The Department of Philosophy is fortunate to have on its faculty experts in a broad range of philosophical topics. All the traditional areas of philosophy, as well as several major sub-specialties, are represented. The following list of the department members will tell you a bit about us.
NOELL BIRONDO, Assistant Professor
304 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Ethics, Metaethics, and Ancient Greek Philosophy
Professor Birondo joined the department in the Fall of 2013, having taught previously at the University of Rochester, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests lie in ethical theory, in ancient Greek philosophy, and in their intersection: for instance in ethical naturalism and eudaimonistic conceptions of the virtues of character.
Some of his publications can be found here.
KATHERINE BRADFIELD, Fairmount Lecturer
Office: 107 Fiske
B.A. Philosophy 1993, Wichita State University; M.A. Philosophy 2001, Washington University in St. Louis.
Areas of interest: Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, John Locke
Ms. Bradfield teaches Introductory Logic and Introduction to Philosophy. Her research aims to understand the psychology of emotions and moods in a way that informs philosophical theories of mind.
SUSAN CASTRO, Assistant Professor
B.A. Mathematics--Applied Science, Specialization in Computing, 1993, University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles 2006.
306 Fiske Hall
Dr. Castro is engaged in researching the family of phenomena involved in acting or cognizing as if, in contexts ranging from idealizations in science to imagination in autism to Immanuel Kant’s peculiar moral imperative to act as if your maxim were to become by your will a universal law of nature. Her research is centered in Kant scholarship, but informed by current science with a broadly interdisciplinary aim. Recent projects include:
She is currently working on a book detailing the architectonic structure of the argument laid out in Kant's critical philosophy, using Kant’s lectures on logic and other antecedent resources to better understand how to establish a metaphysics of morals as a non-empirical science. Professor Castro regularly teaches Late Modern Philosophy, Metaethics, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Feminism, Philosophy of the Arts, and Business Ethics. She is co-sponsor of the WSU Philosophy Society, a student organization for anyone interested in philosophy.
ROBERT FELEPPA, Professor
Ph.D. Washington University (1978)
104 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Philosophy of Social Science, Metaethics, and Comparative Philosophy, with current emphasis on the comparison of Asian and Western thought and culture.
Professor Feleppa has been at WSU since 1980. In 2001 he received the college's John R. Barrier Distinguished Teaching Award; in 2004 he was promoted to full Professor. Dr. Feleppa is working on a series of papers in Philosophy of Social Science. Click here for Dr. Feleppa's cv.
JEREMY GALLEGOS, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Purdue (2002)
100 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Ethics; Social and Political Philosophy; Philosophy of Law; Eastern thought; and Existentialism and Phenomenology.
Professor Gallegos earned his B.A. in Philosophy at Wichita State University in 1995. He received his M.A. (1998) and Ph.D. (2002) in Philosophy at Purdue University. He has delivered papers at the Hume Society, the Merleau-Ponty Circle, and the World Congress of Philosophy, the last of which was included in the online published proceedings. Outside of the academic arena, he has delivered "Ethical Issues for Bankers" seminars in Austin, Texas and conducted presentations at the Wesley Medical Center's Ethics Committee where he is also community member. Currently, he also teaches organizational behavior, leadership, and corporate governance at another university full time.
BRIAN HEPBURN, Assistant Professor
BASc, Physics and Philosophy, 1999, University of Lethbridge. PhD, History and Philosophy of Science, 2007, University of Pittsburgh. Postdoctoral Fellow: University of British Columbia 2007-2011; Aarhus University (Denmark) 2011-2014.
Professor Hepburn's current research interests are scientific explanation, problem solving and innovation, particularly all three in interdisciplinary contexts. His dissertation was on how the concept of equilibrium was used in explanations in 18th century physics, and how this usage was connected to mathematical changes. He continues to work on an historical and philosophical picture of how the descriptive and explanatory resources we have available contribute to the problems we can solve. Especially interesting is when resources from different domains (whether scientific or not) can be integrated in some way. He hopes to use these insights to inform education in Science Literacy and Science Proficiency.
JEFFREY HERSHFIELD, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Arizona (1992)
307 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Sex and Love
Professor Hershfield is faculty advisor to the Pre-law Student Association.
XIUFEN LU, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Kansas (2000)
306 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Ancient Chinese Philosophy, Social/Political Philosophy, Feminism, and Ethics
Professor Lu earned a B.A. in English from the Beijing Second Institute of Foreign Languages, an M.A. in Philosophy and Women's Studies from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas. Her current research interests include Classical Chinese philosophy, Euro-American feminist theories and their relation to Third World women, and Marxism and its impact on Chinese society.
A.J. MANDT, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Vanderbilt University (1978)
Fiske Hall 210
Areas of Interest: 19th Century Philosophy; Continental Philosophy; Philosophy of Culture
B.A., 1972, Trinity College (Hartford, CT); M.A., 1974, Ph.D., 1978, Vanderbilt University. Professor Mandt's special area of interest is philosophy of culture, a focus which has grown out of his original interests in German Idealism and the history of philosophy. Jay Mandt has recently returned to the department full-time after 14 years as WSU's Honors director. He's the author of numerous articles on topics in German philosophy and philosophy of culture and more recently has written about Honors education. He's a fan of science fiction, and taught an Honors seminar on it several times in recent years. He's also interested in military history, and developed an Honors seminar on that too. He's an avid gardener, and active in his condo community, where he's now supervising the building of a new community clubhouse and learning all sorts of things about architecture, plumbing systems, and swimming pool design.
DAY RADEBAUGH, Visiting Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Philosophy, The Johns Hopkins University (1983)
M.S., Computer Science, George Washington University (1990)
003A Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy of Mind
Professor Radebaugh received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University in 1983 and an M.S. in Computer Science from the George Washington University in 1991. He served as Assistant Director of the Information Resources Division at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC until 2001. Areas of specialization include ethical issues in computing and engineering, philosophy and history of technology, and information-processing theories of cognitive behavior.
JAMES SCHWARTZ, Fairmount Lecturer
Dr. Schwartz (Ph.D./M.A. Wayne State University; B.A. Michigan State University) joined the department in the Fall of 2014, having taught previously at Wayne State University and Oakland University. His main areas of research are philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, and applied ethics (including environmental ethics). His work in philosophy of mathematics focuses on the mathematical existence debate, emphasizing naturalist and nominalist perspectives on mathematical existence. He also actively pursues an interdisciplinary project on the ethics of space exploration, which has points of contact with science policy, social/political philosophy, and environmental ethics. Dr. Schwartz's publications have appeared in Environmental Ethics, Ethics & the Environment, Space Policy, and in Springer’s Space and Society series. Click here for Dr. Schwartz's CV, papers, etc.
DAVID SOLES, Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. The Johns Hopkins University (1977)
100 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: History of Philosophy, with emphasis in Epistemology
Professor David Soles received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University. His primary areas of research and teaching are in the History of Philosophy, especially Modern European and Classical Chinese Philosophy. He has published numerous articles in the areas of Early Modern Philosophy and Classical Chinese Philosophy, and is currently working on a book project on Locke. He has received the Mortar Board Educator Appreciation Award, the George A. Lewis Teaching Award, the John R. Barrier Distinguished Teaching Award, The Wichita State University Leadership in the Advancement of Teaching Award, the Wichita State University Excellence in Teaching Award, and The Presidents Distinguished Service Award. He also has been selected as an Emory Lindquist Honors Society Mentor several times. Dr. Soles served as President of the SOUTHWESTERN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY from 2003-05. When not studying or teaching philosophy he enjoys gardening, hiking, fly fishing in the Rockies and riding his horse named Jilly. Click here for Dr. Soles's cv.
DEBORAH HANSEN SOLES, Professor
Ph.D. The Johns Hopkins University (1975)
308 Fiske Hall
Areas of Interest: Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, Philosophy of Logic; currently working on Donald Davidson on objectivity and belief.
Professor Deborah Soles routinely teaches Introductory Logic, and is responsible for Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Logic, Theory of Knowledge, Analytic Philosophy, and offers special courses such as seminars on Davidson and Wittgenstein. Professor Soles received her B.A. from George Washington University and her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. She has been teaching continuously at WSU since 1975. Her major research area is the philosophy of language and adjacent topics in epistemology and logic, and she has published work on both historical and contemporary treatments of these topics. Currently she working on a book on Donald Davidson's epistemology. [click here for Dr. Soles's cv.] Since coming to WSU she has taught some dozen and a half different courses. She has served several times as an Emory Lindquist Honors program mentor, as a McNair program mentor, in 1999 was awarded the college's John R. Barrier Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2008 was awarded the University Excellence in Teaching Award. In 1998 she received the President's Award for Distinguished Service to WSU. Dr. Soles is a Past President of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, and served as President of the Faculty Senate in 2009-2010. She is the advisor for the undergraduate Philosophy Society.
SUSAN G. STERRETT, Curtis D. Gridley Distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
Areas of Interest: Philosophy of Science, History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, Analytic Philosophy.
Courses taught at WSU include: Science and the Modern World, Minds and Machines (Honors), Engineering Ethics.
Susan G. Sterrett joined the department in the Fall of 2013, after having taught at Duke University, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Sterrett has a B. S. degree in engineering science from Cornell University, and an M.A. in Mathematics, M.A. Philosophy, and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.
Research: "My area of specialization is philosophy of science, broadly construed. Much of my work concerns models and analogical reasoning in some way, whether in engineering, physics, geophysics, biology (Darwin), or artificial intelligence. One of my contributions has been to argue for the significance of the concepts of physical similarity and physically similar systems, already recognized as important in science and engineering, to philosophy of science. I use both historical and analytical approaches -- often together.
Besides the major works on analogical reasoning, models and modeling: I've published a group of papers on Alan Turing and natural and artificial intelligence. In an advanced undergraduate interdisciplinary textbook on logic, I presented and discussed alternatives to classical logic that are valuable in automated reasoning systems faced with inconsistent information. Overall, I have published widely on the history and philosophy of science, of technology, and of engineering methodologies."
Click here for Dr. Sterrett's webpage