Professor of Philosophy
Director of Philosophy
Department Vice Chair
PhD, Philosophy (1982), Indiana University
MA, Philosophy (1977), Indiana University
BA, Philosophy and Government (1974), Colby College
I began my career working primarily in the history of analytic philosophy and logic. I was particularly interested in the theory of logic found in Russell’s and Wittgenstein’s work. I am still working in this area, but for the last twenty years I have done more of my research in early modern philosophy, particularly the rationalists of the seventeenth century. Mostly I have worked on the theories of ideas, perception and causation developed in this period. While my research has been primarily in the history of these areas, I am interested in contemporary theories in all these areas as well.
My main teaching areas are logic, philosophy of science, and early modern philosophy. In the past I frequently taught epistemology and twentieth-century philosophy and I hope to be able to do that again. Most of my teaching at Idaho State has been in introductory courses. In these courses we often find students who have never had any exposure to philosophy and are then quite taken by the richness of the field and the benefits that come with careful thinking.
I did my graduate work at Indiana University under Romane Clark. Nino Cocchiarella, Mike Dunn and Alberto Coffa were also members of my committee and people from which I learned a great deal. I taught at Wabash College in Indiana for five years before coming to Idaho State University in 1985. Since 1995 I have been director of the Philosophy Program here.
“The Axiom of Reducibility.” Russell, NS Vol. 31 No. 1, 63-80, Summer 2011.
“Occasionalism, Laws and General Will.” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 19 No. 2, 219-240, March, 2011.
“Port- Royal: The Stirrings of Modernity.” Handbook of the History of Logic Vol. II Mediaeval and Renaissance Logic, ed. Gabbay and Woods. Elsevier, 2008.
“‘On Denoting’ and the Principle of Acquaintance.” Russell, Vol. 27, no. 1, Summer 2007.
“Occasional Causes.” Explanation and Causation. (Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol 4) ed. Cambell and O'Rourke. MIT Press, 2007.
“Malebranche: The Senses, Representation and the Material World.” Perception and Reality: Descartes to the Present, Schumacher, ed. Paderborn: Mentis Verlag, 2004.
“Representation and Resemblance.” Philosophies of Classical France, Elmarsafy, ed. Berlin: Weidler Buchverlag, 2001.
“Colour: Physical or Phenomenal.” (with Jonathan Westphal) Philosophy, Vol. 73, no. 284, April 1998.
“The Port Royal Logic.” Historical Antecedents to Informal Logic, Walton and Brinton, eds., London: Avebury Press, 1997.
“How Can What I Perceive Be True?” History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 12 No. 2, April 1995, reprinted in Descartes, Sorell, ed., London: Ashgate, 1999.
“Impossible Propositions and the Forms of Objects in Wittgenstein's Tractatus.” The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol 15, No. 179, April 1995.
“Russell's Theory of Meaning and Denotation and ‘On Denoting.’” Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 31, No. 1, January 1993.
“Descartes, Leibniz and Berkeley on Whether We Can Dream Marks of the Waking State.” (with Jonathan Westphal), Studia Leibnitiana, Vol. 24, No. 2, 1992.
“The Arnauld Malebranche Controversy and Descartes' Ideas.” Monist Vol. 71, No. 4, Oct. 1988, reprinted in Port Royal to Bayle, Essays on Early Modern Philosophers, Vol. 4, V. Chappell, ed., Garland, 1992.
“Some Consequences of Possibilism.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 65, No. 4, Dec. 1987.
“Bertrand Russell's Theory of Judgment.” Synthese, Vol. 68. No. 3. Sept. 1986.
Distinguished Researcher, ISU, 2009
Master Researcher, ISU, 1994
Outstanding Service, ISU, 1998
- 4490: Philosophy Seminar: Descartes and Cartesians; Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
- 4470/5570: Symbolic Logic
- 4460/5560: Theory of Knowledge
- 4430/5530: Philosophy of Science
- 3353: Philosophy of Law
- 3315: History of Philosophy: Early Modern Philosophy
- 1103: Introduction to Logic
- 1101: Introduction to Philosophy
- Advanced Logic (Formal Semantics and Set Theory)
- American Philosophy
- Contemporary Analytical Philosophy
- Greek Philosophy
- Medieval Philosophy
- 17th-Century Philosophy
921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8056
Pocatello, ID 83209-8056
Office: LA 253
Office Phone: 282-2392