Philosophy and World Religions

Faculty: William Clohesy

Professor of Philosophy

William Clohesy

"As a college student, I first discovered philosophy in a class on the philosophy of science. Yet what brought philosophy to the very center of my thinking was, above all, Vietnam. While I was an undergraduate, I became active in protesting the war and participating in teach-ins, where questions of ethics and politics became pressing, then urgent. Writing for the school newspaper — it was there that I really learned to write — I began doing pieces on the war and other political and social justice stories, such as the civil rights movement, and soon there was no longer any question what I wanted to do with my life: philosophy, especially political philosophy and ethics. Becoming a philosophy teacher was clearly my next move. For me, teaching philosophy has always been a public trust and responsibility: to bring students into the crucial and perennial conversation that grounds our lawful and civic living together."


Bartlett 1083

(319) 273-6123


Ph.D., Philosophy, Economics minor, New School for Social Research

M.A., Philosophy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

B.A., Philosophy, Physics minor, Loyola University of Chicago

Research and Teaching Interests:

Ethics and Political Philosophy, Immanuel Kant, C.S. Peirce, John Dewey, Hannah Arendt, Civil Society and Civic Organizations, Business Ethics

Regularly Taught Courses:

Ancient Philosophy; Modern Philosophy; Ethics; Society, Politics, and the Person; Philosophy: The Art of Thinking

In Process:

"The Objectivity of the Categorical Imperative in the Grundlegung" for the XIIth International Kant Congress to be held, September 2015;

"Neoliberalism and Service: A Call for Education in Altruism and Civic Engagement," a paper presented at the Annual Conference of The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, 12/13; it is now being prepared for submission to The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy;

"Altruism and Civic Engagement," a paper to be submitted for presentation at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2/15;

A book proposal is being developed on, "Altruism and Civic Engagement;"

Research on the concepts of 'power' and 'police state' in the work of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault.

Selected Publications:

"Hannah Arendt." The Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Ed. Dean Chatterjee. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2011.

"Separation of Church and State: Truth, Opinion, and Democracy." Public Affairs Quarterly 23 (January 2009): 49-66.

"Kant's Opposition to Lying from Expediency." Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants: Akten des X. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses Eds. Valerio Rohden et al. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008), 5 vols., 3: 43-52.

"Democracy and Trust in Public Discourse." Forum on Public Policy Online. 3 (Summer 2007).

"Moral Philosophy and Philanthropy." Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. Dwight F. Burlingame. Santa Barbara: Clio, 2004.

"Interrogating Human Rights: What Purpose? Whose Duty?" Business and Society Review 32:1(March 2003): 43-65.

"Fundraising and the Articulation of Common Goods." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 32:1(March2003): 128-140.

"Seeking Altruism in Kant's Practical Philosophy." Volker Gerhardt, et al. Kant und die Berliner Aufkaerung: Akten des 9. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses 5 vols. (Berlin: Walter de Bruyter, 2001), 3:159-165.

Professional Awards:

2012, Teaching Award of Student Admission Ambassadors

2010, Professional Development Assignment for "Arendt, Foucault, and Civil Society"

2001, Regents' Award for Faculty Excellence

July 1995 — January 2000, A grant and a renewal from W.K. Kellog Foundation for SERVE: Service, Ethical Reflection, Vocational Exploration, a service-learning and faculty seminar on the ethics of volunteerism, philanthropy, democracy, and the service sector

1994, Professional Development Assignment for "The Unity of Kant's Practical Philosophy"

November 1991, Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for Ethics at Work: A Symposium on the Worker and the Workplace

1987, Fulbright Lectureship to Argentina

1982, Kurt Reisler Memorial Award in Philosophy and Political Thought for Ph.D. Dissertation, "Kant and the Cultivation of Freedom," Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research