James Murphy, S.J.
James G. Murphy has been Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Loyola University Chicago since 2009. His MA thesis (1987) was in philosophy of mind, on the work of Jerry Fodor. He completed his PhD at the University of Maryland in 2001, with a thesis in philosophy of science, on the constitutive a priori in the early writings of the logical positivist Rudolf Carnap.
He taught philosophy at Milltown Institute, Dublin, Ireland from 1987 to 1990, and again from 1996 to 2008. A qualified high school teacher, he also has completed graduate studies in theology.
Before coming to Loyola University Chicago, much of his writing was on public policy, with articles on housing, health-care funding, unemployment, and private property. A central focus of writing, both at academic and popular levels, has been the application of ethical theory to public policy debates and Catholic moral thought in a wide range of areas. He has also written articles on the ethics of war and neutrality, Irish nationalism, and the science-religion relationship. Among the more notable is ‘Easter Ethics’, in G. Doherty and D. Keogh, eds. 1916: The Long Revolution (2007), and ‘Science vs. religion: the phony war’, Studies 96 (2007), which was also translated into Italian and published in Civilta Cattolica (2008). His articles on business ethics include: ‘The discipline of economics and the search for the common good’ in P. Riordan, ed. Values in Public Life: Aspects of the Common Good; and ‘People in business: context and character’ in G. Flynn, ed. Leadership and Business Ethics (2008).
Among his philosophical articles are ‘Epistemological issues in liberation theology and feminist philosophy’, Milltown Studies 26 (1990); ‘Utopianism, advocacy, and consequentialism’, Milltown Studies 28 (1991); ‘Kant and moral motivation: why love is not enough’, Milltown Studies 33 (1994); ‘The many ways of justice’, Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 26/2 (1994); ‘Notes on proportionality’, Milltown Studies 37 (1997); ‘Causation: the case for a two-tiered realism’, Milltown Studies 48 (2001); ‘Kant’s other progeny: logical positivists and conceptual pragmatists’, Milltown Studies 51 (2003); ‘Virtue ethics and Christian moral reflection’, Milltown Studies 55 (2005); ‘Philosophical perspectives on spirituality’, in Una Agnew et al, eds., With Wisdom Seeking God: the academic study of spirituality (2008); ‘Bioethics and non-psychological views of the person’, Teaching Ethics 9/1 (2008); ‘The principle of double effect: act-types and intentions’, International Philosophical Quarterly (2013); ‘Carnap’s distinction and the God-question’ in Festschrift for Santiago Sia (2013).
In 2006, he authored a 60,000-word philosophy of science text for a distance learning B.A. in Philosophy for Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England.
His forthcoming book, War’s Ends, on the ethics of war is to be published by Georgetown University Press in 2014.
His current research interests lie in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and epistemology.
He is a Catholic priest and a member of the Jesuit order.