06 September 2008
Brief Academic Biography
I received a BA magna cum laude from the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 1990. My senior essay, entitled "The Therapeutic Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein," won PLS's Otto A. Bird Award for best senior essay. I spent my sophomore year abroad, studying at the Universitaet Innsbruck, in Innsbruck, Austria.
From there I went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from which I received an MA in philosophy in 1992. My paper "A Problem in Wittgeinstein's Philosophy of Language" won the department's 1991 Richard M. Peltz Memorial Award for Excellence in Philosophy. My master's thesis, "Locke's Arguments for the Existence of Natural Law," was directed by William Wainwright.
I then joined the philosophy department at the University of Chicago, from which I received a PhD in 1997. My dissertation was entitled "The Unintended Order of Morality: Adam Smith and David Hume on the Origins of Morality." It was directed by Daniel Garber (now at Princeton University), with readers Ted Cohen and Ian Mueller; Knud Haakonssen was an outside reader (then at Boston University; now at Sussex University).
Upon graduating from the University of Chicago, I took a position in the philosophy department at the University of Alabama in 1997. I was first an assistant professor, then promoted early to associate professor with tenure in 2002, then promoted to full professor in 2006. I was chairman of the deparment from 2005 until I resigned in 2007.
In the fall of 2007, I accepted a position as Director of the Schottenstein Honors Program in Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University; I was also made joint professor of philosophy and economics. In 2008 took a leave from Yeshiva to be a visitor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.
In the fall of 2009, I returned to Yeshiva as professor of philosophy and economics. As of September 1, 2009, I am also a Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, DC.