Welcome to my website, which is a guide to my professional life as a philosopher, writer, and educator.
You can find fuller details if you follow the links for my Academic Interests and C.V. above, but here is a brief overview of my philosophical journey.
I am a philosopher trained originally in analytic philosophy of logic, language, and science as an undergraduate at Harvard. But after a conversion to Catholicism I began to take the history of philosophy seriously, which led me in a very different direction. While studying David Hume at Edinburgh as a Marshall Scholar, I became convinced of the poverty of modern naturalism. At the same time I began the study of ancient Greek and, under the tutelage of Dominican Fathers at the Chaplaincy there, began to read Aquinas and Newman.
At Harvard again, this time for my doctorate, my aim was to study under John Rawls and write a dissertation on the neglected topic of “civic” or “political” friendship with him. But I realized that to write on civic friendship I first had to master the philosophy of friendship. This led me of course to Aristotle, and eventually to a dissertation squarely in classical philosophy, which Sarah Broadie helped also to direct.
Since that time, my aim has been mainly to master the craft of classical scholarship, in order to understand accurately the thought of Socrates, Plato, and especially Aristotle. As this is a task of recovering a formidable yet largely forgotten intellectual heritage, it requires great refinement and much attention, bringing into play skills of philology, analysis, and interpretation, as well as historical sense.
In 2007-9, I accepted an appointment at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA, and was able to pursue again a love stretching back to my studies at Harvard, when I worked as a researcher for several years in a psychology lab. Recently, I have developed a side-interest, too, in the relatively neglected topic of accounting ethics, writing a textbook on the subject with my good friend Mark Cheffers.
My interest is turning now to the philosophy of Aquinas and to thinking afresh about issues in the philosophy of logic, philosophy of nature, and philosophy of psychology in the philosophical tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas.
While I have always been passionate about striving to meet the highest standards of thought and scholarship, as a means to reaching the truth, I am firmly convinced that that sort of commitment is not incompatible with simplicity, clarity, and expressing one’s thoughts in a way that any educated person could grasp and appreciate, bridging the gap between specialist and layperson.
Previously I taught at Clark University, and currently I am Professor and Chairman of Philosophy at Ave Maria University near Naples and the Everglades in Florida.
I have been a visiting professor at Brown University, the Catholic University of America, and the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome, and I have been a visiting scholar at Brown, Cambridge, Harvard, and St. Andrews. For many years I served as the Director of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy. I am a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.