John Pauley

Department Chair of Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy

Phone Number:
Office Location:
Mary Berry Hall 413

Ph.D University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991

M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987

Two Years Study in Theology/Philosophy, Harvard University 1982-1984

B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Honors College, 1982

I grew up in northeastern Massachusetts. I did not care very much about school until I got to college. In high school I spent most of my time bird hunting and playing all kinds of sports (and causing my share of trouble).

When I got to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I studied literature and philosophy. In college I changed quite a bit: I became an obsessive student, totally dedicated to my studies, and the intellectual life.  In the spring semester of my first year, I clearly understood that I wanted to be a philosopher and a professor. I was accepted into the honors program at U. Mass and became what is called a “commonwealth scholar.” My undergraduate days created the foundation for the rest of my life.

After college, I spent two years at Harvard Divinity School studying Philosophy and Theology, but I soon realized that I only really cared about the philosophy part.  I did, however, learn quite a bit about the philosophy of religion and I took seminars in the philosophy department on Kant and contemporary analytic philosophy.

The next year I applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was accepted into the PhD program in philosophy. I completed my PhD in five years and was offered the job at Simpson in the spring of 1990. I have been here ever since.

I work very hard at teaching and always have. I believe that teaching is very difficult and also very rewarding. The philosophy department strives to teach students philosophy in ways that make them think hard about other academic disciplines and the world they live within. We do not regard philosophy as a separate realm in any sense. My colleague Allison Wolf has developed an entire major and minor within philosophy that centers on the social and political world.

We greatly enjoy student visits. Please come to see what Philosophy at Simpson can offer you.

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