Full-Time Faculty

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Professor Geoff Ashton joined the Department of Philosophy at USF from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he also held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Asian Philosophy. Prof. Ashton has studied Sanskrit, Thai, and Spanish, and conducted research at numerous institutions of higher learning abroad (twice as a Fulbright scholar), including Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi, India), Deccan College (Pune, India), the Jñāna-Pravaha Institute (Varanasi, India), Chiang Mai...

  • PhD, Philosophy (Asian and Comparative Philosophy), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
  • MA, Philosophy (Indian Philosophy), University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
  • MA, South Asian Languages and Civilizations...
Kalmanovitz Hall 156

Professor Thomas Cavanaugh teaches medical ethics, a first-year seminar entitled What is Wisdom? (for which he received an NEH Enduring Questions grant), and, more recently, in the Honors College where he offers a course entitled Wisdom’s Lovers: Ancient and Medieval Philosophers. His most recently completed project concerns the Hippocratic Oath, which founds medicine as an exclusively therapeutic practice that especially excludes deliberately injuring patients. In 2018, Oxford University Press...

  • Ph. D., University of Notre Dame
  • A.B., Thomas Aquinas College
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David Kim is a professor of philosophy and an affiliate of the programs in Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Critical Diversity Studies. He has served in a variety of professional organizations, including chairing the American Philosophical Association Committee on Asian and Asian American Philosophers and Philosophies and co-founding the North American Korean Philosophy Association. 

David's work explores how our understanding of U.S. democracy is deepened through consideration of...

  • Syracuse University, PhD in Philosophy
  • Oberlin College, BA in Philosophy
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Gerard Kuperus specializes in philosophy of nature, comparative philosophy (specifically zen and indigenous thinking), continental philosophy, and aesthetics. He is the author of Ecopolitical Homelessness: Defining place in an unsettled world (Routledge, 2016) and has published two collections: Ontologies of Nature (Springer, 2017; co-edited with Marjolein Oele) and Thinking in the American West (Routledge, 2020, co-edited with Josh Hayes and Brian Treanor). His overall research focuses on place...

  • DePaul University, PhD in Philosophy, 2005
  • University of Amsterdam, MA in Philosophy, 1999
  • Philosophy
  • Environmental Studies
  • Art and Literature

Rebecca Mason is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, where she completed her BA and MA in philosophy at Dalhousie University. In 2015, she received her PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University. She specializes in metaphysics (especially social metaphysics), feminist philosophy, and social and political philosophy. She also has interests in epistemology and philosophy of language, especially where these intersect with her areas of specialization.

  • Northwestern, PhD in Philosophy, 2015
  • Dalhousie, MA in Philosophy, 2008
  • Dalhousie, BA in Philosophy, 2007
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Marjolein Oele is a professor of philosophy and was trained as an MD at the Free University of Amsterdam. She has a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam and received her PhD in philosophy in 2007 from Loyola University Chicago. Her primary research interests are in 20th century and contemporary European philosophy, in ancient philosophy (mainly Aristotle), and in environmental philosophy. She is the author of the monograph E-Co-Affectivity: Exploring Pathos at Life's...

  • PhD, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago
  • MA, Philosophy, University of Amsterdam
  • MD, Free University of Amsterdam
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Jeff Paris joined the USF faculty in 2001 when he left a teaching position at the California State University at Bakersfield. He received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008, later serving as the Department of Philosophy chair (2010-2013) and the Environmental Studies program director (2016-2018). He was appointed as Academic Assistant Dean (2018-2019), then as Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities (2019-2023), and currently as Acting Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences...

  • PhD, Purdue University, 1998
  • MA, Purdue University, 1995
  • BA, Humboldt State University, 1992
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Ronald R. Sundstrom is Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. He is also a member of USF’s African American Studies program, teaches for the university’s Honors College, and is the Humanities Advisor for the SF Urban Film Festival. His research focuses on the philosophy of race and the related areas of racism, xenophobia, and mixed-race identity; political philosophy and urban policy; and figures in African American political theory, especially Frederick Douglass. He...

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, PhD in Philosophy, 1999
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth, BA in Philosophy, 1994
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Philosophy of race and racism
  • African American philosophy
  • Asian American philosophy
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Michael D. Torre received a PhD in 1983 and joined the USF philosophy department in 1989. He is now its senior member. He has served as the department chair and as the coordinator of its ethics sections. Professor Torre has been a past vice-president of the Institut Internationale Jacques Maritain, and is currently serving on its Scientific Committee. He was the second general editor of the American Maritain Association's series of publications from 2009-2013, and its president from 2012-2016...

Part-Time Faculty

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Jennifer Fisher received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2003.  Her research interests include questions of normativity (broadly considered). She is currently working on a philosophical memoir that touches on issues of identity, obligation, and the debate between reason and emotion, as well as a series of non-fiction essays exploring memory and family.

She has recently started offering introduction to philosophy CEL courses that combine classrooms with...

  • City University of New York, Graduate Center, PhD in Philosophy, 2003
  • UC Santa Cruz, BA in Philosophy, 1989
  • epistemology
  • philosophy of logic
  • meta-ethics

Richie is a San Francisco native, educated at UCLA and Stanford. He teaches part-time for USF, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.

  • Stanford University, PhD in Philosophy
  • UCLA, BA in Philosophy
  • Philosophy

Nick Leonard is interested in epistemology, cognitive psychology, and certain topics at the intersection of the two. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University and his BA in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii. In 2015-2016 he was a visiting scholar at Brown University.

  • University of Hawaii, BA in Philosophy, 2011
  • Northwestern University, PhD in Philosophy, 2019

Deena M. Lin is a native of the Bay Area and lectures in philosophy and comparative religion at three California State Universities: East Bay, San Francisco, and San Jose. She teaches a diverse array of courses covering themes emanating from the history of philosophy, Eastern and Western philosophical and religious traditions, issues in social justice and race, feminist philosophy, and ethics. Most recently she has been involved in various collaboratives to improve teaching and assessment...

  • Claremont Graduate University, PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology, 2013
  • Claremont Graduate University, MA in Religious Studies, 2007
  • University of San Francisco, BA in Philosophy, 2000.
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Comparative Religion
  • Poststructuralist Philosophy
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Philosophical Theology

Lisa Madura joined the USF Philosophy department in Fall 2020. She has most recently taught courses in Ethics, Existentialism, and Philosophy of the Human Person. Lisa's research and teaching interests are broad and span philosophical traditions. She specializes in social and political philosophy with a focus on issues in feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, and democratic theory. Though she also has background in the existential and phenomenological currents of the continental tradition. At...

  • Vanderbilt University, PhD in Philosophy, 2023
  • University of Nevada Reno, MA in Philosophy, 2016

Greig Mulberry began teaching at USF in 2011 and has taught Ethics, Existentialism, and Social and Political Philosophy. His research interests include 19th and 20th century continental philosophy and aesthetics.

Brad Onishi is a social commentator, scholar, writer, teacher, coach, and co-host of the Straight White American Jesus (SWAJ) podcast. In everything he does, Brad seeks to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange by providing insight into life’s most fundamental questions. He often speaks about topics related to the radical conservatism and extremist religions that shape our world, some of it right in our own neighborhoods. His show, SWAJ, ranks in the top 50 of Politics shows on Apple...

  • UCSB, PhD in Religious Studies, 2014
  • L'institut catholique de Paris, Licence in Philosophy, 2012
  • Oxford University, MPhil in Theology, 2007
  • Azusa Pacific University, MA in Religion, 2005
  • Azusa...
  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • American religion
Gleeson Library, 4th Floor

Amanda Parris joined the USF Philosophy department in 2013; she teaches Problems in Democracy, Existentialism, and Ethics. Her research interests lie at the intersection of seventeenth-century philosophy (especially Spinoza), contemporary political philosophy, and the prose fiction of Beckett, Bernhard, Sebald, and McCarthy.

  • DePaul University, PhD in Philosophy
  • UC Berkeley, BA in Philosophy

Krupa Patel received her PhD from the University of New Mexico in 2018. Her research interests include epistemology and philosophy of perception.

  • University of New Mexico, PhD in Philosophy, 2018
  • San Jose State University, MA in Philosophy, 2006
  • UC Davis, BS in Nutrition Science, 1999
  • UC Davis, BS in Psychology, 1999
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Vida Pavesich specializes in philosophical anthropology and the history of Western philosophy. She is also an artist, working with digital collage.

  • UC San Diego, PhD in Philosophy, 2003
  • UC San Diego, MA
  • Philosophical Anthropology
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Environmental Philosophy

Brian Pines researches continental philosophy with a special focus on French and German thinking of the 19th and 20th centuries. He maintains active interests in ancient philosophy, especially that of Greece, India, and China.

  • Staffordshire University, PhD in Philosophy, 2016
  • Duquesne University, MA in Philosophy, 2013
  • Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, BA in Continental Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, 2011
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Eastern Philosophy
  • Continental Philosophy

Faculty Emeritus

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David J. Stump is a professor of philosophy at the University of San Francisco. A native Californian, he was educated at the University of California and Northwestern University. He is co-editor, with Peter Galison, of The Disunity of Science, and is author of journal articles on Poincaré, Duhem, the history and philosophy of mathematics, and general philosophy of science. His research is centered on late 19th and early 20th century philosophy and science and the exchange between the two...

  • PhD, Northwestern University
  • BA, UC Berkeley