Program  Information

Michael Taber, Chair
240 895 4900

Penny Shissler, Office Clerk
240 895 2159

Program Highlight

The department offers a major and minor in Philosophy and a major and minor in Religious Studies. As an active and energetic department, we are committed towards an intercultural, international and interdisciplinary understanding of the world. We teach across the traditional fields of philosophy and religious studies, and beyond the cultural divides of East and West. Departmental faculty likes to teach in a variety of venues (Nitze Program; Women, Gender and Sexuality; Environmental Studies; Asian Studies; African and African Diaspora Studies), to take students on study tours (Greece, Germany/Poland, India, Thailand, and, in the future, England and Israel), and to bring questions of global relevance to the campus communities through scheduling events with renowned speakers and activists.

Michael Taber
Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Department Chair

Photo of Michael Taber

Departments: Philosophy and Religious Studies
Office: Margaret Brent Hall 102
Phone: (240) 895-4900


Michael Taber (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and currently serves as chairperson of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. His interests include ancient Greek philosophy and classics, ethics, and philosophical psychology. His articles and reviews have appeared in Teaching Philosophy, Philosophy East and West, Literature and Theology, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, and in collectiond of essays like Plato and Socarates: Desire, Identity and Existence (2003) and The Ethics of the Family (2010).  He also serves as Director of the Paul H. Nitze Scholars Program.

Michael's Webpage


University of Wisconsin—Madison, Ph.D. in Philosophy, 1987, Minor in Classical Greek.  Dissertation title: Freezing the Heracleitean River: An Examination of De Re Necessity in Plato and Aristotle.

University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A. in Philosophy, 1986.

University of Rochester, B.A. in Philosophy and in Neuropsychology, 1981.

Courses Taught:

  • Philosophy 101 - Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophy 120 - Introduction to Ethics
  • Philosophy 300 - History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • Philosophy 301 - History of Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy 309 - Philosophical Issues in Evolutionary Biology
  • Philosophy 380 - Topics (Socrates & Nietzsche, Happiness & Meaning, The Laughing Stoic, Freedom and the Skull)
  • Philosophy 430 - Ethical Theories
  • Ancient Greek 101 & 102 - Elementary Ancient Greek I & II
  • Ancient Greek 201 & 202 - Intermediate Ancient Greek I & II



  • book chapter “A Value of Family: The Moral Significance of Involuntary Affiliations” appeared in The Ethics of the Family, edited by Stephen Scales, Adam Potthast, and Linda Oravecz, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, 2010), pp. 343-349
  • Review of Ronald Polansky’s Aristotle’s De Anima (Cambridge University Press, 2007) for Journal of Hellenic Studies, 2009, vol. 129, pp. 237-8
  • “Concern for Others in Socrates” in Desire, Identity, and Existence, edited by Naomi Reshotko (Academic Printing and Publishing:  Canada), 2003
  • Review of six recent books on Nietzsche.  Review appeared in Literature and Theology (Oxford University Press), v. 8, no. 1, March 1994, pp. 113 115.
  • Review of Before Their Time: Fetuses and Infants at Risk, by Libby Cohen (Washington, D. C.: Monographs of the American Association on Mental Retardation), 1990.  Review appeared in American Journal of Mental Retardation, v. 96, May 1992, pp. 670 673.
  • Review of Choosing Reality:  A Contemplative View of Physics and the Mind, by B. Alan Wallace (Boston: Shambhala Publications), 1989.  Review appeared in Philosophy East and West, v. 41, October 1991, pp. 573 575.

Some papers given

  • Delivered a paper “A Value of Family:  The Moral Significance of Involuntary Affiliations” at the annual conference in Baltimore of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, November, 15, 2008
  • Delivered a paper “Why the Professional Cannot Opt Out of Ethics” at the University of Texas Ethics Conference, Austin, April 15-17, 2004
  • Delivered a paper “Common Humanity: What’s So Cheap about Being Common?” at the conference of the Northeast—National Collegiate Honors Council, in Hartford, April 1-4, 2004
  • Delivered a paper “One Psyche, Two Needs: The Confident and the Tentative in Plato and Marcus Aurelius” at conference of Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum meeting in Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2003 
  • Delivered a paper entitled “Concern for Others in Socrates” at conference Plato and Socrates: Desire, Identity, and Existence, at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, September 8-9, 2001