Joel Martinez

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Philosophy

John R. Howard Hall 231, MSC: 45

“My aim in teaching is to express to the students how puzzling and interesting the everyday world is. We talk about morality, the external world, social institutions and other minds every day. However, philosophical reflection shows us that when we use these everyday ideas we do so in ways that are loaded with assumptions and involve commitments or implications we do not always notice. Philosophy is practical, important, and also just plain interesting.”

I graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Arizona in 2006. In my dissertation Livability, Education and the Aims of Moral Theory, I argued that philosophers interested in ethics can and should take moral education to be a central aim of moral theorizing. My subsequent research has focused on the development of Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology.  My publications have appeared in The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Apeiron, Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, and An Anthology of Philosophical Studies (ATINER).  My interests include Virtue Ethics, 19th Century Philosophy (particularly the development of Utilitarianism), and the Philosophy of Education.

I am honored to have received the 2010 Arnold L. and Lois S. Graves Award, administered by Pomona College and the American Council of Learned Societies.

During my free time, I like to hike with my dog in the forests surrounding Portland.

Academic Credentials

PhD 2006 University of Arizona, BA 1997 New Mexico State University


Fall 2021 Courses:

PHIL 250: Philosophical Methods
MWF 9:10-10:10am

Some of the main methods, concepts, distinctions, and areas of systematic philosophical inquiry. Including basic tools for argument, such as validity, soundness, probability, and thought experiments; basic tools for assessment, such as the rule of excluded middle, category mistakes, and conceivability; and basic tools for conceptual distinctions, such as a priori versus a posteriori and analytic versus synthetic. Includes methods, such as the history of philosophy, naturalized philosophy, conceptual analysis, and phenomenology, as well as areas of systemic philosophical approach, such as empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, realism, idealism, internalism, externalism, and nominalism.

Prerequisites: PHIL 101.

PHIL 452: Ethics in Latin American Philosophy
MWF 11:30-12:30pm

Advanced study of classical and current philosophical issues and problems in value theory, including the philosophy of art and beauty, ethics and morality, philosophy of religion, social and political thought, and the philosophy of law. May be repeated with change of topic.

Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. One 300-level philosophy course. 

Restrictions: Sophomore standing required. 

Professional Experience

I am honored to have received the 2010 Arnold L. and Lois S. Graves Award, administered by Pomona College and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Location: J.R. Howard Hall