Jean Keller, Ph.D.

I became a philosophy major at Boston College for two main reasons:

  1. To graduate with an English major (the other option I was considering) I would have to take a semester of poetry. I wasn't sure I had the stamina to make it through an entire semester of poetry.
  2.  I was keenly interested in understanding the hows and whys of the world around me-and I saw philosophy, with its relentless questioning of the fundamental presuppositions of every conceivable area of knowledge, as providing me with the best avenue to approaching such an understanding.

I still consider myself more of a student of philosophy than a teacher of it, and I enjoy exploring with my students a wide range of issues and topics ranging from ethical and political theory, to feminism, racism, ethics of the family and of the environment. Ethics is the thread that ties together my disparate interests-I'm keenly interested in that most basic philosophical question of how should we live together.

My professional writing has always been grounded in my life experiences and has primarily focused on the ethics of interpersonal relationships.  I've published articles on friendship, autonomy, motherhood, adoption, care ethics, and teaching men's studies. Most recently I've been working on a series of essays exploring Sara Ruddick's landmark book, Maternal Thinking, from the perspective of adoption, to see what this perspective can tell us about the goals of maternal practice.

My personal interests include bicycling, walking, gardening, canoeing, studying Korean, and travel and I'm thrilled that my children are getting to be old enough to do these activities with me.

Research & Teaching Interests:  Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Ethics and the Family, Adoption

Schedule Fall 2020:

PHIL 325-01A Feminist Ethics (ES, GE)
Block D, 1:30-4:30pm, Quad 447
CRN # 13170

GEND 380-01A Approaches to Gender Theory (GE, HM)
Block B, 1:30-4:30pm, Quad 341
CRN # 13514