David McPherson

Aristotle wrote that philosophy begins with wonder. This is no doubt true. However, another way to put it, which more accurately captures my own experience, is that philosophy begins with being perturbed and perplexed by certain fundamental questions that are of great significance for how one lives his or her life. Like many philosophers, I felt compelled to study philosophy because there were burning questions for which I had to pursue answers as far as possible: for example, questions about the meaning of life, the nature of the human person, the nature and objectivity of ethics, the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, and so on. But these questions are certainly not the province of academic philosophers alone. Rather, they are profoundly human questions that arise naturally for us in our everyday ways of relating to the world, to others, and to our selves. The capacity to ask and be concerned with these questions is part of what is distinctive about human life. In my teaching I start from the assumption that students are already at least inchoate philosophers - philosophers in the making - insofar as they live some answers to fundamental questions about the world and their place within it and insofar as they reflect on their answers to some degree. The task of philosophy then, as I see it, is to engage in explicit and systematic rational reflection about such fundamental questions and to critically analyze our own answers to them so that we can develop a more enriched understanding of the world and our place within it.

Apart from teaching, reading, and writing, I enjoy spending time with my wife Kirstin and our daughter Clare, who was born at the end of November 2012. Kirstin and I also enjoy playing American and Irish folk music.

Research & Teaching Interests: Ethics (Theoretical & Applied); Meaning of Life; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Human Nature; Philosophy in Literature; Social & Political Philosophy; and History of Philosophy.

Schedule Spring 2014:

PHIL 125-01A Social Philosophy(HM)
Days: Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Time:  11:30am-12:25pm
Location:  Quad 339
CRN #:  15847

ETHS 390-06A Ethics Common Seminar (ES)
Food, Sex and the Good Life
Days: Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Time:  12:40-1:35pm
Place:  Quad 353
CRN #: 15858

ETHS 390-07A Ethics Common Seminar (ES)
Food, Sex and the Good Life
Days:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Time: 1:50-2:45 pm
Place:  Quad 341
CRN #: 14781

David McPherson will begin teaching in the Philosophy Department at Creighton University beginning in August of 2014.