Below is a list of faculty that are active in the department, and available to students with course specific questions. If you need administrative support, we encourage you to refer your questions to one of the following;

  • The Chair of the department (see below) can address detailed program questions, including program requirements, planning and selection, research opportunities, graduate studies, and more.
  • The Academic advisor, if available, can offer support including course registration and course load, important dates, academic policies and more.
  • The Academic Deans serve as the academic and administrative anchors to the professors within their Faculties or Schools as well as the students.

Faculty of the Philosophy Department:

Dr. James Crooks

Dr. James Crooks

Full Professor – Department Chairperson

Born on Prince Edward Island, Jamie Crooks grew up in Ontario and New Brunswick. He studied music at Mount Allison University where he majored in piano and served as assistant conductor of the Mount Allison Choral Society. In graduate study at the University of Toronto, his area of specialization was German Philosophy. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche. He is currently chair of the Bishop’s University Department of Philosophy.

Since coming to Bishop’s in 1990, Dr. Crooks has served the University in on a variety of fronts. He was the University’s Ombudsperson from 1991-94. He was a founder and original director of the interdisciplinary major in Classics, Philosophy and Religion (1995) and its eventual successor, the Liberal Arts Programme (1998). With musical partner Fannie Gaudette, he ran the Bishop’s University Singers for 15 years (1999-2014). With George Rideout and Fannie Gaudette, he developed a tradition of Musical Theatre in the Departments of Drama and Music culminating in the official launch of that programme in 2020. He served on two occasions as Chief Negotiator for the APBU (2002-07) and is currently President (2022). He served as the inaugural Dean of Arts and Science (2008-11) and as Interim Vice-Principal of the University (2013-14). He was co-director of the internal arm of the most recent Capital Campaign (2014). He was director of the Psychological Health and Well-Being Research Cluster (2017-19) under the auspices of which he helped launch the Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization. He directed the library renovation project culminating in the opening of the Library Learning Commons (2018). With colleague Bruce Gilbert, Dr. Crooks has organized and hosted seven conferences for the Philosophy Department over the past 20 years featuring speakers from Canada, the U.S., Europe and South America.

Research

In 2018, Dr. Crooks published We Find Ourselves Put to the Test: A Reading of the Book of Job with McGill-Queens University Press. The book was nominated for the Quebec Writers Federation Mavis Gallant Prize in Non-Fiction.

He has recently completed two book-length manuscripts:

Le Matin Intime: Une Exploration Philosophique sous Forme de Journal – translation of Henry Bugbee’s The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form with Lyne Charpentier.

An Architecture of Gratitude: On the Genius of Bach’s Mass in B-minor.

Other Recent Publications

‘Recovering Kairos: Toward a Heideggerian Analysis of Procrastination’. In Procrastination, Health and Well-Being, eds. Timothy Pychyl and Fuschia Sirois, Elsevier Inc.

‘Grief and Homecoming in Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy’. In Ideas Under Fire, eds. Jonathan Lavery, Louis Groarke and William Sweet, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

“’Praise the world to the Angel’: Heidegger, Schmitz and the Liturgy of the Thing”. In History, Singularity and Being: Essays in Honour of Kenneth L. Schmitz, eds. Michael Baur & Robert E. Wood, Catholic University of America Press.

“Inventing Socrates: Truth, Jest and Care in Plato’s Apology”. In Reexamining Socrates in the Apology, ed. John Russon, Northwestern University Press.

“Plato and the Future of Education”, Journal of Eastern Townships Studies 45.

“A Play of Differences: Remarks on Heidegger and the Greeks”, International Journal of the Classical Tradition.

Recent Conference Presentations/Invited Lectures/Public Talks

“On Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black”. For Canada Reads: One Book to Connect Us, Lennoxville, Quebec

“The Temporality of Counterpoint: Notes on Heidegger and Bach”. For the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy – Annual Meeting, Bishop’s University.

“Wonder at Beginnings and Ends”. For CreativeMornings Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Wiederholung Before and After the Turn”. For The Philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Bishop’s University

“Citizen as Host: On a Theme from Emmanuel Levinas”. For The Bishop’s Forum, Bishop’s University

“Bach’s Mass in B Minor as Text: Notes from a Philosophy Class”. For Bishop’s University’s Departments of Music and Liberal Arts as preparation for a performance of the Mass in B Minor by the Bishop’s University Singers under the direction of Julien Proulx.

“Citizenship is a Lifelong Journey – Some Thoughts on Plato’s Republic”. For The Bishop’s Forum, Bishop’s University.

Das recht Sangbare: Some Notes on Hegel’s Theory of Vocal Music”. For Hegel on the Romantic Arts, Bishop’s University.

“Recovering ‘Kairos’: Toward a Heideggerian Analysis of Procrastination”. For the 8th Biennial Procrastination Research Conference, Bishop’s University.

“‘Singing as you teach it . . .’: Reflections on Music and Community”. For TEDx at Up for Debate, Bishop’s University

‘Heidegger, Humanisme et éthique’. For ACFAS, Université de Sherbrooke

‘Plato and the Future of Education.’ For First Wednesdays, Vermont Humanities Council, Stanstead, Quebec

Dr. Don Dombowsky

Dr. Don Dombowsky

Full Professor

Don Dombowsky did his graduate study at the University of Ottawa and the New School for Social Research in New York. He has taught a wide range of courses for the Politics and International Studies, Philosophy and Liberal Arts programs on selected topics in the history and theory of politics, philosophy and art.

He was nominated for the William & Nancy Turner Teaching Award in 2011 and received a Teaching Merit Award for his Classical Political Philosophy II course in 2012. In 2019 he was nominated for a Bishop’s Teaching Award.

Research

Professor Dombowsky’s research deals primarily with the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche for which he is internationally recognized. He is the author of Nietzsche’s Machiavellian Politics (2004) and co-editor of Political Writings of Friedrich Nietzsche: An Edited Anthology (2008). He has also published articles in the Journal of Nietzsche Studies and Nietzsche Studien: Internationales Jahrbuch für die Nietzsche-Forschung as well as in other Canadian and European journals. In April of 2011 he was awarded a SSHRC Research Grant for his study of Nietzsche and Napoleon published as Nietzsche and Napoleon: The Dionysian Conspiracy (University of Wales Press, 2014).

Publications

Books

Nietzsche and Napoleon: The Dionysian Conspiracy (University of Wales Press, 2014).

Co-editor, Political Writings of Friedrich Nietzsche: An Edited Anthology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Nietzsche’s Machiavellian Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

Book Chapters

‘Les sources du Napoléon de Nietzsche’. In: Martine Béland (ed.). Lectures nietzschéennes. Sources et réceptions. (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, coll. “Pensée allemande et européenne”, 2015), 163-199.

‘Aristocratic Radicalism as a Species of Bonapartism’. In: Manuel Knoll and Barry Stocker (eds.). Nietzsche as Political Philosopher (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2014), 195-209.

‘A Response to Alan D. Schrift’s “Nietzsche For Democracy?”’ (2002). Reprinted in: Tracy Strong (ed.). International Library of Essays in the History of Social and Political Thought – Friedrich Nietzsche. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009), 109-121.

‘Nietzsche as Bonapartist’. In: Herman W. Siemens and V. Roodt (eds.). Nietzsche, Power and Politics: Rethinking Nietzsche’s Legacy for Political Thought. (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008), 347-369.

Recent Journal Articles

‘“The Last Metaphysician”: Heidegger on Nietzsche’s Politics’. The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms. Vol. 23. Issue 6. 2018, pp. 628-642.

‘Ian Curtis and the German Autumn’. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination. Volume 7. Nos. 1 & 2. Spring 2018, pp. 31-49.

Recent Paper Presentations

‘Symbolic Insurrection: Eternal Recurrence as an Instrument of Appropriation’. Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference, Bishop’s University, September 26-28, 2019.

‘Nietzsche as Viewed by the European New Right’. Conference on Nietzsche’s Critique of Values and its Reception. Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Nietzsche-Kommentar, University of Freiburg, Germany, June 4-5, 2019.

‘Nietzsche’s Bonapartism and the Displacement of the Nomadic Reconstruction’. Symposium on Nietzsche, Politics and Values. Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Nietzsche-Kommentar, University of Freiburg, Germany, May 16, 2018.

‘Heidegger’s Defining of Nietzsche’s Politics’. Symposium on Nietzsche’s Social and Political Thought. Bishop’s University, September 15, 2017.

‘Nietzsche’s Bonapartism’. Philosophisches Kolloquium. University of Konstanz, Germany, May 7, 2015.

‘Aristocratic Radicalism as a Species of Bonapartism’. MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory. Ninth Annual Conference. Nietzsche and Political Theory. University of Manchester, U.K., Sept. 5-7, 2012.

Dr. Bruce Gilbert

Dr. Bruce Gilbert

Full Professor

Bruce Gilbert has a Ph. D from the Department of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University (B.A. History, Toronto; Diploma in Education and Pastoral Care, Centre for Christian Studies; M.A. Religious Studies, McGill). His recent book, The Vitality of Contradiction: Hegel, Politics and the Dialectic of Liberal-Capitalism (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014), won the Biennial Book Prize of the Canadian Philosophical Association. It articulates the philosophical arguments for a society that is politically but also economically and culturally democratic. He has a cross appointment at Bishop’s, teaching in both the Department of Philosophy and the Liberal Arts Program. Dr. Gilbert’s research, most broadly speaking, engages dialectical philosophy in the spheres of ethics, society, politics, ecology and religion.

If dialectic names the process by which humanity learns, then freedom is not merely choice, but is rather our capacity to develop increasingly sophisticated forms of relationship with each other and our environment. Dr. Gilbert also engages in empirical research on this topic, focusing on social movements in Brazil, especially on the Movement of Landless Rural Workers of Brazil (MST), a large and very successful social movement which occupies under-utilized land in order to create self-sufficient farming cooperatives. The MST now has some 1.5 million members and its own university near São Paulo. Dr. Gilbert is also Professeur Associé at the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Laval.

Research

The Struggle for Comprehensive Democracy

Dr. Gilbert’s research has both a philosophical or theoretical wing, and an empirical or practical wing.

Philosophical Foundations:
 His research is based in the dialectical political philosophy of authors like Hegel and Marx. “Dialectic” names the process of human learning. Dialectic refers as much to the way a child learns to speak as to the way whole societies learn the imperatives of their own freedom.  This means, then, that freedom is not merely “choice”, which is our common-sense understanding, but is rather our capacity to enter into increasingly sophisticated forms of relationship with each other and our environment. While our processes of learning can frequently be diverted, stalled or can even regress, our capacity to learn to relate to each other in better and better ways is a permanent and essential feature of what it means to be human. Dr. Gilbert focuses in particular on the dialectic of society, economy and politics. His recent monograph, The Vitality of Contradiction: Hegel, Politics and the Dialectic of Liberal-Capitalism (Awarded the Canadian Philosophical Association Book Prize in 2015), articulates the philosophical arguments for this view of dialectic and freedom, holding as its conclusion that further developments in human freedom must move beyond the constraints of contemporary liberal-capitalism.

Empirical Studies: 
Dr. Gilbert researches empirical features of this theory by studying social movements in Latin America, and especially the Movement of Landless Rural Workers of Brazil (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra do Brasil, or MST). The MST is a large and very successful social movement made up of people who are, when they first enter the movement, among the poorest and most marginalized people in the world. Members of the MST seize the under-utilized estates of wealthy landowners and build self-sufficient farming cooperatives on them. Of course this strategy meets with serious and often violent resistance. Nonetheless, the MST now has some 1.5 million members, thousands of successful cooperatives, and its own university near São Paulo, where it trains its workers and others who come from across Latin America and the Caribbean to learn the MST’s methods and philosophical principles. Dr. Gilbert’s research focuses on the ways in which the MST attempts to live up to its own mandate, which is to ensure the “supremacy of labour over capital” and to “build socialist values”. This involves studying the MST’s efforts to extend democracy into the sphere of economics and work and, as such, to build forms of community predicated on more sophisticated concepts of freedom than those of the liberal juridical system and capitalist economy that the MST challenges. Recently, Dr. Gilbert has extended this research into an exploration of the organizations of lawyers that provide greatly needed advocacy to the MST and other social movements, “Terra de Direitos”, “A Rede Nacional de Advogados e Advogadas Populares (RENAP) and “Dignitatis”.

Publications

Recent Publications

The Vitality of Contradiction: Hegel, Politics and the Dialectic of Liberal-Capitalism. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.  Awarded the Canadian Philosophical Association Biennial Book Prize, 2015.

“’Socialist Values’ and Cooperation in Brazil’s Movement of Landless Rural Workers”, with Aldiva Sales Diniz, Latin American Perspectives, 2013.

“Caridade e Exclusão entre Dante e Marx”, Teoria, Discurso e Ação Política, Universidade de São Paulo, 2013.

O MST e a Propriedade Privada: Os argumentos filosóficos que justificam a ocupação da terra”, Homem, Espaco, Terra, Ano IV, No. 2, October, 2010.

“Tragédia como o enigma político:  Explorações de Sófocles, de Shakespeare e de Tournier”,  Integração, Sao Paulo, 2007.

“Workers’ Power and Socialism: A Study of Brazil’s Movement of Landless Workers”, Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination.

Recent Public Papers

“A Questão de Línguas: Entre a Filosofia e os Movimentos Sociais”, Centro Acadêmico de Filosofia, Universidade de São Paulo”, April 13, 2015.

“William Blake and Hegel on the Road to Jerusalem”, Ontario-Quebec Hegel Organization, March 28, 2015.

“Reason and Reductio: Kant’s Deduction of the Pure Concepts”, The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant Philosophy Symposium, Bishop’s University, November 28, 2014.

“Boccaccio and the Pathos of Laughter”, at the Bishop’s University Boccaccio Symposium, November 14, 2014.

“Les coopératives et la démocratie dans le Mouvement des Travailleurs Ruraux Sans Terre du Brésil,” upcoming at the Centre d’études et de recherches sur le Brésil, Université de Québec à Montréal, April 7, 2013.

“Love of the Nostro in Dante’s Divine Comedy”, upcoming at the Dante Symposium, Bishop’s University, February 22, 2013.

“Treasury of the Sun: Reflections on Book VI of Plato’s Republic,” Toronto Philosophy Symposium, June 13, 2012.

“Le Vin et le Sang chez Diderot et Hegel”, I Jornada da Filosofia Moderna, Universidade Federal de Parana, Curitiba, Brazil, December 16, 2011.

“Contradiction and the Fluidity of Life: Case Studies from Logic and Ethics,” Ryerson University Department of Philosophy Colloquium, September 27, 2011.

“Marx’s Theory of Exploitation”, Ryerson University Humanities Program, September 27, 2011.

“Adam Smith’s Critique of Mercantilism in The Wealth of Nations,” Toronto Philosophy Symposium, June 10, 2011.

“Exclusão, Caridade e a Teoria Marxista de Exploração ”, Conference: Teoria, Discurso e Ação Política, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, April 8, 2011.

“Os Usos e abusos do princípio da não-contradição”, Universidade Federal do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, April 12, 2011.

“A Filosofia da Propriedade Privada: Explorando o Caso do Movimento Sem Terra”, O Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos of the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 11, 2011.

“Marx e os movimentos sociais na América Latina hoje: O caso do Movimento Sem Terra”, Universidade São Judas Tadeu, São Paulo, Brazil, April 5, 2011.

“From Literacy to Autonomy: The radical pedagogy of Brazil’s Movement of Landless Rural Workers”, International Development Week, Bishop’s University, February 1, 2011.

“Invasion or Occupation: Justice, Private Property and the Movement of Landless Workers in Brazil,” Guest lecture, St. Thomas University, November 18, 2010.

“As Belas Artes e a Verdade: O Nascimento do Saber”, Centre for Human Sciences, Universidade Estadual Vale de Acaraú, Sobral, Brasil, October 20, 2010.

“As Belas Artes e a Verdade: O Nascimento do Saber”, Campus do Retoria, Auditoria Central, Universidade Estadual Vale de Acaraú, Sobral, Brasil, October 22, 2010.

“Political Right and Fichte’s Deduction of the Concept of Commonwealth”, at the Toronto Philosophy Symposium, University of Toronto, June 16, 2010.

“Private Property of the Means of Production: From Roemer to the Brazilian Movement of the Landless”, at the Society for Socialist Studies, Concordia University, May 31, 2010.

“Brazil’s Movement of Landless Workers: A New Specter”, at Historical Materialism, York University, May 14, 2010.

“Invasion or Occupation: Justice, Private Property the Movement of Landless Workers in Brazil,” Guest Lecture, Ryerson University, Toronto, February 5, 2009.

“Contradição e Justiça na Filosofia Política de Hegel”, Guest Lecture at the Universidade São Judas Tadeu, São Paulo, Brazil.  May 12, 2008.

“O Declínio e Auge da Liberdade:  Filosofia Política de Hegel”, Guest Lecture at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.  May 21, 2007.

“O Declínio e Auge da Liberdade:  Filosofia Política de Hegel”, Guest Lecture at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.  May 25, 2007.