Philosophy is relevant to our everyday lives. In some ways it is the most comprehensive
study of life. Other disciplines focus on some aspect of the world. Biology studies
living things, chemistry, the basic elements of matter and their interactions; astronomy,
the laws of celestial bodies. But philosophy addresses issues and questions that help
to organize our lives in meaningful ways and provide a direction for good living.
I’m particularly interested in how ethics can help us sort out many of our problems
and give us proper guidance. Getting a good moral compass is just as important as
finding a good career. It’s easy to get lost in the push and pull of all the social
forces and pressures that we experience, but having a good guide gives us agency,
and allows us to make better choices about what to do and what paths to take. It is
better to have a good understanding of these things ahead of what we do, then to do
things without such guidance, and live with the consequences of poor choices.
Pragmatist Ethics: A Problem-Based Approach to What Matters (State University of New York Press, 2021).
Charles Peirce on Ethics, Esthetics and the Normative Sciences (Routledge Press, 2021).
Moral Competence: An Integrated Approach to the Study of Ethics. Second edition. (Prentice Hall, 2002).
A General Introduction to the Semeiotic of Charles S. Peirce (Indiana University Press, 1996).
The Semiotic of Myth: A Critical Study of the Symbol (Indiana University Press, 1989).
Lead author with Robert Card, Patricia Clark, Kimberly J. Coleman, Eric Leibensperger,
Bruce Mattingly, Mary McGuire, Joshua Nollenberg, Kjersti Vanslyke-Briggs, and Leigh
Wilson. The Common Problem Project: An Interdisciplinary, Community-Engaged, Problem-Based
Pedagogy. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (forthcoming).
Peirce’s Convergence Theory of Truth Redux. Cognitio. 20(1), 91–112 (2019).
Reductionism in Peirce’s Sign Classifications and its Remedy. Semiotica 2019 (228), 153–172 (2019).
Peirce’s Esthetics as a Science of Ideal Ends. Cognitio 18(2), 205-229 (2018).
The Problematics of Truth and Solidarity in Peirce’s Rhetoric. Semiotica 218 (220), 235–248 (2018).
A Semiotic Theory of Tropes. Language and Semiotic Studies 2(4), 18–36 (2016).
How Signs Convey Information. Chinese Semiotic Studies 12(1), 45–66 (2016).
Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, Alaska Conservation Fund; 2010; board member
President, The Charles Sanders Peirce Society 2013–2014; Vice-president 2012–2013
Board of Ethics, Municipality of Anchorage, 2004–2007
Editorial Boards: Chinese Studies in Semiotic, 2016–present; Language and Semiotic Studies, 2016 to present; Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society; 2010–present; Environmental Ethics, 2002–2012; The Peirce Seminar Papers, 2000–2010