Phillip Barron

Phillip Barron

Post-Doctoral Fellow

John R. Howard Hall 229, MSC: 45

My role in the classroom is two-fold: to create an inclusive environment and then to provoke students to think critically. Much like Walter Murch, the celebrated film editor, says of the editor’s responsibility to the director, I believe that as an instructor, my role is to listen and clarify. Philosophy underwrites all other disciplines (which is why the “Ph.” in PhD stands for “philosophy”), so studying philosophy is about learning how to appreciate perplexity, how to think (and write) clearly, and how to understand complexity.


Currently, I am a post-doctoral fellow at Lewis & Clark College. I recently defended my dissertation on the metaphysics and phenomenology of personal identity to complete a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. I also have research interests in Daoism, Zen (especially nonclassical logics), philosophy of mind, sub-Saharan African philosophy (especially from Ghana), and contemporary phenomenology.


I am also a poet. As a practicing artist, I bring a healthy respect for empirical data about what communities of artists actually do - to balance out philosophers’ tendency toward armchair theorizing about art. In 2011, I founded and edited the online journal OccuPoetry, anthologizing poetry and art of the Occupy Wall Street movement.


During my free time, I love to cook, bike, read, and hike—sometimes all in the same day.

Academic Credentials

PhD 2022 in philosophy, University of Connecticut  MFA 2016 in poetry, San Francisco State University MA 2003 in philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill BA 2000 University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Spring 2023 Courses:

PHIL 103: Ethics TTH 1:50pm-3:20pm

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

Prerequisites: None.

PHIL 217: Environmental Ethics TTH 9:40am-11:10

In this course we will gain an understanding of a variety of moral concerns that arise in the study of the natural environment, climate crisis, and environmental destruction. In particular, this class focuses on whether, as individuals, we can live meaningful and responsible lives during the anthropocene*. To help us understand the issues and give us some support as to their possible resolutions, we will read, discuss, and evaluate various ethical theories. We may not, and probably will not, be able to resolve many issues, but we should at least gain a greater understanding of the issues, which should serve as beginnings to possible resolutions.

*The anthropocene epoch is an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.

Prerequisites: None.



What Comes from a Thing: poems. Fourteen Hills Press, 2015. Winner of the 2019 Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award for philosophical literature and the 2015 Michael Rubin Book Award.


Professional Experience

Previously, I have taught philosophy courses at the University of Connecticut, California State University at Sacramento, Woodland Community College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I also worked in the digital humanities at the National Humanities Center, an institute for advanced study in North Carolina, and taught digital humanities courses at the University of California, Davis.