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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Past dissertations and placement of graduates

Graduates of the doctoral program have written dissertations on a wide variety of topics. Almost all students who have received the Ph.D. in recent years have found employment teaching philosophy in a wide variety of settings. Some are working at a major research institution such as University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, University of Wisconsin, and CUNY.  Many are teaching at liberal arts colleges and at regional universities, such as Albion College, Kalazamoo College, Belmont University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and Loyola Unversity New Orleans. 

Doctorates Awarded


Ian Werkheiser
Community Epistemic Capacities for Epistemic Self-Determination in Environmental Justice and Food Sovereignty
Philosophy department, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Assistant Professor, tenure track
Jennifer Caseldine-Bracht
The Significance of Stories We Tell:  A Feminist Approach to Ethics and Development
Manchester University
Visiting Assistant Professor
Elizabeth Mauritz
Moral Economy:  Claims for the Common Good
Anna Malavisi
Global Development and Its Discontents:  Rethinking the Theory and Practice
Michigan State University


Shannon Burns Proctor
Habitual Body and the Possibility of Becoming New:  A Phenomenological Approach to Thinking about Feminist Transformation
LaGuardia Community College
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track
Ari Schick
Lessons for the Future?  Prophecy and Policy in Speculative Bioethics
initial position:  Yeshiva University, Center for Ethics, Research Scholar
current position:  Tel Aviv University, Safra Center for Ethics, Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Danielle Lake
Working With:  Expanding and Integrating the Pragmatic Method for a Wicked World
Grand Valley State University
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track
Anthony Givhan
The Role of Values in Theory Choice:  Debating Biological Race
University of Michigan-Flint


Ayesha Bhavsar
Respecting Human Dignity:  An Essential Principle of Bioethics?
initial position:  University of California Los Angeles Health System Ethics Center, Clinical Ethics Fellowship
current position:  Mount St. Mary's University
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Yuanfang Dai
From Difference to Interference:  The Transcultural Approach as an Alternative to Feminist Multiculturalism
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
International Student Advisor/Program Coordinator

Karen Meagher
A Virtue Approach to Public Health Ethics
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, D.C.
Philosopher Research Analyst


Michael Reno
Adorno and the Possibility of Practical Reason
Western Kentucky University
Visiting Assistant Professor
Samuel Williams
From Oppression to Democracy


John Ouko
Human Rights as Ideology
Albion College

Alison Reiheld
Rightly or for Ill: The Ethics of Remembering and Forgetting                           
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Department of Philosophy
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Dominic Sisti
The Concept of Mental Disorder: A Pragmatic Proposal
University of Pennsylvania Senior Fellow, Center for Bioethics; Project Director, The Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health


Noel Boyle
Physicalism and Qualitative Facts: A Critique of Frank Jackson
Belmont University, Department of Philosophy
Nashville, Tennesee
Assistant Professor, Tenured

Lisa Campo-Engelstein
Contraceptive Responsibility: Trust, Gender, and Ideology
initial position:  Post-doctorate Fellow, Feinberg  School of Medicine, Northwestern University
current position:  Albany Medical College, Alden March Bioethics Institute
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

J. Eric Lambert

Mutual Recognition and Social Conflict
initial position:  Visisting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Kalamazoo College
Kwang-su Mok
Development Ethics as Recognition
initial position:  Konkuk University, South Korea
current position:  Geosang National University (South Korea)
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track


Anna Gotlib

Identity, Illness and the Normativity of Stories
initial position:  Binghamton University (SUNY), Department of Philosophy, Assistant Professor, Tenure Track
current position:  Brooklyn College (CUNY), Professor of Philosophy
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track
Jennifer Swindell (Blumenthal-Barby)
Respecting Autonomy in Cases of Ambivalence Regarding End of Life Decisions

Baylor College of Medicine
Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy
Houston, Texas
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track 

Sonya Charles
The Limits of Autonomy for Feminist Theory
Cleveland State University, Department of Philosophy
Associate Professor, Tenured

Maya Goldenberg

Advancing an Ethics of Evidence: A Critical Appraisal of Evidence Based Medicine and Feminist Theories of Evidence
University of Guelph, Department of Philosophy
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Rory Kraft
Virtuous Particularism
York College of Pennsylvania, Department of Philosophy
York, Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Zahra Meghani
Are Medical Theories Objective
University of Rhode Island, Department of Philosophy
Kingston, Rhode Island
Associate Professor, Tenured
Jennifer Benson
Towards a New Radical Feminist Vision: Navigating the Passage From Oppression to Freedom
Washington College, Department of Philosophy
Chestertown, Maryland
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Barry DeCoster
Towards a Pragmatic Theory of Medical Explanations of Disease
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Albany, New York
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track


Christy Rentmeester
Jaded:  Institutional Oppression and Moral Damage in Healthcare
Creighton University, Center for Health Policy & Ethics
Omaha, Nebraska
Associate Professor, Tenured


Robert Brice
Wittgenstein's New Kind of Foundationalism
Loyola University New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Kyungsuk Choi
Moral Reasoning and Justification in Medical Ethics
Catholic University
Seoul, Korea
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Heather Fieldhouse
Reconsidering the Status of Animals in Kant's Ethics
Central Michigan University, Department of Philosophy
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Kenneth Parsons
An Alternative Account of Structural Violence
Avila University, Department of Philosophy
Kansas City, Missouri
Associate Proferssor, Tenured

Allison Wolf
Beyond Justice Health Care
Simpson College, Department of Philosophy
Indianola, Iowa
Associate Professor, Tenured

Julie Aultman
Framing the Clinical and Philosophical Dimensions of Mental Disease
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Rootstown, Ohio
Associate Professor, Tenured

Sarah Jones
Meanings, Manners, and Scepticism
Northern Michigan University, Department of Philosophy
Marquette, Michigan
Assistant Professor, Tenure Track

Jason Matzke
A Pluralistic Humean Environmental Ethic:  Dealing with the Holistic-Individualistic Problem
University of Mary Washington, Department of Philosophy
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Associate Professor, Tenured