Eric Palmer

Headshot of Eric Palmer
Office Phone: (814) 332-3312
Office Building: Arter Hall
Office Room: 109A
Box #: 27

Professional Title/s

Professor : Philosophy Program Chair

Faculty Credentials

B.A., Carleton University (1987); M.A., Ph.D. University of California, San Diego (1991)

Biographical Information

Courses (SP '24)

  • PHIL 230 - Science in a Cultural Setting
  • PHIL 285 - Business and Management Ethics
  • PHIL 310 - Global Justice

Research Fields

  • Applied ethical theory, with focus on globalization, development, multinational business, international law and human rights.
  • History of Philosophy: Early Modern, especially Descartes: 1580-1650; Voltaire & French Philosophy: 1730-89.
  • Philosophy and History of Science: Scientific Methodology, Especially Astronomy and Physics, 1500-1650; Explanation and Physico-Theology, 1675-1750.

Current Work

  • Concept of human and social development and its relation to the Capabilities approach and to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Human and social development and its relation to decolonial thought
  • President, International Development Ethics Association []
  • Co-Editor (with Christine Koggel) of Journal of Global Ethics []
  • Social-ethical consequences of excessive microlending, payday lending and mobile cash, especially in India and USA
  • Rise and fall of divine teleology in scientific explanations in the 17th-18th centuries
  • Cultural history of Europe, 17th-18th centuries

Past Work

Recent Work

  • National Endowment for Humanities Institutes, co-directed with Fred Gifford. June-July 2015: “Development Ethics and Global Justice: Gender, Economics and Environment,” July-August 2013: “Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges, Responsibilities”. Information: []



Recent Essays

  • "USA and Canada: high income maldevelopment." Handbook of Development Ethics. Jay Drydyk & Lori Keleher (eds.), New York: Routledge, 2018. [book free on Amazon Kindle]
  • "What is development?" Ethics, Agency, and Democracy in Global Development. Lori Keleher & Stacy Kosko, eds. Cambridge University Press, [pre-publication copy].
  • “Less Radical Enlightenment: A Christian Wing of the French Enlightenment,” in Steffen Ducheyne, ed. Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment. New York: Routledge, 2017. [pre-publication copy]
  • “Introduction: the Sustainable Development Goals Forum,” Journal of Global Ethics 11:1 (April 2015) 3-9.
  • Essay review: “How to succeed in science while really, really trying: the central European savant in the mid-Seventeenth century.” Review of André Holenstein, Hubert Steinke & Martin Stuber, eds., Scholars in Action: The Practice of Knowledge and the Figure of the Savant in the 18th Century, 2 vols. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2013. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of the Philosophy of Science 5:1 (April, 2015), 167-73.
  • “The Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Crisis and American Payday Lending: Two studies in vulnerability,” Révue Ethique et Economique / Ethics and Economics, Special Issue (2012:2).
  • “The Wisdom in Wood Rot: God in Eighteenth Century Scientific Explanation,” in William H. Krieger, ed. Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science. Lexington Books, 2011. 17-34.