David L. McPherson
David L. McPherson

David L. McPherson

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Expertise/Specializations

  • Ethics (Theoretical and Applied), Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy of Religion

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Philosophy

Position

  • Assistant Professor

Biography

Like many philosophers, David McPherson was driven to philosophy by the “ultimate questions” of human existence and the desire to shape a way of life through the development of a philosophical worldview. His research centers on questions about ethics, meaning in life, spirituality, and the interrelationship between them. He is developing a distinctive approach to virtue ethics that shows the importance of linking it with spirituality and an account of meaning in life. He is also seeking to apply this virtue ethic perspective to different areas of applied ethics, with a focus on bioethics. David and his wife Kirstin enjoy playing Irish and American folk music together and spending time with their two young children, Clare and John. David is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconin.

Education

  • Marquette University, Ph.D., Philosophy

Publications and Presentations

Books

  • Seeking Re-Enchantment. Seekers and Dwellers: Plurality and Wholeness in a Time of Secularity. Ed. Philip J. Rossi, S.J., The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 17–46, 2016
  • Public Debate, Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, 1-11, 2015
  • A Virtue Ethic Approach to Bearing and Rearing Children. An Ethics of/for the Future? Ed. Mary Shanahan., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 89–115, 2014
  • Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics? Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches. Ed. David McPherson, Cambridge University Press
  • Manners and the Moral Life. The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education. Ed. Tom Harrison and David Walker, Routledge
  • Transfiguring Love. New Models of Religious Understanding. Ed. Fiona Ellis, Oxford University Press

Articles

  • Re-Enchanting the World: An Interview with Charles Taylor, Philosophy and Theology, 24:2, 275–294, 2012
  • Philosophy, Spirituality, and the Good Life: An Interview with John Cottingham, Philosophy and Theology, 24:1, 85–111, 2012

Publications

  • The Aim of Philosophy: Satisfying Curiosity or Attaining Salvation?, Etica & Politica: Rivista di Filosofia, 2016
  • Nietzsche, Cosmodicy, and the Saintly Ideal, Philosophy, 91:1, 39–67, 2016
  • The Claims of Religious Identity in Secular Societies, Journal of Religion & Society, Supplement 13, 216–242, 2016
  • Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?, Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 51:3, 335–346, 2015
  • Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, International Philosophical Quarterly, 55:2, 197-215, 2015
  • Vocational Virtue Ethics: Prospects for a Virtue Ethic Approach to Business, Journal of Business Ethics, 116:2, 283–296, 2013
  • To What Extent Must We Go Beyond Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism?, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:4, 627–654, 2012

Editing and Reviews

  • Charles Taylor, The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity, The Philosophical Quarterly, 2016
  • Roger Scruton, The Soul of the World, Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 2016
  • Fiona Ellis, God, Value, and Nature, Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 52:1, 139–143, 2016
  • John Cottingham, Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach, Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 51:1, 135-139, 2015
  • Michah Gottlieb, Faith and Freedom: Moses Mendelssohn’s Theological- Political Thought., The Review of Metaphysics, 65:2, 421–423, 2011
  • Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches, Cambridge University Press

Presentations

  • Presenter for Panel Discussion on Douglas J. Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen’s The Perfectionist Turn: From Metanorms to Metaethics, American Philosophical Association Easter Division Meeting, Baltimore, MD., 2017
  • ‘Transfiguring Love’, refereed, 17th Annual Fall Conference for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., 2016
  • Presentation on Pope Francis’s Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’), invited presentation (with travel and room and board covered) for the Committee for Catholic Social Thought at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD., 2016
  • ‘Humane Philosophy as Public Philosophy’, refereed, 2016 Midwest Society of Christian Philosophers Conference, Evangel University, Springfield, MO., 2016
  • ‘Transfiguring Love’, invited presentation (with honorarium and travel expenses paid), Annual Conference for the Heythrop College Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London, London, UK., 2016
  • ‘The Aim of Philosophy: Satisfying Curiosity or Attaining Salvation?’, Creighton Philosophy Department End of the Year Banquet for Majors and Minors, Creighton University, Omaha, NE., 2016
  • ‘Manners and the Moral Life’, refereed (room and board provided), Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches Conference, Oriel College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK., 2016
  • ‘The Aim of Philosophy: Satisfying Curiosity or Attaining Salvation?’, invited presentation (with honorarium), Heythrop College, University of London, London, UK., 2016
  • ‘Dostoevsky on the Transfiguring Power of Active Love’, invited panel discussion on ‘The Philosophy of Love’, 40th European Studies Conference, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE., 2015
  • “The Claims of Religious Identity in Secular Societies.” The Kripke Center Symposium on “Religion and Identity.” Creighton University, Omaha, NE., 2015
  • “Nietzsche on the Saintly Ideal.” Refereed. 39th European Studies Conference. University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE., 2014
  • “Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Contemporary Virtue Ethics?” Refereed. Religious Studies at 50. University of Leeds, Leeds, UK., 2014
  • “Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics.” Invited presentation (with honorarium). Bethel University, St. Paul, MN., 2014
  • “Virtue and Benefit: How Does It ‘Pay’ to Be Good?” Refereed. Happiness and the Virtues Conference. Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI., 2014
  • “Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Contemporary Virtue Ethics?” Thursday Forum. Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN., 2013
  • “Taylor and McDowell on Re-Enchantment.” Invited presentation (with honorarium) for Dr. Ruth Abbey’s graduate seminar on “The Political Philosophy of Charles Taylor.” University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., 2012
  • “Transcendence and Its Importance for the Good Life.” Refereed. 12th Annual Fall Conference for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., 2011
  • “Self-Transcendence and Human Fulfillment.” Workshop on the topic of “Self-Realization and Self-Transcendence.” University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland., 2011
  • “To What Extent Must We Go Beyond Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism?” Refereed. Fifth Annual Conference for the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry. Providence College, Providence, RI., 2011
  • “To What Extent Must We Go Beyond Contemporary Neo- Aristotelianism?” Refereed. 37th Conference on Value Inquiry. Creighton University, Omaha, NE., 2011
  • “Dostoevsky versus Nietzsche on the ‘Saintly Ideal.’” Refereed. 11th Annual Fall Conference for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., 2010
  • “The Meaning of ‘Self-Sacrifice’ and Its Motivational Sources.” Refereed. 10th Annual Fall Conference for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., 2009
  • “MacIntyre and the Need for a Metaphysical Grounding for Ethical Naturalism.” Refereed. Third Annual Conference for the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry. University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland., 2009
  • “Vocation and Integrity: Prospects for a Virtue Ethic Approach to Business.” Refereed. Annual Meeting for the Society of Business Ethics. Anaheim, CA., 2008
  • “MacIntyre and the Role of Authority in Moral Enquiry.” Refereed. Second Annual Conference for the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry. Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology, Saint Meinrad, IN., 2008
  • “Is Democracy a Kind of Practice? MacIntyre, Dewey, and the Possibility of a Democratic Virtue Ethic.” Refereed. Loyola University Chicago Graduate Student Conference. Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL., 2006

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Ethics (Theoretical and Applied), Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy of Religion

Current Research Projects

  • David McPherson (ed.), Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press). David McPherson, The Meaning-Seeking Animal: Toward a Re-Enchanted Aristotelian Perspective (monograph in progress).

Awards and Honors

  • Pontifical Gregorian University, 2015