Faculty Directory

Dr. Michael D. Barnwell

Dr. Michael D. Barnwell

Professor, Director of University Honors Program

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Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 359


Dr. Barnwell joined the department in fall of 2005. He has a dual Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Yale University. His primary fields of study are medieval philosophy and philosophy of religion, with accompanying interests in ancient philosophy, action theory and theology. 

Dr. Barnwell's book, The Problem of Negligent Omissions: Medieval Action Theories to the Rescue (Brill, 2010), demonstrates how voluntariness can be ascribed to negligent omissions by appealing to concepts inherent in medieval philosophy. He has also published scholarly articles in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The Saint Anselm Journal, and Southwest Philosophical Studies. In addition, he has published book chapters on philosophical pedagogy and “Fatherhood and the Meaning of Life” in Fatherhood & Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Focus of Teaching

Dr. Barnwell regularly teaches introduction to philosophy, ethics, ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Current Research

Dr. Barnwell's primary research focuses on the will’s relationship to the intellect in medieval action theories and how those theories may be applied so as to solve contemporary problems.  Related to this is a keen interest in the problem of the weakness of the will.  He is currently working on issues related to freedom and determinism as they relate to medieval philosophy and philosophical theology.  In addition, he pursues various research topics in the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and the pedagogy of philosophy.

Educational Background

Ph.D., Yale University (2005); M.Div., Yale University (1999); B.A., Wake Forest University (1993);

Current Involvement

Dr. Barnwell serves as the Director of the University Honors Program.