» Philosophy Faculty

Philosophy Faculty

Elmhurst’s distinguished philosophy faculty members are first and foremost dedicated teachers, but their valuable scholarly experience enriches classroom discussions as well. What’s more, our program draws on the experience and knowledge of a dedicated group of well-qualified and experienced adjunct faculty.

Want to know more? See our faculty profiles, below. 

Full-time Faculty

Katrina Sifferd
Professor and Chair
Ph.D. King’s College, London
Office: Hammerschmidt Chapel, 031

Katrina Sifferd holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of London, King’s College. After finishing her PhD, Katrina held a post-doctoral position as Rockefeller Fellow in Law and Public Policy and Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College. Before becoming a philosopher, Katrina earned a Juris Doctorate and worked as a senior research analyst on criminal justice projects for the U.S. National Institute of Justice. Katrina is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on responsibility, criminal law, reductionism, and punishment, including "Unconscious Mens Rea: Responsibility for Lapses and Minimally Conscious States" (in Law and Neuroscience: Philosophical Foundations, ed. Dennis Patterson and Michael S. Pardo, 2016); "Virtue Ethics and Criminal Punishment" (in From Personality to Virtue, ed. Alberto Masala and Jonathan Webber, 2016); "What Does It Mean to Be a Mechanism? Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation" (Criminal Law & Philosophy, 2014); "On the Criminal Culpability of Successful versus Unsuccessful Psychopaths" (with William Hirstein, Neuroethics, 2013); and "In Defense of the Use of Folk Psychology in Criminal Law" (Law & Philosophy, 2006). She is currently writing a book titled The Responsible Brain with Bill Hirstein and Ty Fagan (forthcoming from MIT Press).

She teaches courses in Ethics, Neuroethics, Philosophy of Law, Social Political Philosophy, Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, and Mind & Consciousness.

Russell Ford
Ph.D. Pennsylvania Stat
: Circle Hall, 118

Russell Ford received his PhD in philosophy as well as doctoral minor in Literary Theory, Literary Criticism, and Aesthetics from Pennsylvania State University. He held visiting positions at American University and DePaul University before joining the faculty at Elmhurst College. Russell’s current work is divided between two major projects: an assessment of the work of Gilles Deleuze within the context of mid-twentieth century French philosophy and an investigation into the philosophical importance of comedy. He has recently edited an issue of the journal Angelaki, "Why So Serious? On Philosophy and Comedy", which included his article, "Humor, Law, and Jurisprudence: On Deleuze’s Political Philosophy." (2016) Some of his other recent publications include "Against Negativity: Wahl, Deleuze, and Postwar Existentialism" (Symposium, 2016); "Dead Letters: Richard Calder’s Parable of Pornography" (LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, 2013); and "Migratory Rhetorics: Conrad, Salih and the Limits of Culture" in Conrad and the Orient, eds. Amar Acheraiou and Nursel Icoz (2012). His book on Deleuze, Between Immanence and Transcendence: The Early Deleuze and French Philosophy, is under contract with Northwestern University Press.

In addition to his work in the Philosophy Department, Russell is the Assistant Director of the Honors Program and one of the Managing Editors of Investigations, Elmhurst’s journal of interdisciplinary undergraduate research.

He teaches courses in Modern Philosophy, Ethics & Applied Ethics (Biomedical and Business), Social and Political Philosophy, and the Critical Philosophy of Kant.

William Hirstein
Ph.D., University of California, Davis
: Hammerschmidt Chapel, 2

William Hirstein is a Professor of Philosophy. He received his PhD from the University of California, Davis in 1994, studying with Richard Wollheim and (via an intercampus program) John Searle, and, as a postdoctoral researcher, with Patricia Churchland and V. S. Ramachandran. He has published articles on phantom limbs, autism, consciousness, sociopathy, responsibility and the misidentification syndromes. He is the author of several books, including On the Churchlands (Wadsworth, 2004), Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation (MIT, 2005), and Mindmelding: Consciousness, Neuroscience, and the Mind’s Privacy (Oxford, 2012).

He teaches courses in Critical Reasoning, Ancient Philosophy, Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, and Mind & Consciousness.

Tyler Fagan
Visiting Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Office: Lehmann Hall, 320

Tyler Fagan holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research comprises three main topics: how minds think about other minds, and which minds do so; how animal minds work, and how we study them scientifically; and how a better understanding of cognition might reshape our conceptions of agency, responsibility, and moral status. Under the first two headings, his work focuses on methodological questions about anthropomorphism, explanatory parsimony, and the development of better experimental methods for studying mindreading abilities in animals and prelinguistic children. He is also collaborating with Katrina Sifferd and William Hirstein to develop a view of agency, self-control, and responsibility that is both scientifically reputable and practically useful in moral and legal contexts. With grant support from the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project (directed by Alfred Mele), they are working on a book, under contract with MIT Press, titled The Responsible Brain. His recent publications include “Legal Insanity and Executive Function,'' with Katrina Siffferd and William Hirstein, in The Insanity Defense: Multidisciplinary Views on Its History, Trends, and Controversies (2017), Praeger (Mark D. White, ed.); “Animal Mindreading and the Principle of Conservatism,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 54:2 (2016); “Child Soldiers, Executive Functions, and Culpability,” with Katrina Sifferd and William Hirstein (first author), International Criminal Law Review 16:2 (2016); and “All in the Game,” in The Wire and Philosophy (2013), Open Court Press (J. Crosby, D. Bzdak, and S. Vannatta, Eds.).

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