Eric Thomas Weber
Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, 2007
M.A. Ohio University, 2004
B.S. with Honors in Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 2001
Dr. Eric Thomas Weber joined the faculty of the Educational Policy and Evaluation Department in Fall 2018 after two years in the Philosophy Department. Before that, he was assistant and then associate professor of public policy leadership at the University of Mississippi, where he taught from 2007 to 2016. His Ph.D. is in philosophy with focuses on ethics and political philosophy approached from the tradition of classical American philosophy. In addition to advocating for an experimentalist outlook in ethics, he applies ethics to leadership and public policy. He aims to follow John Dewey's example, championing public philosophy, engaging both with scholars and the public sphere.
Weber’s books include a critique of John Rawls’s work, titled Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism (2010), offering a Deweyan alternative that calls for more robust democratic education. His next book presented an experimentalist approach to ethics in public policy in Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy (2011). Work on that project revealed for him the need for addressing the challenges for a theory of democratic leadership, which he wrote about next in Democracy and Leadership (2013). That project inspired his next book, an application of his theory of democratic leadership to problems in the state of Mississippi, titled Uniting Mississippi (2015). In 2021, he published an edited collection of John Dewey’s public writings, titled America’s Public Philosopher, with Columbia University Press. Presently he is completing work on his latest book, on the role of culture in justice, titled A Culture of Justice. It offers an account of how and why the symbols we use, the beliefs we hold, and our educational practices and institutions play vital roles in the advancement of justice.
- In 2017, he accepted on behalf of The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) the American Philosophical Association and the Philosophy Documentation Center's Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs.
- In 2011, Dr. Weber received the Cora Lee Graham Award for the Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi.
- In 2012, he was honored with the Thomas F. Frist Student Service Award conferred by the University of Mississippi.
- From 2011-2014, he served as Chair of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Public Philosophy.
- From 2009 to present, he has served as Executive Director of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA).
Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South, Jackson, MS: The University Press of Mississippi, 2015.
Democracy and Leadership: On Pragmatism and Virtue, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013.
Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy: On Experimentalism in Ethics, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.
Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism: On the Epistemology of Justice, London: Continuum Publishing Group, 2010.
Articles in Journals and Books (2014 - present, as of 8/4/16)
“Cultivating a Culture of Encouragement,” Public Philosophy Journal 1 (2016): forthcoming, co-authored with Jennifer Stollman.
“The Unavoidable, the Avoidable, and the Viciously Intentional Costs of Comfort: A Reply to Lachs,” Southwest Philosophy Review 32, Issue 1 (2016): 19-24. Online here.
“Self-Respect and a Sense of Positive Power: On Protection, Self-Affirmation, and Harm in the Charge of ‘Acting White’,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 30, Issue 1 (2016): 45-63.
“Justice as an Evolving, Regulative Ideal,” Pragmatism Today 6, Issue 2 (2015): 105-116, Online here.
“Lessons from America’s Public Philosopher,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 29, Issue 1, 2015, 118 – 135, Online here.
“Converging on Culture: Rawls, Rorty, and Dewey on Culture’s Role in Justice,” Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 22, Issue 2, 2014, 231 – 261, Online here.
Public Philosophy in the News
"Trump’s blind faith in tax cuts won’t work, just look at the evidence," The Herald Leader (Lexington), October 13, 2016, Online here.
"Prisoners Better Protected from Corporal Punishment Than Students," The Herald Leader (Lexington), September 23, 2016, Online here.
Interview on Uniting Mississippi for an author Q&A in The Clarion Ledger, January 4, 2016, 3-4F, Online here.
“Reciprocal Goodwill Is Answer to Flag Issue,” The USA Today, December 7, 2015, Online here. First published in The Clarion Ledger, Online here. Republished also in The New Star (LA); The Montgomery Advertiser (AL); The Indianapolis Star (IN); and on Tampa Bay 10 News (FL); and San Antonio’s KENS 5 Eyewitness News (TX).
“Mississippi Professor Sees Hope for His State in Students’ Symbolic Flag Victory,” The Hechinger Report, November 3, 2015, Online here.
“Students’ Flag Request ‘Emotional’ but Courageous,” The Clarion Ledger, in print on November 1, 2015, 2C, online (here) on October 30, 2015.
“Mr. Bryant, Take Down the Flag” (online) or “Governor, Take Down this Flag” (print), The Clarion Ledger, September 20, 2015, 2C, Online here.