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Dr. Vance Morgan

Professor of Philosophy
Office: Siena Hall 118
Tel.: 401-865-1258
Office Hours (Fall 2012):
Tuesdays, 8:30-10:30am
Thursdays, 3-4pm

Academic Background   

    •    Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Ph.D. in Philosophy, 1991
    •    University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming - M.A. in Philosophy, 1987
    •    St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico - B.A. in Philosophy/Mathematics, 1978

Sample Courses Taught at Providence College

    •    American Philosophy

    •    Current Problems in Ethics

    •    Philosophy of Knowledge

    •    Honors Colloquium: Beauty and Violence

    •    Honors Development of Western Civilization

    •    Development of Western Civilization


Teaching Philosophy

The desire to learn, to pursue the truth at all costs, cannot be taught. It can only be awakened by example, shown as a living reality. That, I believe, is the greatest task of a teacher: to demonstrate, by his or her own example, the desirability and attraction, the unparalleled invigoration and joy, of being a lifetime learner and pursuer of truth.

Research & Interests

My areas of research are eclectic, ranging from early modern philosophy to contemporary philosophy of mind. Over the past several years my research has been focused on the philosophy of Simone Weil, specifically her philosophy of science and mathematics. The result of this research is in my book entitled Weaving the World: Simone Weil on Science, Mathematics, and Love,  which was published by University of Notre Dame Press in September 2005. My next large-scale project, currently underway, is a book-length investigation of the influence of Simone Weil's thought on the philosophy and novels of Iris Murdoch, particularly in the areas of ethics and the search for the transcendent.

Notable Academic Appointments and Awards

    •    Director, Development of Western Civilization Program, 2011-present

    •    Recipient of the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award, Providence College, 2004-05

    •    Chair, Providence College Department of Philosophy, 2004-2008

Publication Highlights

    •    Weaving the World: Simone Weil on Science, Mathematics, and Love.  Pp. xii+237, University of Notre Dame Press (Fall 2005), ISBN 0-268-03486-9 (hdbk); 0-268-03487-7 (pbk)
    •    Foundations of Cartesian Ethics.  Pp. xii+237, Humanities Press (February 1994), ISBN 0-391-03804-4.
    •    Modern and Contemporary Philosophy in Context.  Pp. xxii+531, Hayden/McNeil Publishing (July 2001), ISBN 0-7380-0489-8.
    •    "Simone Weil and the Attentive Intellect," Indigo 2 (Summer 2010): 28-33
    •    "Miracles and Supernatural Physics: Simone Weil on the Relationship of Science and Religion," in The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later, Continuum Publishing Group (Fall 2009), ISBN 0-567-38172-9: 107-22.
    •    "Miracles et la physique surnaturelle: relations entre la science et la religion selon Simone Weil," Cahiers Simone Weil, 32:3 (2008): 291-307.
    •    "Mathematics and Supernatural Friendship," Philosophy and Theology, 18:2 (2006): 318-335.
    •    "Simone Weil and the Divine Poetry of Mathematics," in The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil, University of Notre Dame Press (Fall 2004), ISBN 0-268-02564-9 (hdbk); 0-268-02565-7 (pbk): 95-114.

Selected Scholarly Presentations and Activities

  • "From Hedgehogs to Foxes: Erasing Disciplinary Boundaries in the Classroom," Center for Teaching Excellence, Providence College, October 20, 2011

  • “Desperately Wicked: What On Earth Is Wrong With Us?” Rhode Island Chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, Providence College, September 29, 2011

  •  "'Pleasure and Joy in the Work': How to Educate a Story-Telling Animal," 5th International Conference of the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry, Providence College, Providence, RI, July 29, 2011.

  • "'Ideas Are Not Meant For Fighting': A Lesson in Tolerance from the Cathars," the 2011 American Weil Society Colloquy, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, May 6, 2011
  • "Fragments Torn From God: Weilienne Reflections on Plato's Symposium," the 2010 American Weil Society Colloquy, Boston College, Boston, MA, April 23, 2010.

  • "Faith, Inspiration, and Teaching: Simone Weil and Erotic Pedagogy," Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies, Providence College, Providence College, October 14, 2009.
  • "Love That Will Not Let Me Go: A Philosopher Revisits His Faith Tradition," Rhode Island Chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, Providence College, September 24, 2009.

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