Meet Dr. Anderson

Dr. Owen Anderson is a research professor at Arizona State University. He has published seven books that can be found on his Amazon author page. He regularly teaches courses on logic, ethics, philosophy of religion, world religions, and religion in America. His graduate mentorship include courses on the problem of evil, the foundations of law, reason and the good, and comparative religions. Uniting all of these topics is his interest in the role of reason for understanding basic questions from general revelation and special revelation. His current research is on the philosophical presuppositions of the 1st Amendment religious liberty clauses. He has been a research fellow at Princeton University, a visiting scholar at Princeton Seminary, as well as faculty lead for his academic unit and faculty senate president.


Dr. Anderson is committed to the value of philosophical thinking for everyone.  Philosophy especially studies the role of basic beliefs in the rest of our interpretations of experience. In 2015 he started the Philosophy Out West series that brings scholars to ASU West for public presentations. He is often invited as a guest speaker at other universities and at academic conferences. He regularly blogs at: renewalphilosophy.com and has videos of presentations on his YouTube channel. 


The goal of Renewal Philosophy is to reinvigorate the study of philosophy by 1) drawing attention to basic questions; 2) addressing the challenges of skepticism and fideism and thus demolishing their destructive influences; 3) pursuing meaning through understanding what is clear from general revelation. If philosophy can do these things then it will be a source of life instead of a source of decay.


Dr. Anderson’s most recent book with Cambridge University Press is titled The Declaration of Independence and God: Self-Evident Truths in American Law. It is an example of what it means to do renewal philosophy. In this book he considers the role of the phrase “we hold these truths to be self-evident . . ..”. There are important philosophical assumptions about reason and God that are needed to support this phrase. Changes in understanding of reason and God have resulted in changes to understanding of law over the course of American history.

Dr. Owen Anderson, PPP author

Dr. Owen Anderson, PPP author

meet dr. burton

  

Kelly Fitzsimmons Burton, Ph.D. teaches college Philosophy in Phoenix, AZ. Her first published work, Retrieving Knowledge: A Socratic Response to Skepticism is an adaptation of her doctoral dissertation. Kelly completed her doctoral work in Humanities with an emphasis in Philosophy at Faulkner University’s Great Books Honor’s College in April of 2017. 


Retrieving Knowledge is an exercise in what Kelly calls “retrieval philosophy.” Retrieval philosophy uses philosophical arguments from the past to address contemporary problems. Retrieving Knowledge is a close examination of Plato’s dialogue Theaetetus, particularly the definition of knowledge that is offered. Kelly argues that Socrates, the main character of the dialogue, defines knowledge as “true belief with an account.” She contrasts this definition with the contemporary definition of knowledge as “justified true belief,” and argues that the two definitions are not the same. 


In addition to a detailed argument about the definition and nature of knowledge, Kelly shows that Socrates argues against empiricism (all knowledge is through the senses), materialism (all is matter or nature), relativism (truth is according to the individual and ethics is according to the individual or the group), and lastly the pragmatism of the Sophists. Instead, Socrates thinks that knowledge is by reason, the soul exists as does some non-physical transcendent reality, and ethics is objective for all people. Kelly then suggests that we are living in a skeptical age similar to that of Socrates and the Sophists.


In chapter five of her work, Kelly creates a model for doing public philosophy based upon the character and content of the Socratic dialogue. She suggests that we may address the contemporary impasse in philosophy and its skepticism by retrieving some of Socrates arguments from the Theaetetus


Not being content with mere theorizing about public philosophy, Kelly decided to promote public philosophy by creating Public Philosophy Press, by adapting her dissertation to a broader public (though it is still academic in nature) and publishing it as Retrieving Knowledge: A Socratic Response to Skepticism, and in starting a public philosophy lecture series in the Greater Phoenix area. Kelly’s website may be found here. The Public Philosophy lecture hub in Phoenix may be found here


Kelly hopes that public philosophy will grow and expand as a movement, which includes but is not limited to, the retrieval of philosophy as it has been classically done. Check out her new book here. When not engaged in public philosophy, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband and hiking with her two cattle dogs.

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Meet Dr. tussing

Rod Tussing’s work has been diverse and includes many years as a senior manager in the mechanical engineering / contracting industry, as well as being a small business owner and an adjunct college instructor.  His formal education includes a BA degree in Literature and an MA degree in Religious Studies from Arizona State University; an MA degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Philosophical Theology from the University of Aberdeen in the UK.  He has taught courses at Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Andrews Hall (a Reformed Episcopal Seminary), and is currently teaching at Paradise Valley Community College.  Courses Rod has taught include Philosophy, Ethics, Logic, Apologetics, World Religions, Philosophy of Religion, Introduction to Christianity, and Contemporary Western Religious Thought.


Rod not only enjoys studying philosophy and theology, but he and his wife delight in spending time with their children and grandchildren, as well as traveling to Western Europe and the UK to visit and reconnect with old friends.


Rod's book Religion and Science: Deconstructing a Modern Paradigm will be released in early 2019. The book is a critique of religion as a socially constructed device of Modernity. 

Dr. Rodney Tussing, PPP author.

Dr. Rodney Tussing, PPP author.