Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Millsaps College
| 601-974-1334 | Box 150390, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS 39210 USA | Fax 601-974-1397

Featured Links

HOOKS: a site for closer looks at great components of popular music. See also AD HOOKS on ads in mass media and The Millsaps Hooks Project

Academic Background

Florida State University, B.A. (Religion) 1972
Vanderbilt University, M.A. (Religion: Religious & philosophical ethics) 1978
Duke University, Ph.D. (Religion: Systematic & contemporary studies) 1980

Research Interests

Philosophy of religion, philosophical anthropology, ethics and political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of history, metaphysics, philosophy of language

Currently Working On

A theory of forward-looking responsibility that sees political responsibility as an unstable combination of the basic pragmatic, ethical, and historical forms of responsibility

The concept of merit in ethics and religion

The role of filters in film experience

Selected Publications


Scriptures and the Guidance of Language. Evaluating a Religious Authority in Communicative Action (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Centering and Extending. An Essay on Metaphysical Sense (State University of New York Press, 2017)

Full History. On the Meaningfulness of Shared Action (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)

Appeal and Attitude. Prospects for Ultimate Meaning (Indiana University Press, 2005)

Worth Doing (State University of New York Press, 2004)

Gender Thinking (Temple University Press, 1992)

The Concept of the Spiritual. An Essay in First Philosophy (Temple University Press, 1988)

The Argument to the Other. Reason Beyond Reason in the Thought of Karl Barth and Emmanuel Levinas (Scholars Press, 1983)


“The Unavoidable Guidance in Language.” International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 28 (1) (2020).

“What We Have Time For: Historical Responsibility on the Largest Scale.” Journal of the Philosophy of History, 13 (June 2019), 163-182.

“Responsibility in Religiosity.” Religious Studies, advance publication online (April 2019).

“Meaningful Moral Freedom: An Improved Kantian View.” International Philosophical Quarterly, 57 (June 2017), 155-172.

“How to Expand Musical Formalism.” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 49 (Summer 2015), 20-38.

“The Watcher and the Lens.” British Journal of Aesthetics, 55 (April 2015), 99-108.

“Historical Rightness.” Soundings, 98 (Spring 2015), 127-145.