John McHugh

John McHugh

Associate Professor
Director, Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Program
Position Type
- Present

I’ve been teaching at Denison since the fall of 2011. In addition to introductory surveys, I have taught courses on ethics, on metaethics, on death and the meaning of life, and on the history of early modern western philosophy; I have also taught seminars on my current main research interest, which is in the moral theories of David Hume and Adam Smith.

It is fundamentally important to me that students learn about historically important philosophical arguments and positions. These arguments and positions, for better or for worse, help shape the world we live in today; furthermore, some of these arguments might even be sound, and some of these positions might even be true! But I also believe that all students should develop some ability simply to think philosophically. If there is any position to which I am dogmatically committed, it is that to qualify as an honest person, one should be in the habit of exploring and assessing the reasons for one’s beliefs and values.

B.A., Providence College; Ph.D., Boston University