Jay Odenbaugh

James F. Miller Professor of Humanities

John R. Howard Hall 230, MSC: 45

 “Philosophy in its best moments is about instilling intellectual accountability. As William James noted, ‘a great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.’ To understand our beliefs and values is important not only for intellectual reasons but for deeply practical reasons. Beliefs and values have effects — some beneficial and some not. It thus is of profound importance to be responsible for one’s view of the world and my teaching is first and foremost an attempt to bring students to understand and respect that responsibility.”

I graduated with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Calgary in 2001. My research interests include the history and philosophy of science (especially ecology and evolution), metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. In the history of philosophy, I am especially fascinated by the American pragmatists and their descendants.

Besides philosophy, I enjoy reading about about art and art history, rock climbing, hiking, cycling, and playing.

Teaching

Fall 2022 Courses:

PHIL 250: Philosophical Methods
TTh 1:50pm-3:20pm

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 312: Philosophy of Language
TTh 9:40am-11:10am

Philosophical issues concerning truth, meaning, and language in the writings of 20th-century thinkers such as Frege, Russell, Grice, Putnam, Quine, Searle, Kripke.

Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of
philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.

Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.

Research

Copenhaver, R. and Odenbaugh, J. (2020). Experiencing emotions. In D. E. Gatzia and B. Brogaard (Eds.), The Epistemology of Non-Visual Perception, pp. 213–235. Oxford University Press.

Griffiths, P. and Odenbaugh, H. (2020). Philosophy of biology. Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Odenbaugh, J. (2020) Conservation biology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Odenbaugh, J. (2019). Ecological Models. Cambridge University Press.

Odenbaugh, J. (2018). Building trust, removing doubt? Robustness analysis and climate modeling. In Climate Modelling (pp. 297-321). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Odenbaugh, J. (2018). Models, models, models: a deflationary view. Synthese, 1-16.

Location: J.R. Howard Hall