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W. John Koolage

Associate Professor & Interim Director of General Education

 W. John Koolage 702-M Pray Harrold



Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2008)
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin - Madison (2003)
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Manitoba (1999)
B.A. in Philosophy & Psychology, University of Manitoba (1995)
B.Comm. (Hons) in Finance, University of Manitoba (1994)

Professional Associations/Memberships

Representative Courses Taught

PHIL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 110 - Philosophies of Life
PHIL 220 - Ethics
PHIL 228 - Global Ethics
PHIL 375 - Metaphysics
PHIL 442/542 - Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 471 - Early Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 480/580 - Philosophy of Science
PHIL 481/581 - Philosophy of the Life Sciences


Interests and Expertise

Professor Koolage specializes in general philosophy of science. His primary focus is on (proper) scientific inferences and their limits. He is also interested in the philosophic assumptions and implications of several specific sciences, including psychology, cognitive science, biology, chemistry, and geology. His other research interests are epistemology and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

His teaching interests are broad, but he especially enjoys teaching general philosophy of science, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of biology, ethics, and introduction to philosophy. He also enjoys any and all opportunities to introduce students to philosophy and philosophical thinking.

Dr. Koolage is the 2011 recipient of Eastern Michigan University's Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Teaching I Award.
Other EMU teaching awards include a 2017 Thank-a-Teacher award and a 2011 Student Success Network Award.
Dr. Koolage is also a 2016 NEH grant recipient.


Selected Publications

"Reasoning, Science, and The Ghost Hunt," (with Timothy Hansel) Teaching Philosophy (forthcoming)

"Climate Modeling: Comments on Coincidence, Conspiracy, and Climate Change Denial," (with Michael Goldsby) Environmental Philosophy, Vol. 12, Issue 2, Fall 2015, p 221-252.

"Miraculous Consilience? Constraints on Formulations of the No Miracles Argument," European Scientific Journal, June 2015, Special Edition Vol. 2

"Affording Disaster: Concealed Carry on Campus," (with Jill Dieterle) Public Affairs Quarterly: Volume 28, No. 2, 2014, p 115. LINK

Introduction to Philosophy: An Online Textbook, Great River Learning, 2011.

"Chemical Action: What is it, and Why Does It Matter?" (with Ralph Hall) The Journal of Nanoparticle Research: Volume 13, Issue 4, 2011, p 1401. LINK

Introduction to Philosophy: An Online Textbook, Great Rivers Learning, 2011


Realism and the Agreement of Independent Measurements

Recent Professional Presentations
“The Sophia Project: An Experimental Curriculum,” (with Dani Clevenger, Taylor Chase, Lauren Williams, and Katherine Valek), Excel@Teaching: Empowering Student Learners (2017)

“Using AAC&U's VALUE Rubrics to Design an NEH-funded General Education Course on Discovery” (with Darlene Leifson), (a) Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference (2017); (b) AAC&U's General Education Assessment conference (2017)

"High Impact Practices, Culminating Events, and Student Learning” (with Dani Clevenger), Marygrove College (2017)

"Teaching through Culminating Events" (with Dani Clevenger), Regional Conference on Teaching Philosophy in the Michigan Area (2016)

"Assessing Undergraduate Research by way of Research Capstone Events: A Case with some Data" (with Dani Clevenger), Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Academy (2016)

"Enhancing Teaching and Research Practices through Informal Faculty Collaborations" (with Darlene Leifson), Student Success Conference (2016)

"Performing Faculty Stories: how to craft and use story as a teaching and learning tool" (with Jessica Alexander and Jennifer Kindred), Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Academy (2015)

"Epistemic Injustice and the Humanities" Youngstown State University's Eat, Think, Drink (2014)

"Unlearning and the One Minute Paper" Facilitators Training Seminar, American Association for Philosophy Teachers (2014)

Comments on "A Second Millian Account of the Desirability of Pleasure" by Andrew Sneddon, Pacific APA (2014)

"Climate Modeling: Comments on Coincidence, Conspiracy, and Climate Change Skepticism" International Social Philosophy Conference (2013)

Comments on "Responsibility and Implicit Bias" by Michael Brownstein, Pacific APA (2013)

"Exploring the Link Between Can and Should" Star Lecture Series, Eastern Michigan University (2012)

"Epistemic Injustice and the Humanities Classroom" International Social Philosophy Conference (2011)

"Mitigating Epistemic Injustice in the Humanities" Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Academy Conference (2011)

"Chemical Action: The Need to Determine if Nanoparticles work 'Chemically' or 'Physically'" Toward the Regulation of Nanomaterials, Notre Dame (2010) ONLINE