Joel Martinez

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Philosophy

“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 study the history of moral philosophy as well as contemporary moral theory. My work focuses on moral decision-making and moral theory. I argue that reasoning about who we aim to be and what lives we aim to live are effective ways to make practical decisions. In addition, I do not think there is a useful or accurate distinction between theory & practice. One need not have a PhD in Philosophy to engage in deep philosophical reflection about morality. Similarly, in my view, abstract theorizing about morality is, and ought to be, a practical endeavor.

Most of my research has focused on the development of Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology. I am now studying moral decision-making and Artificial Intelligence. I am also studying and developing courses in Latin American Philosophy. I think this is an exciting time to research and teach Philosophy.

My publications have appeared in The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Apeiron, Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, An Anthology of Philosophical Studies (ATINER), Journal of Ethics, Philosophy and Global Affairs, among others

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

MA 1999 Michigan State University

BA 1997 New Mexico State University


Fall 2022 Courses:

PHIL 101: Logic
TTH 9:40-11:10am

Analyses of arguments with an emphasis on formal analysis. Propositional and predicate calculus, deductive techniques, and translation into symbolic notation.

Prerequisites: None.

PHIL 241: Data, Privacy and Ethics
TTH 8:00-9:30am

Exploration of ethical implications specific to data collection, study design, data analysis, and the dissemination and application of data. Practical guidance about how to uncover ethical weaknesses in existing protocols and how to undertake constructive, effective, fair data scientific research and application of automated processes. Survey of technological advances in strategies for collecting data, implementing studies, analyzing data, and disseminating findings both to broad public audiences and to narrow groups who are disproportionately impacted. Explores research on the consequences of choices made by human and machine actors and assemblages of human-in-the-loop sociotechnical systems. Focuses on both legal and ethical frameworks.

Prerequisites: None.

PHIL 301: Ancient Western Philosophy
TTH 1:50-3:20pm

The birth of philosophy against the background of mythic thought; its development from Socrates to the mature systems of Plato and Aristotle; their continuation and transformation in examples of Hellenistic thought.

Prerequisites: Any 100- or 200-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