Research

Who We Are and What We Do

The members of the Philosophy Department have a wide range of philosophical interests. Here is a sampling from our full-time faculty.

  • Peter Caws, University Professor of Philosophy, is a leading scholar of the French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and has written numerous books and articles on many other topics.
  • Paul Churchill specializes in human rights and global justice.  He is presently co-authoring, with M.A. student Sarah Holmes, a book on honor killing to be publish by Oxford University Press.
  • Another senior colleague, David DeGrazia, is known for his writings on a wide range of topics, including personal identity, the moral status of animals, and contemporary topics in bioethics.
  • Gail Weiss's research brings together feminist phenomenology, existential literature, critical race theory, and disability studies to address contemporary ethical and socio-political issues concerning human embodiment. Her publications include several books and edited/co-edited volumes as well as articles and book chapters that focus on the intersubjective dimensions of corporeality. Her work draws a major source of inspiration from 20th century French philosophers, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir.  
  • Jeff Brand's review of F. M. Kamm's Bioethical Prescriptions: To Create, End, Choose, and Improve Lives (Oxford, 2013) appeared recently in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.
  • Tad Zawidzki, currently chair of the department, has his newest book, Mindshaping: The Linchpin of the Socio-Cognitive Syndrome and continues his collaborative research with colleagues in Communications and Hominid Paleobiology. Together they have established a new Center for Mind Brain and Evolution at GW. 
  •  Michèle Friend is a philosopher of mathematics who has published two books in that area. She also works on philosophy of science and philosophy of the environment.
  • Our junior faculty are also active scholars. Eric Saidel, who also specializes in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of biology, is completing a scholarly monograph, Learning from Our Mistakes.  Laura Papish, Vanessa Wills, and Avery Archer are currently publishing, as well.  
  • Mark Ralkowski and Joseph Trullinger hold shared positions with the University Honors Program.  Joseph has written several articles about Kant's philosophy of religions.  His most recent essays have focused on the continuity between Post-Kantian theories of religion and the critical social thought of Herbert Marcuse.