Eric Palmer

Title : Professor of Philosophy
Degrees: B.A., Carleton University (1987); M.A., Ph.D. University of California, San Diego (1991)

Contact Info:
(814) 332-3312

Office Location: Odd Fellows 121
Office Hours: Spring 2018
Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00-11:00
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00-12:00 pm & 3:00-4:00pm

Courses (SP ’18):
PHIL 130 Values and Knowledge
PHIL 230 Science in Cultural Setting
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:

  • President, International Development Ethics Association []
  • Co-Editor (with Sirkku Hellsten) 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

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

  • “What is development?” Ethics, Agency, and Democracy in Global Development. Lori Keleher & Stacy Kosko, eds. Cambridge University Press, [anticipated date 2017].
  • “Less Radical Enlightenment: A Christian Wing of the French Enlightenment,” in Steffen Ducheyne, ed. Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • “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.
  • “Real Institutions and Really Legitimate Institutions,” David Mark, ed. The Mystery of Capital and The Construction of Social Reality. Open Court, 2008. 331-347.
  • “Real Corporate Responsibility,” International Corporate Responsibility: Exploring the Issues. John Hooker & Peter Madsen, eds. USA: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004. 69-84.
  • “Entidades corporativas e imperativos categóricos,” Impulso 38, 2004. (Editora UNIMEP: Brazil).
  • “Pangloss Identified,” French Studies Bulletin 84, Autumn 2002.
  • “Multinational Corporations and Social Contracts,” Journal of Business Ethics 31, 245-58 May 2001.