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Current Dissertations & Placements

[2012  2013  2014  2015  2016 2017 2018  2019 2020 2021 2022 2023]

Despite an ongoing tight market nationwide for new Ph.D.s entering academic philosophy, the Purdue University Philosophy Department has enjoyed a strong record of success in placing its graduates during this period.  The Department granted Ph.D.s to sixty-five people in this decade.  Fifty-five of those sixty-five did unrestricted searches for academic positions, and forty-eight of those fifty-five received a full-time offer of some sort.

We attribute this success in large measure to two things:

  1. This department devotes considerable energy and resources to help its students secure academic appointments, beginning with the work of a Placement Director whose job is to oversee all aspects of preparation for and execution of the application process.  This includes: an early-Fall placement meeting for prospective candidates (including those still a year or two away from completing their dissertations), during which the contents of an extensive placement manual are discussed in detail; multiple-faculty review of draft CVs; compilation of a full dossier, including a special letter about the applicant's success as a teacher written by the Director of Undergraduate Studies; full subsidy of copying and postage costs; mock interviews by faculty for all candidates; and on-site assistance and advice from the Placement Director at the Eastern APA Meeting.
  2. The Graduate Program at Purdue is structured so that all students emerge with strong competence in a range of traditional areas of philosophy.  This, together with concerted effort at giving our students extensive experience teaching their own courses under faculty-mentor oversight, has earned Purdue a reputation of turning out unusually well-trained teachers of philosophy.

Many of our students begin applying for jobs as latter-stage ABD candidates; most of our students secure a continuing tenure-track job within three years of graduating.  The list below shows the employment record for the past decade by year of graduation, listing current position first and then any previous ones.  Every effort has been made to provide information that is as complete and accurate as possible: please send corrections to

In Progress

DuncanCordry: “Insurrection and the Spiritual Question of Technology” (DanSmith)

James Elliott:  “Religion and Morality in the Young Hegel’s Reception of Kant: An Analysis of the Early Theological Writings” (Jacqueline Mariña)

Benjamin Elmore:  “Scanlonian Contractualism and Animals” (Pat Kain)

T. Josh Folk:  “Leibniz on Reasons for Acting and Moral Obligation” (Pat Kain)

Ana Carolina Gómez Sierra:  “The Problem of Universality of Human Rights: An Analysis Through the Explanatory Role of Social Contracts” (Christopher Yeomans)

Sarah Lucas:  “Theoretical Virtues and Moral Theory Selection” (Pat Kain)

Anselm Rodriguez,O.Praem: “Thomas Aquinas on the Human Body as theInstrument of the Soul” (Jeffrey Brower)

Troy Seagraves:  “Moral Permissivism” (Pat Kain)

Alex Vrabely: “Essays in Social Metaphysics” (Dan Smith)

Chen Yang: “Perspectives onthe Concept of Infinity” (Chris Yeomans)



Samantha Seybold:  “White Noise: The Epistemic Injustice of American Post-Truth Normativity” (Dan Smith)



Thomas Doyle:  “Persons in Dis-Ease: Understanding Medicine Through Phenomenology” (Dan Smith)

Research Associate, University of Indiana Center for Bioethics

Brian Eckley:  “Simone de Beauvoir's Existentialist Ethics: Sex, Gender, and Indifference” (William McBride)

Visiting Instructor, University of Portland

Alžbeta Hájková:  “Hannah Arendt and Contemporary Politics: Refugees, Identity, and Gender Equality” (Christopher Yeomans)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Georgia Tech

Perry Hendricks:  “Skeptical Theism, God, and Evidence” (Michael Bergmann

Dan Linford:  “Essays on Philosophy of Cosmology” (Paul Draper)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Luke Wilson:  “Divine Motivation and Bayesian Natural Theology” (Paul Draper)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University



Berman Chan:  “The Metaphysics of Goodness” (Pat Kain)

Associate Professor, Lanzhou University

Joseph Krylow:  “Rejecting Physicalism: A Causal Analysis of Augustine’s Argument from Presence to Incorporeality” (Jeff Brower)

Assistant Teaching Professor, UNC Raleigh

Rob Luzecky:  “The Times of Deleuze” (Dan Smith)

Adjunct Professor, George Mason University

Tiffany Montoya:  “Beyond the ‘Rational, Autonomous, Individual’: A Critical Reexamining of the Self in Normative Political Theory” (Leonard Harris)

Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Muhlenberg College

Ryan van Nood:  “Vital Ethics: The Meaning Effect and Seeing the World Aright” (Dan Frank)

Lecturer, Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University

Brandon Rdzak:  “‘It is of the nature of reason to regard things as necessary, not as contingent’: A Defense of Spinoza’s Necessitarianism” (Dan Frank)

Visiting Instructor, Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts Program & Department of Philosophy, Purdue University

Stephen Setman:  “Moral Responsibility, Reasons Responsiveness, Normative Control, and Political Radicalization” (Dan Kelly)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), St. Bonaventure University

Previously: Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, St. Bonaventure University



Samuel Bennett:  “With and Without Self-Control: The Aristotelian Characters of Akrasia and Enkrateia ” (Pat Curd)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts Program & Department of Philosophy, Purdue University

Patrick Hoburg:  “Stratigraphic Time: The Temporal Nature of Evolutionary Change” (Dan Smith), Philosophy and Literature

Vince Jacobson:  “A Nominalist Theory of Content” (Rod Bertolet)

Compliance Communications Specialist, Stryker Corporation

James Mollison:  “Dialogues with Nietzsche: Re-Thinking  Amor Fati, Perspectivism, and the  Ubermensch with the Stoics, Leibniz, and Deleuze” (Dan Smith)

Director of Debate Program, Purdue University

Keunchang Oh:  “Essays on Social Norms and Racism” (Leonard Harris)

Lecturer, Seoul National University

Melanie Swan:  “Kant and Hegel's Philosophical Thirds: A New Perspective on Explaining Appearances” (Dan Smith)

Research Associate at University College, London Centre for Blockchain Technologies



Lacey Davidson:  “That’s (Also) Racist! Entity Type Pluralism, Responsibility, And Liberatory Norms” (Dan Kelly)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), University of Indianapolis

Previously: Visiting Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University

Reyes Espinoza:  “The Ethics of Tragic Uncertainty: A Visceral Ethics for Global Relationships” (Dan Smith)

Adjunct Instructor, Philosophy Department, University of Texas, El Paso

Brian Johnson:  “Conscience and Human Nature and the Evolutionary Challenge” (Chris Yeomans)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts Program & Department of Philosophy, Purdue University

Michael Popejoy:  “Pantheism in Spinoza, Hegel, & Contemporary Philosophy of Religion” (Chris Yeomans

Utah Public Lands Director at Grand Canyon Trust

Previously: Lecturer in Philosophy at Northern Arizona

Max Spears:  “Technology and Topology: Rethinking the Space of Existence” (Dan Smith)

Owner and Operator of Twede’s Diner in North Bend, Oregon (the Double R Diner in Twin Peaks)



Ashley Albrecht:  “Gendered Representations of AI in Film: Alternatives to Dystopic Futures in Her & Ex Machina” (Dan Smith), Philosophy and Literature

Research Associate, National Center for Professional and Research Ethics

Elaine Blum:  “A Pragmatic Methodology for the (Queer) Self” (Dan Smith)

Lecturer, Hillsdale College

Previously: Lecturer, University of West Georgia

Changtze Chia:  “Choosing Wickedness: Moral Evil in Kant’s Religion” (Jacqueline Mariña)

Jonathan Fuqua:  “Metaethical Mooreanism” (Mike Bergmann)

Assistant Professor, Conception Seminary

Alex Gillham:  “Eudaimonia and the Best Life: Epicurus’ Objective Goods Perfectionism” (Pat Curd)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Bonaventure University

Joel Johnson:  “Final Causality in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas” (Jeff Brower)

Visiting Assistant Professor, John Carroll University/Borromeo Seminary

Matthew Kroll:  “‘muthologos has lost such ground’: Myth, History, and Orality in the Poetics of Charles Olson” (Arkady Plotnitsky and Dan Smith), Philosophy and Literature

Upper School English Teacher, Bullis School

Previously: Academic Programs Manager, Dept. of Philosophy, Purdue University

Lynn Parrish:  Precinct and Praxis: Cultic Ritual and the Built Environment in the Greco-Roman World” (Bill McBride and Chris Yeomans), Philosophy and Literature

Clinical Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Purdue University

Strand Shendahl-Thomason:  “Discourse, Documents, and Counter-Discipline: Michel Foucault’s Ethics and the Practice of Writing” (Dan Smith), Philosophy and Literature

Limited Term Lecturer, Purdue University Fort Wayne



David Coss:  “The Case Against Interest-Relative Invariantism” (Rod Bertolet and Matthias Steup)

Instructor in Philosophy at Indiana University, Kokomo

Joshua Gulley:  “Mixture, Powers, and Reality in Empedocles and Aristotle” (Pat Curd)

Previously: Adjunct Professor, Indiana University at Kokomo

Andrew Israelsen:  “Kant and the Unity of Nature” (Chris Yeomans)

Adjunct Professor, Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley University.

Ibrahim Marazka:  “Heterotopias: Spaces for the Practice of Freedom. Investigations into a spatial category in the philosophy of Michel Foucault and the late work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,” (Bill McBride), Philosophy & Literature

Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Purdue University.

Chapman Waters:  “Frege’s Realism Revisited: A Critique of Recent Trends in Frege Scholarship” (Rod Bertolet)

Continuing Lecturer, University of Utah

Previously: UWorld Exam Preparation



Scott Coley:  “On the Consequences of Skeptical Theism” (Paul Draper)

Continuing Lecturer at Mount St. Mary’s

Andrew Iliadis:  “A Black Art: Ontology, Data, and the Tower of Babel Problem” (Ashley Kelly and Dan Smith), Philosophy and Communications

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Temple University Department of Media Studies and Production

Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Media, Data, and Culture at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the Decimal Lab (2016-17)

Donovan Irven:  “Being and Literature: The Disclosure of Place in Modernity” (Dan Smith), Philosophy & Literature

Visiting Assistant Professor, Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas

Davis Kuykendall:  “Leibniz on Intra-Substantial Causation and Change” (Jan Cover)

Term Assistant Professor at George Mason University

Jessica Mejia:  “Animals and the Value of Life” (Mark Bernstein)

Nancy Schaenen Scholar and Assistant Director of Academic Services, DePauw University

Previously: Visiting Assistant Professor, DePauw University

Amy Pommerening:  “The Time of Liberation: Prison Abolition and the Coming Community,” (Harris), Philosophy and Literature

Continuing Lecturer Texas State University

Netty Provost:  “A Phenomenologial Inquiry into Sacred Time in Hinduism” (Dan Smith)

Academic Advisor, University of Southern Maine

Previously: Lecturer in Philosophy, IU Kokomo

Mark Satta, “A Defense of the Ambiguity Theory of ‘Knows’” (Matthias Steup)

JD, Harvard Law School (2019)
Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Wayne State University

Beto Urquidez,   “Racism and Conceptual Analysis: A Defense of The Wittgensteinian Approach” (Leonard Harris)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), James Madison University

Previously: Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus University; Visiting Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College; Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, Bowdoin College

Joshua White:  “The Epistemology of Enculturation” (Mike Bergmann)

Web Applications Developer at Purdue University



Richard Hamm:  “It’s All Uphill from Here: Finding the Concept of Joy in Existential Philosophy and Literature” (Bill McBride), Philosophy and Literature

Associate Professor, Lynn University

Christopher Penfield:  “Foucault, Kant, Deleuze, and the Problem of Political Agency” (Dan Smith)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Sweet Briar College

Natalia Washington:  “Mental Health and Human Minds: Some Theoretical Criteria for Clinical Psychiatry” (Dan Kelly)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), University of Utah

Previously: Cyc Software in Austin, TX (2017-18); Post-doc, Washington University in St. Louis Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, (2015-17)



Yubraj Aryal:  “Affective Politics and Non-sovereign Identity,” (Dan Smith)

Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

Previously: Visiting Professor, Ivy Tech; Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Montreal (2015-17); Visiting Scholar NYU (2015-16)

Justin Litaker:  “Capitalism and Social Agency,” (Chris Yeomans and Dan Smith)

Adjunct Instructor, University of Mobile and University of South Alabama

Anthony Malagon:  “The Hidden God in Kierkegaard and Marcel” (Bill McBride and Dan Smith)

Instructor, Queens College of CUNY

Justin Matchulat:  “Practical Cognition and Moral Motivation in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas” (Jeff Brower)

Assistant Professor, (Tenure Track), Mount St. Mary’s University

Ashley Puzzo:  “A Dissertation on the Identity of Indiscernibles” (Rod Bertolet)

Visiting Assistant Professor, DePauw University.

Sophia Stone:  “Plato’s Metaphysics of Soul” (Pat Curd), Philosophy and Literature

Associate Professor, Lynn University



Brian Besong:  “Moral Intuitionism, Disagreement, and the Prudent Conscience” (Pat Kain)

Assistant Professor (Tenture Track) Ohio Dominican University

Previously: Assistant Professor, Kutztown University; Visiting Assistant Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Philip Osborne:  “Justification, Truth, and the Philosopher’s Armchair,” (Mike Bergmann)

Instructor at Rowan University, Camden County College, and Rowan College at Gloucester.

Julie Swanstrom:  “The Metaphysics of Causation in the Creation Accounts of Avicenna and Aquinas,” (Jeff Brower)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Georgia Southern University

Craig Titus:  “A Theory of State Justice: Human Rights as the Basis of Political Legitimacy,” (Bill McBride), Philosophy and Literature

Jacob Tuttle:  “Suárez’s Metaphysics of Efficient Causation” (Jeff Brower)

Visiting Lecturer, Gonzaga University

Previously: Post-doc, Loyola Marymount University; Visiting Assistant Professor, St. Michael’s College, Vermont



Marco Altamirano:  “The Problem of Nature: An Essay on Time” (Dan Smith)

Adjunct Professor, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Co-founder of Grad Square

Erik Baldwin:  “Fully Informed Reasonable Disagreement and Tradition Based Perspectivalism” (Paul Draper)

Adjunct Professor, Indiana University Northwest

Previously: Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame (2013-16); Research Visitor, University of Notre Dame, (2011-12)

Jonathan Beever:  “The Semiotic Foundation of an Ecological Ethic” (Mark Bernstein)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), University of Central Florida

Previously: Visiting Scholar, Hastings Center; Postdoctoral Fellow at Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University

Vern Cisney:  “Toward a Philosophy of Difference: From Derrida to Deleuze” (Dan Smith)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Interdisciplinary Studies at Gettysburg College

Rockwell Clancy:  “Gilles Deleuze’s Political Anthropology: From a Critique of Psychoanalysis to the Superiority of Anglo-American Literature” (Dan Smith)

Research Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Mines

Previously: Associate Teaching Professor, University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai, China

John Houston:  “Aristotle on Friendship, Justice, and the Human Good” (Pat Curd)

Assistant Professor, St. Benedict/St. John College

Previously: Visiting Assistant Professor, Wabash College

Olga Lyanda-Geller:  “Lekta and Inner Form as Loci of Sense in Metaphysics of Language” (Dan Smith)

Continuing Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures, Purdue University

Leonard Sidharta:  “Moral saints and eudaimonia: A philosophical justification of moral sainthood” (Pat Kain)  

Winship Varner:  “Hylomorphism: A Viable Restrictivist Approach to Material Composition?” (Jan Cover)

Adjunct Professor at Sierra Nevada College

Joshua Watson:  “Form, Harmony, and Mechanism in Leibniz’s Philosophy of Laws” (Jan Cover)

Continuing Lecturer, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Richmond P. West:  “Hostility Toward the Unattractive: A Critique of ‘Sexual Harassment’ Law” (Dan Smith), Philosophy and Literature


Graduate Program Dissertations and Placement History from 2001-2011