Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

Full-Time Faculty

Kristen Irwin, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor of Philosophy;
Undergraduate Program Director

Specialty Area: Early Modern Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion

Office #:  Crown Center 345

Phone: 773.508.2320

Email: kirwin@luc.edu

CV Link: Kristen Irwin CV

External Webpage: https://philpeople.org/profiles/kristen-irwin


All of my research is, in some way, about what we can (and do) believe about the Divine, and the implications of those beliefs for our self-understanding and existence in the world.  European philosophers of the 17th century struggle in complicated ways with these questions, so I’ve trained my focus on them, but I’m interested in these questions wherever they show up!  This means that I pursue topics like the limits of knowledge, what counts as good evidence for different classes of beliefs, the difference between divine and human moral norms and judgments, and how we understand the role of the Divine in various types of suffering (but especially mental disorders).


PhD, University of California, San Diego

Professional Employment

2023-present: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

2014-2023: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

2009-2014: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

2006-2009: Instructor, University of California San Diego

Program Areas

Modern Philosophy (philosophy major and graduate program distribution requirements), Epistemology and Metaphysics (graduate program distribution requirements)

Research Interests

Skepticism (and epistemology more generally); problem(s) of evil & metaethics; philosophy of mental disorders

Professional & Community Affiliations

American Philosophical Association; Society of Christian Philosophers; Evangelical Philosophical Society; Leibniz Society of North America; The John Locke Society; Philosophers in Jesuit Education

Courses Taught

PHIL 130 (Philosophy and Persons); HONR 102 (Renaissance to Modernity); PHIL 309 (Modern Philosophy); PHIL 416 (Topics in Modern Philosophy)


Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Selected Publications

Representative publications:


“Locke and Contemporary Philosophy of Religion” in The Lockean Mind, eds. Shelley Weinberg & Jessica Gordon-Roth (Routledge 2022), 582-591.


Reading Bayle, Again: A Survey of the Interpretive Landscape and A Defense of the Academic-Moral Knowledge Reading” in Sceptical Doubt and Disbelief in Modern European Thought: A New Pan-American Dialogue, eds. Plinio J. Smith & Vicente Raga (Springer 2021), 143-160.


“Enabling Ivan Karamazov: Responding to Mark Murphy’s God’s Own Ethics: Norms of Divine Agency and the Argument from Evil, Religious Studies 53:4 (November 2017), 557-563.


“The Implications of Bayle’s Qualified Academic Skepticism for Moral Knowledge,” in Academic Scepticism in Early Modern Philosophy (eds. Plínio J. Smith & Sébastien Charles; Springer 2016), 275-292.


Pierre Bayle” in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, https://iep.utm.edu/pierre-bayle/