David L. McPherson, PhD
David L. McPherson, PhD

David L. McPherson, PhD

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Expertise/Specializations

  • Ethics (esp. Virtue Ethics), Social and Political Philosophy, 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. He works in the areas of ethics (esp. virtue ethics), social and political philosophy, and philosophy of religion. He is the author of Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) and the editor of Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2017). David is Vice President of Philosophers in Jesuit Education, and he will be President starting November 2019. He is also a member of the Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Network. David and his wife Kirstin enjoy playing Irish and American folk music together and spending time with their three young children, Clare, John, and Peter. David is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconin.

Publications and Presentations

Books

  • Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2019
  • Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches, ed. David McPherson, Cambridge University Press, 2017

Articles

  • "Re-Enchanting the World: An Interview with Charles Taylor", Philosophy and Theology, 24:2, 275-94, 2012
  • "Philosophy, Spirituality, and the Good Life: An Interview with John Cottingham", Philosophy and Theology, 24:1, 85-111, 2012

Publications

  • "Deep Desires", Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 2019
  • "Love in the Christian Tradition", in Love: The History of a Concept, ed. Ryan Patrick Hanley, Oxford University Press, 2019
  • "Humane Philosophy as Public Philosophy: A Path for Religious Engagement in Public Life", Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 2019
  • "Existential Conservatism", Philosophy, 2019
  • "Three Rival Versions of the Relationship of Religion to Modernity", Journal of Religion and Society, Supplement 18, 11-31, 2018
  • "Vocational Virtue Ethics: Prospects for a Virtue Ethic Approach to Business" (reprint), in Virtue Ethics, ed. Tom Angier, 4 Vols., Routledge, Ch. 68, 2018
  • "Transfiguring Love", in New Models of Religious Understanding, ed. Fiona Ellis, Oxford University Press, 79-96, 2018
  • "Manners and the Moral Life", in The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education, ed. Tom Harrison and David Walker, Routledge, 140-52, 2018
  • "Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?", in Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches, ed. David McPherson, Cambridge University Press, 63-83, 2017
  • "Introduction", in Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches, ed. David McPherson, Cambridge University Press, 1-10, 2017
  • "Traditional Morality and Sacred Values", Analyse & Kritik: Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, 39:1, 41-62, 2017
  • "Self-Formation and Other-Regarding Concern: Commentary on Douglas J. Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen’s The Perfectionist Turn", Reason Papers, 39:1, 35-43, 2017
  • "The Aim of Philosophy: Satisfying Curiosity or Attaining Salvation?", Etica & Politica: Rivista di Filosofia, XIX:2, 291-310, 2016
  • "Seeking Re-Enchantment", in 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
  • "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, 216-42, 2016
  • "Public Debate", Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, 1-11, 2015
  • "Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?", Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 51:3, 335-46, 2015
  • "Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics", International Philosophical Quarterly, 55:2, 197-215, 2015
  • "A Virtue Ethic Approach to Bearing and Rearing Children", in An Ethics of/for the Future?, ed. Mary Shanahan, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 89-115, 2014
  • "Vocational Virtue Ethics: Prospects for a Virtue Ethic Approach to Business", Journal of Business Ethics, 116:2, 283-96, 2013
  • "To What Extent Must We Go Beyond Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism?", American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 86:4, 627-54, 2012

Editing and Reviews

  • "Review of Alasdair MacIntyre, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative", The Philosophical Quarterly, 68:271, 426-9, 2018
  • "Review Charles Taylor, The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity", The Philosophical Quarterly, 67:268, 636-41, 2017
  • "Review of Roger Scruton, The Soul of the World", Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 52:4, 577-80, 2016
  • "Review of Fiona Ellis, God, Value, and Nature", Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 52:1, 139-43, 2016
  • "Review of John Cottingham, Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach", Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 51:1, 135-9, 2015
  • "Review of Michah Gottlieb, Faith and Freedom: Moses Mendelssohn’s Theological- Political Thought", The Review of Metaphysics, 65:2, 421-3, 2011

Presentations

  • "Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise: A Way Forward for Philosophy in Catholic Universities", invited panel presentation for Mellon funded summer workshop on "Philosophy as a Way of Life", University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 2019
  • "The Contemplative Life and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics", invited presentation for colloquium series for the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University (all expenses paid with honorarium), Saint Louis, MO, 2019
  • "Transfiguring the Unborn", invited presentation for Moral and Political Philosophy Workshop at the University of Michigan (all expenses paid), Ann Arbor, MI, 2019
  • "Humane Philosophy as Public Philosophy: A Path for Religious Engagement in Public Life", 2018 American Catholic Philosophical Association Meeting on "Philosophy, Catholicism, and Public Life" (main program), San Diego, CA, 2018
  • "Does Science Lead to Disenchantment?", invited presentation to the Physics Department at Creighton University, 2018
  • "The Role of Philosophy in Catholic Higher Education" (with M. Ross Romero, S.J.), refereed, 41st Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS, 2018
  • "Does God Matter for Morality? A Philosophical Exploration with Applications to Health Care Ethics", invited (with honorarium) for CSM Philosophy Program’s Ethics Lecture Series, College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE, 2018
  • "Moral Absolutes and Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism", invited (with honorarium), Creighton University Business School, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, 2017
  • "Three Rival Versions of the Relationship of Religion to Modernity", refereed (with honorarium), Religion and Secularism Symposium, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, 2017
  • "The Role of Philosophy in Catholic Higher Education" (with M. Ross Romero, S.J.), refereed, A Distinctive Vision? Catholic Education 50 Years After Land O’Lakes, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO, 2017
  • "Deep Desires", invited, Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 2017
  • "Deep Desires", invited (with honorarium and travel expenses paid), for Templeton funded research project Religious Experience and Desire, Heythrop College, University of London, London, UK, 2017
  • 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 (esp. Virtue Ethics), Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

Current Research Projects

  • (1) "Moral Absolutes and Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism" (for edited collection titled Values From Without: Essays in Reenchantment, ed. Michiel Meijer and Herbert de Vriese)
    (2) "Spiritual Alienation and the Quest for God" (for Templeton funded project on ‘The Quest for God’ [PI: Fiona Ellis])
    (3) "The Virtue of Piety in Medical Practice" (for special issue in Philosophia on Tom Cavanaugh’s Hippocrates’ Oath and Asclepius’ Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession)
    (4) The Virtues of Limits (book manuscript)

Awards and Honors

  • Pontifical Gregorian University, 2015