Stephen Wagner, Ph.D.

My path to teaching philosophy was a gradual one. After doing most of my undergraduate work in math, I became interested in logic and then in other areas of philosophy. After college, I continued my work with math, teaching at the high school and junior high school levels. But I also needed to pursue my interest in philosophy, so I started graduate studies while teaching. In my study of epistemology, I found a passion for the philosophy of Descartes. This spark led to my Ph.D. dissertation and to my further research. My interest in Descartes has continued to the present day, in a project of offering a new reading of his Meditations. That interest has expanded to the study of the other philosophers of the early modern period, especially Spinoza and Hume. I also have a deep interest in Moral Philosophy, which was motivated in part by my discovery of the ideas of Albert Camus. I think that his literary and philosophical work, as well as the events of his life, offer us an inspiring model for integrating a wide range of moral views into a comprehensive picture of the good life.

I came to Minnesota after living my entire life New York City. The shock did not wear off until I met my wife, Kaarin, who teaches theater here at CSB/SJU. We share our beautiful home with our cat, Timmy, and with my collection of jazz records and cd’s. I am still hoping to become a great jazz saxophone player.

Teaching & Research Interests: Moral and Modern Philosophy, Descartes

Steve Wagner retired from teaching at the conclusion of the 2018/19 school year