Department of Philosophy faculty, support staff, and graduate students

Offices (staff and faculty): 3d floor, MacKinnon Building, in the wing closest to the Library. How to find the Department of Philosophy

Mail: Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1

Phone (department secretary): (519) 824–4120 × 53272

Current faculty (Emeritus and former faculty)

Our faculty are active in many areas of philosophical research. Some have formed research groups to further their research on connected topics:
Feminist Philosophy Research Group   Philosophy of Science Research Group   Political Philosophy Research Group

Andrew Bailey, Associate Professor — Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics & Epistemology

Don Dedrick, Associate Professor (cross-appointed to the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science) — Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Psychology

Monique Deveaux, Professor, CRC in Ethics & Global Social Change — Political Philosophy, Ethics

Kenneth Dorter, Professor (retired but still active in teaching and research) — Ancient Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy

Peter Eardley, Associate Professor  — Medieval Philosophy, Ethics

Karyn Freedman, Associate Professor — Epistemology, Feminist Philosophy

Maya Goldenberg, Associate Professor (cross-appointed to Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Program) — Philosophy of Medicine, Feminist Philosophy of Science)

John Hacker-Wright, Associate Professor — Metaphysics of Value, Political Philosophy

Karen Houle, Professor  — Political Philosophy, Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Stefan Linquist, Associate Professor — Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Mind

Mark McCullagh, Associate Professor and Department Chair — Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind

Omid A. Payrow Shabani, Professor — Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Theory

John Russon, Professor — Phenomenology, Ancient Philosophy

Patricia Sheridan, Associate Professor — Early Modern Philosophy, Early Modern Women Philosophers

Andrew Wayne, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator — Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science

Karen Wendling, Associate Professor — Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics

Sessional Instructors (Winter 2017)

Departmental support staff

Pam Armitage, Administrative Secretary to the Chair

Janet Thackray, Department/Graduate Secretary

Current MA students

Sofian Aouamri

Yanis Aouamri
My main interests are located in Existentialism and Phenomenology. More specifically, I am exploring Albert Camus' thought and applying it to  questions of personal identity and politics.  

Mahdi Dadgarialamdari
Generally my interest area is political philosophy but global justice and sustainable peace and development are my specific topics on which I want to work. These are some questions in my mind: Is sustainable global peace and justice achievable without having a kind of globalized governance? And if no, is it possible to think about such governance in this multicultural world? What is the starting point for reaching this goal? For analyzing these questions I will try contribute to the works of John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas and other great figures of the subject.

Thomas Doerksen
I am interested in the philosophy of science, including such topics as scientific explanation, scientific paradigms (à la Kuhn), and how science shapes metaphysics.

Sahand Farivar

Michael Furac
[to come]

Thomas Howell
I’ve been reading philosophers and fiction writers who deal with nature—Spinoza, Bergson, Deleuze & Guattari, Coetzee—and generally want to get deeper into the history of philosophy.

Marian Kelly
My main areas of interest are in social and political philosophy, applied ethics and development ethics. More specifically, I am interested in poverty and inequality, social and economic policy, health equity and the social determinants of health. For my MA project, I am interested in investigating how societies ought to respond to changes taking place in the workplace and labour market in the 21st century, particularly related to increasing ‘casualization’ and ‘flexibilization’ of labour, economic restructuring and the rise of technological unemployment.

Mary King
My areas of interest are aesthetics and ethics. I am particularly interested in how they interact with the experience and production of space and spatiality. With these concepts in mind, I am specifically exploring the exclusion and alienation experienced by certain groups in artistic communities. I am considering theories from post-structuralism, urban/critical geography (Harvey, Massey) and critical theorists. Other significant people of interest for this project include Kant, Lefebvre, and Bourdieu.

Ritika Pal
My area of interest is philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I intend to conduct a detailed research on consciousness. I’m also looking into panpsychism as a viable theory of consciousness. Among others, the works of David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, Christof Koch, William Seager and John Searle have piqued my interest. My second area of interest is ethics.

Josh Rosenberg

Lucelle Schmitz
My area of interest rests somewhere in between existential phenomenology and the philosophy of mind. My research intends to start with Edmund Husserl’s development of horizon as a pivot in order to locate the inner revolution fundamental in disclosing notions of perception, (self)consciousness, (inter)subjectivity, autonomy and interiority, all of which point to, or at least I suspect point to, profound qualities in determining humanness. Such research hopes to address twenty-first century questions such as: Is there still a value to a rising human population vis-à-vis the rapid growth of current technology? And/or Is humanness still a thing? Thinkers I engage with include (but are not limited to) Plato, Augustine of Hippo, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Edmund Husserl, Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, Etienne Gilson, Bernard Lonergan S.J., Kenneth L. Schmitz and David Chalmers.

Denis Tsarev
I have two main areas of interests: 1) Classical liberal and enlightenment political philosophy, utilitarian ethics and philosophy of history (concepts of freedom, state of nature and social progress), (Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Bentham, Hegel, Mill, Comte, Hayek, Nozick, Fukuyama etc.), and 2) scepticist empiricist epistemology and philosophy of mind, including Bacon, Berkeley, Locke, Hume, Kant, Mill, Schopenhauer and others.

James Vander Zaag
I am interested in the relationship between self and world, and the ways that they shape and constitute one another. To explore this relationship I’d like to draw from a range of thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Levinas.

Tiger Zheng
My main research interest is moral philosophy, and, in particular, neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. I hope to explore a development of the theory that takes into consideration an interpretive aspect of virtue instantiation and how this may be influenced by our situated identities. I am also keenly interested in the application of the approach to applied areas; especially environmental and medical ethics.

Current PhD Students

Brent Ables
My primary research interests are German Idealism and poststructuralism. I'm specifically interested in Deleuze's thought insofar as it both challenges and offers an alternative to Hegel's Logic. Ancient Greek thought is a secondary interest.

Shannon Buckley
My research looks at the concept of dignity and how it is used, misused, understood and misunderstood in the health care context. I am particularly interested in how respect for dignity occurs (or does not occur) in the context of relationships such as the nurse-patient relationship. The term dignity is used in many different contexts, for example it is used in most human rights documents, yet exactly what dignity is and where it comes from and why we have it is poorly theorized.

Thomas Campbell

Orsolya Csaszar
I am working on a feminist philosophy of science project. My supervisor is Prof. Karen Houle, and my second reader is Prof. Stefan Linquist. My thesis takes a critical feminist lens to explanations of human rape behaviours, more specifically with regards to evolutionary explanations. In my research, I am appealing to Foucault's archaeological method in order to analyze evolutionary textbooks. My aim is to demonstrate how these explanations contribute to, and propagate, rape culture. 

Rachel Elliott
My interests are in the relationship between body language/gesture and music. I'm looking into the way that our everyday embodied habits influence our experience of music and vice versa. I want to understand temporal arts like music as also containing spatial and visual dimensions. I wonder where the body is in music that involves "new technologies": they tend to streamline the process of music making and reception such that the body might seem to disappear altogether. I'm also excited about the idea of a collective body, and related questions about psychic investment and identification.

Cameron Fioret
My research interests concern applied ethics and political philosophy. Specifically, I’m interested in issues of ownership and property, commodification, and distributive justice concerning natural resources. Should naturally occurring necessities for life, like water, be considered common property and commonly owned? Is it impermissible to commodify water? What is the most efficient, yet just, form of ownership of natural necessities? Such questions are the aim of my research.

Vedran Grahovac
I work on the strategy of circularity in Husserl, with the special focus on Logical Investigations and Husserl’s treatment of time and judgment in his late writings. I suggest that the strategy of circularity can be traced throughout Husserl’s corpus and it provides us with the possibility for the new understanding of Husserl’s relation with his early and late critics. My interest also lies in the exploration of the methodological proximity between Husserl and the authors such as Levinas, Merleau-Ponty and Patočka, and the similarity between Husserl’s and Kant’s treatment of categoriality and ideal lawfulness. I am co-editor of and contributor to The Subject(s)of Phenomenology: New Approaches to Husserl with Iulian Apostolescu and Philippe Haensler (forthcoming for Springer, March 2017, in Contributions to Phenomenology series) and I was director and an organizer of the conference “Husserl and the Phenomenological Tradition” together with Jeff Mitscherling and Aaron Massecar (/arts/philosophy/events/2014/husserl_conference).

Joshua Grant-Young
My primary research interests include: built-environments (biodomes, aquariums), architectural theory & post-Nature environmental philosophy. My secondary interests (broadly) include: aesthetics, Philosophy of Science, place-based ethics, political theory & posthumanism.

Daniel Griffin
My research interests include German Idealism (especially Hegel), philosophy of language, and philosophical methodology.

Doug Halls
My research areas are Phenomenology, philosophy of nature and animality, philosophy of history and ancient philosophy.

Jeannette Hicks
My work is situated at the intersection of philosophical aesthetics and contemporary art. My current research explores the implicit historicity of artistic practice sustained by the concept of the avant-garde, with particular attention to the discourse of critical rupture and political emancipation in contemporary participatory art and social practice. Key thinkers include Foucault, Ranciere, and Merleau-Ponty.

Kyle Johnston

Christopher Jordan-Stevens
I am interested in developing a realistic idealism, which rejects the dualistic notions of "extra-mental" and "mental." I will argue that the formal structures of the world and the mind are the same; nature and thought are both rationally informed. In this respect, thought contains, in itself, the conditions for understanding and knowing all possible worlds.

Marie-Pier Lemay
I am undertaking a collaborative PhD program with the International Development Studies department and I work at the intersection of feminist philosophy, development studies, and global justice literature. I aim to write my dissertation on empowerment and solidarity through a feminist lens. I am also very interested in theories focusing on the capabilities approach, multiculturalism, and feminist moral psychology (e.g. agency and adaptive preferences).

Veronica Majewski
My research examines the way(s) in which the role of listening is absent or under-theorized in deliberative democratic theory, the harms caused by its absence, and whether giving listening a central role in political life can help deliberative democracy respond to the concerns on its critics.

April Marratto

Pat McHugh
I work mainly in metaphysics and the philosophy of nature, with concentrations on dialectical logic, anthropic and teleological problems, natural theology, the nature(s) of time and space, the nature of quantum collapse and the (possible) reciprocal relation of it and experience/consciousness, asymmetrical versus symmetrical systems and relations, and the works of G.W.F. Hegel, A.N. Whitehead, G. Deleuze, C. Hartshorne, W. James, C.S. Peirce, J. Royce, Spinoza, Leibniz, E. Harris, and Plato.

Robert Minatel
[to come]

Kyle Novak
My focus will be in continental political thought. More specifically, I’m interested in questions about political subjectivity especially in relation to existing and possible democratic systems. Subfields I want to continue to research include phenomenology, critical theory, and biopolitics.

Rebecca Olivier
I am studying conflicting concepts of empathy in neuroscience, contemporary ethics, and eighteenth century thought.

Ilknur Ozalli
My study explores the inter-subjective act in ethical philosophy. I want to understand how our state of minds and our daily habits influence our experience of ethical expectations from others. I mainly focus on the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas.

Patricia Pajunen
My main areas of interest are Philosophy of Mind and Stoicism. However, my plan is to further develop and broaden my MA research essay on active hoping. How active hoping is promoted and used in medical, psychological, and political discourse influences physical and mental care as well as legislation. Doctor-assisted death as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and Recommendations are two big topics I would like to look at through the lens of hope. I have two broad questions that I plan to explore possible answers to: How does active hoping help and how does active hoping hinder?

Bryan Richard
My philosophical work is sustained by the basic phenomenological/existential conviction that the meaningful individual human life is always more than itself. To riff off the great Miles Davis, it seems one is always called on to 'play what's not there.' I am primarily concerned with how this can be rationally articulated at the intersection of metaphysical and moral questions. To do this, I draw on the Ancients (who saw that such a task cannot be divorced from how you live), Hegel and Heidegger (who teach me to see connections), and Kant (from whom I learn the philosophical importance of carefully drawn dividing lines).

Curtis Robinson

Christina Storfa