Philosophy and World Religions

Faculty: Edgar Boedeker

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Boedeker"Whenever we do, say, or think anything, we take a host of things for granted, rarely stopping to focus on them or articulate just what they are. Sometimes, however, we find ourselves needing to decide what to believe, what to do in our  personal lives, or how to live together with other people. Such situations call for trying to understand what’s really, fundamentally, going on: to make explicit what we usually just implicitly presuppose. When we’re doing this, what we’re doing is philosophy. I’ve found myself again and again trying to clarify what’s presupposed in a range of things that I and others do: reasoning; speaking and listening; and living life within the possibilities and confines given by the  communities we belong to, the technologies that surround us, and the mortality that at certain junctures in our lives compels us to make choices as to what to do with all this. What guides my teaching is the joy of working with students to see, describe, and come to grips with these and other fundamental phenomena."


Bartlett 2099

(319) 273-7487


Ph.D., Northwestern University

MA, Philosophy, Northwestern University

BA, Philosophy and Psychology, Wesleyan University, summa cum laude

Research and Teaching Interests:

Philosophy of Language, Wittgenstein, Phenomenology, History of Philosophy, German Philosophy, Logic, Humanities

Regularly Taught Classes:

Death, Sex, and the Body:Phenomenology and Foucault

Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology

Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein

The Age of Reason: Philosophy in the Renaissance and Enlightenment

Elementary Logic

Philosophy: The Art of Thinking

Humanities II and Humanities III

In Process:

I am currently working on the early thought of two philosophers: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Selected Publications:

"Phenomenology," in The Blackwell Companion to Heidegger, ed. by Hubert Dreyfus and Mark Wrathall (New York & London: Blackwell, 2004), pp. 156-172.

"Phenomenological Ontology or the Explanation of Social Norms? A Confrontation with William Blattner's Heidegger's Temporal Idealism," Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 84 (2002), pp. 334-344.

"Wittgenstein's Distinction between Pure and Applied Logic," Wittgenstein and the Future of philosophy: A Reassessment after 50 Years (Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 2001), pp. 119-124.

"Individual and Community in Early Heidegger: Situating das Man, the Man-self, and Self-ownership in Dasein's Ontological Structure" Inquiry 41 (2001), pp. 63-100.

Selected Presentations:

2004, Wittgenstein's Tractatus session chair. Conference on Conceptions of Analysis, St. Catherine's College, Oxford.

2003, "Temporality and the 'Primacy of Practice' in Early Heidegger." International Society for Phenomenological Studies, Asilomar, California.

2002, "Russell's Distinction between Pure and Applied Logic." Conference on Russell, Wittgenstein, and the History of Analytic Philosophy, University of Iowa.

2002, "Wittgenstein's Tractatus: An 'Underview.'" 3-hour presentation at the Wittgenstein Workshop, University of Chicago.

Professional Awards:

2007, Professional Development Assignment: Wittgenstein's Basic Demand

2005, College of Humanities and Fine Arts Major Grant for travel to the Conference on Conceptions of analysis, St. Catherine's College, Oxford.

2001, University of Northern Iowa Summer Fellowship: "Wittgenstein's Tractatus: An 'Underview'"

2001, College of Humanities and Fine Arts Major Grant for travel to the 24th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria.