Kevin Hoffman, PhD
Chair & Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion
B.A., Valparaiso University; Ph.D., Fordham University
My introduction to philosophy explores fundamental ideas about justice and personal love—two topics we spend a great deal of time sorting through regardless of job or technical degree. In courses on religion, my approach is existential, treating questions of faith just as those who hold their beliefs actually do. In either case, what matters is that these things matter, since what we care about, and how we understand those concerns, determines how we live outside the classroom. No surprise, then, that my own scholarship devotes special attention to the Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard, who once said: “If we should believe nothing that we cannot see with our physical eyes, then we first and foremost ought to give up believing in love.” More surprising may be how students end up learning something about their own selves—for example, whether one truly, actually thinks playing a video game is more enjoyable than changing a diaper. At first blush, the answer seems obvious until you try to fit that answer into a coherent view of what is worthwhile in human life.
In addition to books and fountain pens, my other tools include a hammer, saw, drill, block plane, and sewing machine. These are handy for constructing a cool desk and chair, for example, to go with the books and pens.
Publications include The Divine Madness of Romantic Ideals, A Reader’s Guide for Kierkegaard’s Stages on Life’s Way, and Exceptionally Common Courage, Fear and Trembling and the Puzzle of Kierkegaard’s Authorship.