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Honors Program

Michael Wagner

Professor, Philosophy

Michael F. Wagner, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 1980.  His administrative appointments have included chair of the Philosophy Department (1988-1998) and director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities major (1987-1993, 2001-2007).  His research interests include several topic areas in Ancient and Hellenistic philosophy, in the classical Neoplatonic tradition, in the philosophy of time and science, and in Platonistic conceptions of eros and their cultural influences.

Education

Ph.D., Ohio State University (1979)
B.A., Texas A & M University, Philosophy and Mathematics  (1974)

Doctoral dissertation “Concepts and Causes: The Structure of Plotinus’ Universe,” supervised by Robert G. Turnbull.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Wagner’s principal research topic has been Plotinus’ Neoplatonism including especially its comparison with Plato’s own philosophy and with St. Augustine’s later Platonistic philosophy, and distinctive features of Plotinus’ epistemology and his “emanationist” natural philosophy and cosmogony.  Wagner’s books include Neoplatonism and Nature (editor and contributor: SUNY Press, 2002) and The Enigmatic Reality of Time (sole author: Brill, 2008).  He also contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus (1996) and has published scholarly articles or critical book reviews for example in Dionysius, Ancient Philosophy, Augustinus, and the Journal of Neoplatonic Studies.  He has been secretary-treasurer of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies since 1982.

Teaching Interests

Wagner has taught courses in all areas of history of philosophy and of the university’s Philosophy “core” requirements.  Currently, his primary course offerings are in History of Ancient Philosophy, Ethics and (for) Education, Philosophy of Love, and periodically topics courses for example on the Platonic Dialogues, St. Augustine’s Early Philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Scholasticism, and the Classical Neoplatonic Tradition.