The members of the APA's Committee on Public Philosophy serve on a rotating basis of appointments.

Committee Chair

Divider dot.Dr. Elizabeth Minnich.

Dr. Eric Thomas Weber is Associate Professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. His first two books were be released with Continuum Press of London. The first is called Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism (2010) and the second is called Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy (2011). His third book is forthcoming with Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield, and is titled Democracy and Leadership (2013). He also is on contract as a regular freelance columnist for The Clarion Ledger, the major Mississippi newspaper based out of Jackson, MS. He served as Associate Chair of the committee from 2010-2011 and now serves as Chair through June of 2014. Email: Web site:

Associate Chair

Divider dot. Dr. Lynne Tirrell.Dr. Lynne Tirrell is Professor in the Philosophy Department at U Mass Boston, in Boston Massachusetts, where she has taught since September 1993. Before that, she was a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, and in ’04-’05 she visited at Wellesley College.  Her research interests include issues in philosophy of language, particularly in the politics of discourse and the ways that linguistic practices influence or shape social justice or facilitate injustice. Dr. Tirrell has written articles on metaphor, hate speech, racist discourse, apology, storytelling, feminist issues in philosophy of language, including but not limited to pornography, and a little bit about Nietzsche. Most recently, she has been working on questions about the power of linguistic practice to shape social conditions that make genocide possible, with a special focus on the Rwandan Genocide of the Tutsi in 1994. She is very excited about a collaborative project that she is doing with Alisa Carse, of Georgetown, on forgiveness. She will serve as Associate Chair from July 2013 through June 2014, after which she will serve as Chair from July 2014 through June 2017. Web site:

Committee Members

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Michael J. Cholbi.Dr. Michael J. Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (more colloquially known as Cal Poly Pomona). His research is principally in ethics, with particular emphases on suicide, punishment, Kant’s ethics, moral dilemmas, and moral psychology. He has recently completed a book manuscript on philosophical issues in suicide for Broadview Press. He is also a contributor to two blogs: PEA Soup, a forum for philosophical ethics, and In Socrates’ Wake, a blog on teaching philosophy.  He begins a five-year term as the editor of the journal Teaching Philosophy in 2011.  He is serving on the committee through June of 2014. Web site:

Divider dot.Dr. Erin McKennaDr. Erin McKenna is Professor of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Much of her work currently focuses on issues connected to the human treatment of, and relationships with, other animal beings. Her most recent book, Pets, People, and Pragmatism (Fordham UP) uses the resources of philosophers such as as Charles S. Perice, William James, John Dewey, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alain Locke, and Jane Addams to examine how we live with horses, dogs, and cats. This follows up on Animal Pragmatism: Rethinking Human-Nonhuman Relationships Indiana UP) which she edited with Andrew Light. She has also co-edited Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy with Scott L. Prat (Open Court) and authored The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective. In the vein of public philosophy she has also contributed to Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy (Open Court) and The Philosophy of the XFiles (University Press of Kentucky). In all of her teaching she tries to get students to see how philosophy is already operating in their lives, often using television shows and movies in the process. She regularly teaches and writes in the areas of ethics, social and political philosophy, feminism, and American philosophy. She is serving on the committee from July 2013 through June 2016. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Darrel Moellendorf.Dr. Darrel Moellendorf is Professor of International Political Theory at Johann Wolfgang Universität Frankfurt am Main. He is the author of Cosmopolitan Justice (2002), Global Inequality Matters (2009), and Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty, and Policy (2014). He co-edited Jurisprudence (2004, with Christopher J. Roederer), Current Debates in Global Justice (2005, with Gillian Brock), Global Justice: Seminal Essays (2008, with Thomas Pogge) and The Handbook of Global Ethics (2014, with Heather Widdows). He has been a Member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a recipient of DAAD and NEH Fellowships, and a Senior Fellow at Justitia Amplificata at Goethe Unviersität Frankfurt and the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Bad Homburg. He is serving on the committee through 2015. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Pablo MuchnikDr. Pablo F. Muchnik is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College. He is the author of Kant's Theory of Evil: An Essay on the Dangers of Self-Love and the Aprioricity of History (Lexington Books, 2009), editor of the first two volumes of Rethinking Kant (Cambridge Scholar Publishers, Vol. I, 2008; Vol. II, forthcoming), co-editor (with Sharon Anderson-Gold) of Kant's Anatomy of Evil (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and director of the series Kantian Questions from Cambridge Scholar Publishers. Dr. Muchnik is the recipient of various national and international scholarships and awards, and is currently vice president of the North American Kant Society. He is serving on the committee until June of 2014. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Shane RalstonDr. Shane J. Ralston is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Hazelton campus of Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include American pragmatism, social and political philosophy, environmental philosophy, the philosohy of education, and the philosophy of law, public administration, and public policy. He is the author of John Dewey's Great Debates (Information Age Publishers, 2011), Pragmatic Environmentalism (Troubador Publishing, forthcoming), and over thirty published articles. He has also edited a volume of essays called Philosophical Pragmatism and International Relations (Lexington Books, forthcoming 2013). He is serving on the committee through June of 2015. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Tom Rockmore.Dr. Tom Rockmore is McAnulty College Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Peking University. He has broad interests in the history of philosophy and in specific problems, especially representationalism and German idealist epistemology. He is the author of many books. Before and After 9/11 (2011) applies philosophy to the specific problem of the nature and significance of this connected series of events. Art and Truth after Plato (2013) argues that the history of Western aesthetics can be reconstructed as a series of responses to Plato, who has never satisfactorily been answered. He is serving on the committee from July 2013 through June 2016.

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. David Schwartz.Dr. David Schwartz is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Randolph College (founded in 1891 as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College). He specializes in applied value theory, both moral and aesthetic. Schwartz’s most recent publication is a book on consumer ethics, Consuming Choices: Ethics in a Global Consumer Age (2010), from Rowman and Littlefield ( His earlier work on state support for the arts appeared in Public Affairs Quarterly (1997) and in the monograph Art, Education, and the Democratic Commitment (2000), from Kluwer. Schwartz is currently pursuing research in environmental aesthetics, specifically on the relation between scientific knowledge and the aesthetic appreciation of nature. When not doing philosophy, Schwartz can be found working on his mobile artwork, “The Ant Car” ( He is serving on the committee from July 2013 through June 2016. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. James B. South.Dr. James B. South is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Marquette University. His research focuses on 1) Late Medieval Rennaissance Philosophy as well as on 2) the philosophical interpretation and understanding o fpopular culture. For his first area of research, he is  currently working on a book-length study of the problem of the immortality of the human soul in the sixteenth century. In the second area, he has edited Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy (Open Court, 2003) and co-edited (with Jacob Held) James Bond and Philosophy (Open Court, 2006), (with Lynne Edwards and Elizabeth Rambo) Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television (McFarland, 2009), and (with Rod Carveth) Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing Is as It Seems (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He has also published essays on comic books, the films of Woody Allen, and the Beatles. He is in the beginning stages of a project on the flims of Robert Altman. He will be serving on the committe until June of 2015. Web site:

Divider dot.Thumbnail photo of Dr. Rega Wood.Dr. Rega Wood is a Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, Bloomington, and an Emerita Professor at Stanford University.  As a medievalist, she specializes in scholastic ethics and philosophy of science.  An expert on medieval manuscripts, she has published a dozen critical editions of works by great scholastic philosophers, including Richard Rufus, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Adam Wodeham, as well as numerous articles on problems in medieval philosophy.  She is interested in supporting research and teaching in the humanities and in supporting the philosophical profession internationally as well as nationally. She is serving on the committee until June of 2014. Web sites: and

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If you would like to review lists of past members of the committee on public philosophy, you can find those on the APA's Web page for the committee here: .

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