Associate Professor of Philosophy Emeritus
- Philosophy and The Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science
- College or School
- College of Arts & Letters
- Year of Emeritus Status 2008
B.A., Oberlin College; M.A., Ph.D. (Philosophy), Yale University
I arrived at Notre Dame in the fall of 1966 directly from graduate school to take up an assistant professorship in the Department of Philosophy. In June, 2008 after 42 years on the faculty I took “early” retirement from the University. I have found no reason to regret either decision. I had wonderful colleagues, excellent students, and the freedom and encouragement to pursue a variety of academic challenges in my teaching, research, and writing. As an undergraduate, I was fascinated by issues in psychology and the philosophy of mind; as a graduate student I added serious interests in the philosophy of science. My career has combined these interests in an attempt to better understand the various kinds of knowledge the “human” sciences are capable of producing, given the distinctive methodological challenges they confront. One result of this work is the volume, Causality in Crisis? Statistical Methods and the Search for Causal Knowledge in the Social Sciences (eds. Vaughn McKim and Stephen Turner).
Beyond research, writing, teaching, and dissertation directing, I actively pursued other channels through which to improve and facilitate the academic experience of our students. I served for many years as Director of Graduate Studies in the Philosophy Department, and later chaired and directed the University’s independent doctoral program in History and Philosophy of Science. In between, I served as chair of the Faculty Senate, and became founding director of a new, multidisciplinary undergraduate program: Science, Technology, and Values. I also had the opportunity to teach at, and later to direct, Notre Dame’s large undergraduate Study Abroad Program in London, England.