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Beth Dixon

Portrait of Beth DixonProfessor of Philosophy

The idea that I try to consistently realize in my professional life is that philosophical reasoning and ethical inquiry are activities connected with our ordinary ways of living. At some point most of us will think about, wrestle with, or be puzzled by a philosophical issue. A professional philosopher can play the role of a guide to thinking clearly, thoroughly, and consistently about these ideas.

Perhaps the main insight that guides the way I teach is that philosophy is a kind of activity — a doing — and it is, additionally, a social activity.

My students are invited to own the philosophical inquiry that takes place in my classes.


Teaching Areas

  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Emotions
  • Ethics and animals
  • Logic
  • Philosophy for children
  • Food justice

Research Areas

  • Ethics
  • Philosophy for children
  • Ethics and animals
  • Food justice

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • “Fables and Philosophy,” forthcoming (spring 2014) in Teaching Ethics.
  • “Learning to See Food Justice,” forthcoming (2013) in Agriculture and Human Values. See
  • “The Politics of Choice: Salt, Sugar, Fat,” presented at the North American Society for Social Philosophy Conference, July 2013.
  • “Breaking the Rules of Respect,” with C. List in Respect: How Do We Get There? A Philosophical Inquiry. Eds. Marsal, Eva, Barbara Weber, and Susan T. Gardner. Lit. Publisher Munster, Berlin, Wien, Zurich, 2013: 57-66.
  • “[How to] Compose the Scene in the Right Way,” presented at the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, Grand Rapids, MI—October 4-6, 2012.
  • “Fables and Philosophy” presented at the session on Precollege Ethics Education, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, Boston, MA—December 27-30, 2010.
  • Animals, Emotion, and Morality: Marking the Boundary (Prometheus Books, September 2008). Read the back cover. (PDF file size is 813kB).
  • “The Moral Responsibility of Children and Animals,” Thinking Vol. 19, no. 1.
  • “Responsibility for Belief: Three Cases,” Teaching Ethics, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 2004).
  • “Narrative Cases,” Teaching Ethics, Vol. 3, no. 1 (Fall 2002).
  • “Animal Emotion,” Ethics and the Environment, Vol. 6 no. 2 (Autumn 2001).


Contact Beth Dixon

Office: Champlain Valley Hall 306
Phone: (518) 564-2836