Ancient Philosophy (HM)
Days: Tuesday/Thursday
Time: 12:45-2:05pm
Place: Quad 349
CRN #: 14220

ETH390-10A Ethics Common Seminar (ES)
Good, Evil & the Limitations of Human Nature
Days: Mondays
Time: 6:15-9:15pm
Place: Quad 365
CRN #: 14778

ETH390-13A Ethics Common Seminar (ES)
Good, Evil & the Limitations of Human Nature
Days: Wednesdays
Time: 6:15-9:15pm
Place: Quad 361
CRN #: 16157

 

John Houston

Quad 362E
Ph. 320-363-3310
Fax 320-363-3300
jhouston@csbsju.edu