Michael W. Austin
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY 40475
Ph.D. Philosophy, 2004, University of Colorado at Boulder
Dissertation: Parental Rights and Obligations
Advisor: David Boonin
M.A. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, 2000 (Highest Honors), Talbot School of Theology,
B.A. Political Science, 1991, Kansas State University
Professor of Philosophy
Eastern Kentucky University 2012-present
Department Chair 2015-present
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Eastern Kentucky University 2007-2012
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Eastern Kentucky University 2004-2007
AREAS OF SPECIALTY
Ethics (Theoretical and Applied)
AREAS OF COMPETENCE
Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Sport, Philosophy of Technology, Existentialism, Popular Philosophy
WORKS IN PROGRESS
The Virtue of Humility: A Study in Analytic Moral Theology (research monograph currently
“Humility in Competitive Contexts,” for the volume Humility, edited by Jennifer Wright, in the
book series Becoming Virtuous, edited by Nancy Snow and Darcia Narvaez (Oxford University Press).
Cultivating Christian Virtue (an edited volume of new essays). Part I contains theoretical
discussions of the cultivation of virtue grounded in the works of Joseph Butler, Francis of Assisi, Augustine, and Julian of Norwich, among others. Part II examines the cultivation of particular virtues such as humility, love, attentiveness, contrition, and self-control.
Wise Stewards: Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting (Kregel Academic, 2009).
Conceptions of Parenthood: Ethics and the Family. Ashgate Studies in Applied Ethics (Ashgate,
Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life, with R. Douglas Geivett (Eerdmans, 2012).
“The Doctrine of Theosis: A Transformational Union with Christ,” Journal of Spiritual
Formation and Soul Care 8 (2015): 172-186.
“Is Humility a Virtue in the Context of Sport?” Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2014): 203-
“Sport as a Moral Practice: An Aristotelian Approach,” Philosophy, Philosophy and Sport,
Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 73 (2013): 29-43.
“Defending Humility: A Philosophical Sketch with Replies to Tara Smith and David Hume,”
Philosophia Christi 14 (2012): 461-470.
“Sports as Exercises in Spiritual Formation,” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul
Care 3 (2010): 66-78.
“Magnanimity, Athletic Excellence, and Performance-Enhancing Drugs,” Journal of
Applied Philosophy 26 (2009): 46-53.
“Popular Culture in the Philosophy Classroom: A Modest Defense,” with Greg Bassham,
American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 8 (2008): 6-9.
“Do Children Have a Right to Play?” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 34 (2007): 135-146.
“Fundamental Interests and Parental Rights,” International Philosophical Quarterly 47
“Moral Difficulties in Plantinga’s Model of Warranted Christian Belief,” Philosophy and
Theology 17 (2005): 121-132.
“The Failure of Biological Accounts of Parenthood,” The Journal of Value Inquiry 38
“It Is Ethical Intuitionism, and Not Another Thing: A Reply to Eggleston,” Southwest
Philosophy Review 20 (2004): 155-157.
“On the Alleged Irrationality of Ethical Intuitionism: Are Ethical Intuitions
Epistemically Suspect?” Southwest Philosophy Review 19 (2003): 205-213.
“Moral Actions in Lopsided Games,” in Philosophy: Sport, Macmillan Interdisciplinary
Handbooks, R. Scott Kretchmar (Macmillan, forthcoming 2017).
“Parenthood and Personally Transformative Experiences,” in Procreation, Parenthood, and
Educational Rights: Ethical and Philosophical Issues, eds. Michael Cholbi and Jaime Ahlberg (Routledge, forthcoming 2017).
“Christian Humility as a Social Virtue,” in Character: New Directions from Philosophy,
Psychology, and Theology, Christian Miller, Angela Knobel, R. Michael Furr, and William Fleeson, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 333-350.
“Doping, Sport, and the Pursuit of Excellence,” in Doping, Opposing Viewpoints Series
(Greenhaven Press, 2014).
“Sport as a Moral Practice: An Aristotelian Approach,” in Virtues in Action (Palgrave
Macmillan, 2013), pp. 39-52.
“‘How Then Shall We Live?’: Virtue, Happiness, and the Renovation of the Soul,” in Loving
God with Your Mind: Essays in Honor of J.P. Moreland, Paul Gould and Richard David, eds. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014), pp. 201-212.
“Moral Inquiry,” in The Routledge Companion to Theism, eds. Charles Taliaferro, Victoria
Harrison, and Stewart Goetz (Routledge, 2012), pp. 330-341.
“Compassion,” in Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life (Eerdmans, 2012), pp. 185-
“Rights and Obligations of Parents,” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013):
“Divine Command Theory,” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006):
“Parental Rights and Obligations,” Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy,
edited by Jack Rabin (New York: Marcel Dekker, online edition, 2005).
“Parenting,” Ethics, revised edition, ed. by John K. Roth (Pasadena, CA: Salem
Press, 2005), pp. 1089-1090.
“Whistleblowing: Corporate and Public Policy” (with Mike Harper)
Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, ed. by Jack
Rabin (New York: Marcel Dekker, online edition 2004).
A Brief Theology of Sport, by Lincoln Harvey, in Journal of the Evangelical Theological
Society 58 (2015): 205-209.
The Second-Person Perspective in Aquinas’s Ethics, by Andrew Pinsent, in The Philosophical
Quarterly 64 (2014): 507-509.
Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern World, by M. Andrew Holowchak and
Heather L. Reid, in Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 39 (2012): 321-324.
Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children, edited by David
Archard and David Benatar, in Social Theory and Practice 38 (2012): 553-559.
Jesus and Philosophy: New Essays, edited by Paul K. Moser, in Faith and Philosophy 27
The Ethics of Parenthood, by Norvin Richards, at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,
God and the Reach of Reason, by Erik J. Wielenberg, in Philosophia Christi 12 (2010): 236-239.
Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals, by Daniel Dombrowski, in Journal of the
Philosophy of Sport 37 (2010): 122-125.
The Playing Fields of Eton: Equality and Excellence in Modern Meritocracy, by Mika
Tapani LaVaque-Manty, in Teachers College Record (online)
Personal Virtues: Introductory Essays, edited by Clifford Williams, in Teaching
Philosophy 30:3 (2007): 327-329.
Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, by Erik J. Wielenberg, in Philosophia Christi 8
(Series 2, 2006): 183-185.
The Story of Ethics: Fulfilling Our Human Nature, ed. by Kelly James Clark and Anne
Poortenga, in Teaching Philosophy 28:3 (2005): 279-281.
Christian Theism and Moral Philosophy, ed. by Michael Beaty, Carlton Fisher, and Mark
Nelson, in Philosophia Christi 3 (Series 2, 2001): 608-610.
Body and Soul: Human Nature and the Crisis in Ethics, by J.P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae, in
Ethics and Medicine 17 (2001): 189-190.
New Ethics for the Public’s Health, ed. by Daniel Beauchamp and Bonnie Steinbock, in
Ethics and Medicine 16 (2000): 93-94.
Popular Philosophy: Books
The Olympics and Philosophy, co-edited with Heather Reid (University Press of Kentucky,
Coffee – Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate, co-edited with Scott Parker (Wiley-
Fatherhood – Philosophy for Everyone: The Dao of Daddy, co-edited with Lon Nease (Wiley-
Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force, co-edited with Jesús
Ilundain (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
Football and Philosophy: Going Deep, editor (University Press of Kentucky, 2008).
Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind, editor (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).
Popular Philosophy: Book Chapters and Articles
“A Greatness of Olympic Proportions,” in The Olympics and Philosophy (University Press of
Kentucky, 2012), pp. 9-22.
“The Necessary Ground of Being,” in Coffee—Philosophy for Everyone (Wiley-Blackwell,
2011), pp. 25-33.
“Dads and Daughters: Wisdom for a Winding Road,” in Fatherhood – Philosophy for Everyone
(Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), pp. 190-201.
“From Shoes to Saddle,” in Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010),
“Lost Together: Fathers, Sons, and Moral Obligations,” in The Ultimate Lost and Philosophy
(Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 220-232.
*Earlier version: “What Do Jack and Locke Owe Their Fathers?” in Lost and Philosophy, edited by Sharon Kaye (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), pp. 9-17.
“Why Harry and Socrates Decide to Die: Virtue and the Common Good,” in The Ultimate
Harry Potter and Philosophy, edited by Gregory Bassham (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp.
“Football, Fame, and Fortune,” The Other Journal 18 (2010):
“Why Winning Matters,” Think 9 (2010): 99-102.
“Crowning a True Champion: The Case for a College Football Playoff,” in Football and
Philosophy, pp. 117-127.
“Chasing Happiness Together: Running and Aristotle’s Philosophy of Friendship,” in Running
and Philosophy, pp. 11-19.
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS (*invited)
*“Sport for the Sake of the Soul,” Inaugural Global Congress on Sport and Christianity, York St.
John University, August 2016.
*“For the Sake of Character: A Trinitarian Family Ethic,” Plenary Address at the Annual
Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, November 2015.
“Humility: A Study in Analytic Moral Theology,” The Character Project Workshop, Wake
Forest University, June 2013.
“The Virtue of Humility,” Society of Christian Philosophers Mountain-Pacific Region
Conference, University of Colorado-Boulder, March 2013.
“On the Need for Analytic Moral Theology,” Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical
Society, November 2012.
*“Conceptions of Parenthood,” California State University, Sacramento, March 2012.
*“Sport as a Moral Practice: An Aristotelian Approach,” Royal Institute of Philosophy, London,
November 2011; also delivered at California State University, Sacramento, March 2012.
“Omnibenevolence and God’s Moral Concessions in the Old Testament,”
Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, November 2010.
“The Nature and Practice of Compassion,” Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical
Society, Providence, RI, November 2008.
“Magnanimity, Modafinil, and Moral Theory,” International Association for the Philosophy
of Sport, Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, April 2008 (in absentia).
“Do Children Have a Right to Play?” International Association for the Philosophy of Sport,
Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, April 2007.
“The Compassionate Person,” Chautauqua Lecture Series at Eastern Kentucky University,
March 8, 2007.
“Teaching Controversial Topics,” EKU Teaching and Learning Center, January 2007.
“Virtue in a Naturalistic Vise: Theism, Naturalism, and the Good Life of Virtue,” Annual
Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, Washington, DC, November 2006.
“A Causal Account of Parental Obligations,” 9th Annual Inland Northwest Philosophy
Conference: Action, Ethics, and Responsibility, Washington State University, March
“The Inadequacy of Biological Accounts of Parenthood,” 57th Annual Mountain-Plains
Philosophy Conference, Fort Hays State University, October 2004.
“On the Justification and Extent of Parental Rights,” 20th International Social Philosophy
Conference, Annual Meeting of the North American Society for Social Philosophy,
Boston, MA, July 2003; A version of this paper was also presented at the Center for
Values and Social Policy, University of Colorado-Boulder, in February 2003.
“On the Alleged Irrationality of Ethical Intuitionism: Are Ethical Intuitions Epistemically
Suspect?” 64th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Kansas City, MO, November 2002.
“A Very Limited Defense of the Argument from Contingency,” Annual Meeting of the
Evangelical Philosophical Society, Colorado Springs, CO, November, 2001.
AWARDS AND GRANTS
“Character Essay and Book Prize” from The Character Project for Being Good: Christian Virtues
for Everyday Life, with Doug Geivett (Eerdmans, 2012), June 2013.
“Humility: A Study in Analytic Moral Theology,” Research Grant from The Character Project,
Wake Forest University, The John Templeton Foundation, 2012-2013
Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Award Nominee, 2012
Golden Apple Teaching Award Nominee, 2011
National Endowment for the Humanities, Enduring Questions Course Grant, “Do we need God
for the good life?” Summer 2009-Summer 2011
EKU College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, 2008
EKU College of Arts & Sciences Junior Faculty Summer Research Award, 2006
McNair Community Fellow LOVE Award (for outstanding McNair mentors), 2004
Graduate Teacher Program Certification, University of Colorado, 2003
Departmental Nominee for Teaching Excellence Award, University of Colorado, 2002
The Robert N. Oliver Award in Systematic Theology, 2000
- Given to the student with the best work for the year in the Department of Systematic Theology, Talbot School of Theology
Phi Beta Kappa, 1990
Member of IACUC, 2012-2015
Coordinator, “Faculty Ethics,” Professional Learning Community, 2010-2011.
Member of Internal Review Board, Fall 2009-Spring 2011
Member of the Retention and Graduation Task Force (appointed), Fall 2006-Spring 2008
Member of the EKU Center for Environmental Education Advisory Board, 2005-2007
EKU Reads Project, Discussion Group Leader, 2005
PLUS Mentoring Program Mentor, 2004-2005
Research and Faculty Development Committee, 2016-present
Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2012-2013.
Academic Integrity Committee, 2010-2011
Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, 2006-2008
Curriculum Committee, 2006
Planning Group, Environmental Issues Theme for General Education, 2006
New General Education Program Assessment Workshop, 2005
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Committee of the Whole, 2004-present
Philosophy Club Debate Participant, “Should there be reparations for slavery in the United
States?” February 2013
Search Committee Chair, Ethics search, 2007, 2008
Search Committee, Eastern Thought search, 2006
General Education Assessment, Course Coordinator for PHI 130 and PHI 240, 2005-
Department Newsletter Committee, 2004-2006
Department Committee on Academic Practices, 2004-2006
Proposal Coordinator for General Education Curriculum, PHI 130, 240, 363, and 385,
Philosophy Club Debate Participant, “When Should the U.S. Engage in Political
Assassination?” November 2005
Philosophy Club Co-Advisor, 2004-2005
Philosophy Club Debate Participant, “Should the U.S.A. Permit Same-Sex Marriages or
Same-Sex Civil Unions?” October 2004
Reviewer for Ethics, Social Theory and Practice, Religious Studies, Journal of Religious Ethics,
Journal of Applied Philosophy, The Journal of Value Inquiry, Hypatia, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Theoria, Philosophia Christi, Philosophia, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Philosophical Papers, Humanities, Rowman and Littlefield, Springer, Palgrave Macmillan, University Press of Kentucky, Thomson Wadsworth, Oxford University Press, and Prentice Hall.
Executive Council, International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, 2008-2011
Member of American Philosophical Association Committee on Public Philosophy, 2008-2011
Speaker, Speakers Bureau of the Kentucky Humanities Council, 2006-2008, 2009, 2015-present
Contributor, In Socrates’ Wake: A Philosophy Teaching Blog