Colin Patrick

Colin Patrick

Visiting Assistant Professor

In my view philosophy is not only a body of written work but primarily the practice of carefully, honestly, and systematically interrogating settled assumptions about ourselves, our history, and our natural and social world. I think the value of these things is often overlooked and even downplayed in our information-saturated culture, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and somewhat hesitant and disempowered to do our own thinking, encouraged to trust what we hear and read from those with the biggest platforms or loudest voices, and otherwise leave critical thinking to the “experts.”

In my courses I seek more than anything to empower students to push back against this, to be confident in their capacity to recognize arguments and inferences when they come across them, to build confidence in their ability to critically appraise them, to be able to draw out the logical implications of viewpoints and arguments - especially those that they’re under any kind of pressure to accept as “common sense,” and to construct inferences and arguments of their own.

Academic Credentials

BA from Wesleyan University, 1998
PhD from the University of Chicago, 2012


Spring 2022 Courses:

PHIL 103: Ethics
MWF 11:30-12:30pm

Fundamental issues in moral philosophy and their application to contemporary life.

Prerequisites: None

PHIL 217: Computer Ethics
TTH 9:40-11:10pm

Introduces students to philosophy through a specific theme or topic. Students investigate how philosophy is represented and enacted in a specific area as well as by participating in its enactment. Possible topics include philosophy and existentialism, philosophy and Latin America, philosophy and literature, philosophy and race, gender, class.

Prerequisites: None.


My research and teaching interests are in ethical theory, applied ethics, practical reason, deductive and inductive logic, Hegelian dialectics, Marx, philosophy of history, philosophy of technology, and philosophy of film.

Location: J.R. Howard Hall