Joe has a chapter in the new book by Routledge Press, Experiential Learning in Philosophy. His chapter is titled, "Studying War and Contributing to the Community," and describes the use of community-engaged learning and experiential learning in Joe's course on the ethics of war, conflict, and pacifism.
Philosophy is a Life Craft
I believe that Philosophy is a craft for enhancing our lives, and philosophy should engage the whole person--body, emotions, spirit, and intellect. Philosophy challenges us and supports us in developing our abilities for interpretation, interconnection, communication, self-awareness, and self-care. Philosophy is guided by the love of wisdom, justice, truth, and beauty. The practice of Philosophy can originate from wonder, doubt, or distress, and leads us to deep questioning about who we are and how we might live a good and meaningful life.
Ph.D. in Philosophy, Duke University
B.S. in Engineering Science, Pennsylvania State University
I was the first man in my family to go to college, and as an undergraduate, I studied engineering. My first philosophy class was an elective, but it was my favorite class of the year, and I began cramming additional philosophy courses into my schedule. While studying abroad at Leeds University in England during my junior year, I read Simone de Beauvoir's memoirs, and I was inspired by her life and model of a creative and socially engaged philosopher. During my senior year, I had an identity crisis: I felt pressure to do something "practical" with my education, but I was passionate about philosophy and wanted to learn more. After a few months of struggle, I decided to finish my Engineering degree and pursue philosophy in graduate school.
I am currently a Visiting Instructor at Elon University and at UNC-Greensboro. I have also taught at Guilford College, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina State University, Durham Technical Community College, Wake Forest University, Alamance Community College, Duke University, and Tidewater Community College.
In addition to colleges and universities, I have offered classes in Autobiographical and Philosophical writing at The Arts Center in Carrboro, the Chapel Hill Senior Center, and the Duke Center for Learning in Retirement.
I have also given public lectures and workshops on Ethics and the War on Terror and on Philosophy and Autobiographical writing through the NC Humanities Council.
Projects and Interests
My teaching, research, and writing interests include Ethics, Just War Theory, Environmental Ethics, Political Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Autobiographical and Creative Writing.
Experiential Learning and Philosophy
I have a chapter in the new book by Routledge Press, Experiential Learning in Philosophy, published in the fall of 2015. My chapter is titled, "Studying War and Contributing to the Community," and describes the use of community-engaged learning and experiential learning in my course on the ethics of war, conflict, and pacifism.
The Virtuous Warrior and the War on Terror
I am working on a manuscript titled, The Virtuous Warrior and the War on Terror, which proposes a Virtue Ethics framework for addressing moral questions in war. My approach to Virtue Ethics includes a view that human well-being and flourishing should be the starting point for our ethical judgments. It also includes key virtues like compassion, an emphasis on social justice, and an ecological dimension of health and ethical responsibility.
Summer Research Scholars Program
Over two summers in 2013 and 2014, I had the honor of working with students on summer research projects in Environmental Ethics at Guilford College. Inn summer of 2013, the focus was on the Bog Garden in Greensboro, NC, and how to promote biocentric values. In the summer of 2014, the focus was on Permaculture, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Healing, and our research group traveled to Madagascar and had an incredible experience there.
Site photography by Joe Cole