Joel M. Potter

Term Assistant Professor
Ph.D. The State University of New York at Buffalo

Ancient Greek Philosophy, Ethics

Office: ADM – 278
Phone: 907.786.4163

My research is focused on the intersection of ethics with epistemology and metaphysics. In particular, I am interested in whether there are ethical preconditions to successfully engaging in philosophical inquiry, as Plato and other ancients seemed to think. In my dissertation, I explored the epistemic role of particular emotions in Plato's theory of philosophical inquiry, seeking to provide a framework for understanding why Plato thinks that one's character affects one's capacity to become a knower. Besides my research in the history of philosophy, I am also interested in recent developments in contemporary emotion theory and ethics that pertain to these issues. "Arguments from the Priority of Feeling in Contemporary Emotion Theory and Max Scheler's Phenomenology" (Quaestiones Disputatae: 2012) is an attempt to link relevant work in the analytic and phenomenological traditions on these issues. I also have an interest in applied ethics, especially bioethics. I am currently exploring alternatives to autonomy-based justifications of informed consent.

Recent Publications:

"Arguments from the Priority of Feeling in Contemporary Emotion Theory and Max Scheler's Phenomenology," Quaestiones Disputatae Vol. 3, No. 1 (2012): 215-225.

"The Status of Status: Boethian Realism in Abelard. Carmina Philosophiae: Journal of the International Boethius Society," Vol. 18 (Fall 2009): 127-135.

Recent Presentations:

“Aristotle’s Argument from Wonder in Metaphysics A,” Aristotle Now and Then: 2013 Annual ACPA Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, November 1-3, 2013.

"Being Good, Feeling Good, and Knowing the Good: Platonic Recollection and the Ethics of Inquiry," Thinkin' with Lincoln conference, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, June 8, 2013.

"Affectivity and Inquiry in Phaedrus 242c-242d," International Plato Society Regional Meeting, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 4-7, 2012.

"'The Soul Is a Sort of Seer': Philosophical Inquiry and Affectivity in Plato's Phaedrus," 2012 Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Philosophical Society, Trevecca University, March 1, 2012.

"Arguments from the Priority of Feeling in Contemporary Emotion Theory and Max Scheler's Phenomenology," 2011 Annual Conference of Christian Philosophy, Franciscan University of Steubenville, April 30, 2011.

"Meno's Questions Reconsidered," Annual Meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, Fordham University, October 17, 2010.

"Civic Friendships: A Reinterpretation of Politik? Philia," Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania Regional Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, Canisius College, May 2, 2009.