Professor of Philosophy
J.R. Howard Hall
“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
Fall 2020 Courses:
PHIL 203: Philosophy of Art and Beauty
Theorizing about art. Puzzles in art that suggest the need to theorize; traditional discussions of art in Plato and Aristotle and critiques of them (Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Collingwood); critical perspectives on these discussions (Danto). Specific discussions of individual arts: literature, drama, film, music, dance, the plastic arts.
PHIL 250: Philosophical Methods
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 310: Metaphysics
Personal identity, time, free will, composition, persistence, universals, particulars, possibility, necessity, realism, antirealism.
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.
Copenhaver, R. and J. Odenbaugh (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.
PhD 2002 University of Calgary, M.A. 1996 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, BA 1994 Belmont University