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Heather Keith Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Environmental Liberal Arts Director

Richardson 301
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
Email Address:
(802) 287-8065; Fax: (802) 287-8080

Dr. Heather Keith’s passions include many genres of philosophy, especially Asian philosophy, feminism, and ethics; and she directs the college’s Environmental Liberal Arts general education curriculum. She has traveled in Asia and Europe, and wishes she had studied more languages in college. A true “flatlander” from the great plains of Nebraska, she is especially interested in how cultural traditions in various parts of the country and world affect our views of nature and place, and in integrating those perspectives into a cohesive and rich community. When not immersed in a good book or thinking through ethical and logical problems with students, Heather enjoys horseback riding, hiking, skiing, and the company of her family.

Postgraduate: Sasakawa Foundation Grant, Japan Studies Institute; San Diego, CA, June 1-29, 2003 (American Association of State Colleges and Universities)

Postgraduate: Summer Institute in American Philosophy; Burlington, VT, July 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002; Eugene, OR, July 2004

Ph.D., 1997, Philosophy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Dissertation: “Relocating the Self: Pragmatism, Feminism, and Social Ecology” M.A., 1995, Philosophy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

B. A., 1993, Philosophy, Nebraska Wesleyan University, summa cum laude

Sample Courses Taught:

Intelligence, Disability, and Ethics; Asian Philosophy; A Delicate Balance; 19th-21st Century Philosophy; Logic; Feminist Philosophy; Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Philosophy; Social-Political Philosophy: Peace, War, and Justice; and Ancient Philosophy

Areas of Specialization
Ethics/History of Moral Theory (applied and theoretical); East-West Comparative Philosophy; Gender Theory; American Philosophy

Areas of Competence
Environmental Ethics; Critical Thinking/Logic; Philosophy of Social Sciences; Social/Political Philosophy; Ancient Philosophy; Aesthetics; History of Western Philosophy; Medical Ethics

Keith, H. & Keith, K., Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New Moral Community. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Selected Publications
“Natural Caring: A Pragmatist Ecofeminist Approach to Ethics in the More-Than-Human World,” in Hammington, M. & Bardwell-Jones, C., eds. Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism, Routledge, 2012

"Transforming Ren: The De of George Herbert Mead's Social Self," The Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2009

"The Second-Coming of Kahless: Lieutenant Worf's 'Will to Believe,'" Star Trek and Philosophy, Open Court, 2009

"Living in 'My Hometown': Local Philosophies for Troubled Times" Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy, Open Court, 2008

"The Ethics of Care," Encyclopedia of American Philosophy, Routledge, 2007

"Leighton, Joseph Alezander (1870-1954)," Biographical Encyclopedia of British Idealism, Thommes/Continuum Press, 2007, co-authored

"Our Place in the Cosmos: Faith and Belief in Contact," Movies and the Meaning of Life, Thoemmes Press, 2005, co-authored

Multiple entries, The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, Thoemmes Press, 2005, co-authored

"Habits of Happiness: Positive Psychology and the Philosophy of William James," Streams of William James, Special Issue on Positive Psychology, Fall 2004, co-authored

"Pornography Contextualized: A Test Case for a Feminist-Pragmatist Ethics," The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Summer 2001

"Feminism and Pragmatism: George Herbert Mead's Ethics of Care," The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, Spring 1999

"An Interview with Martha Nussbaum," Kinesis, Spring 1997

Selected Presentations
“Ethics and Intellectual Disability: Pluralist Philosophies for the Many Dimensions of Quality of Life.” Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Estes Park, CO, July 2013.

“Pragmatist Feminists Gone Wild: Addams, Noddings, and a Relational Approach to Environmental Ethics.” Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Spokane, WA, March 2011.

“Moral Beauty and the Life Well Lived: Natural Aesthetics and Goodness in American and Asian Philosophy”. Conference on Spirituality, Healing, and the Arts. Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea, June 2009

“Feminism in the American Tradition.” University of Kobe, Japan, July 2009

"Putting Feminist and Environmental Education to Work: Empowering Natural and Social Communities Through Service-Learning" (co-authored). Vermont Women in Higher Education, November 2007

"Imagining the Cosmos: Empathetic Natural Relationality in the Neighborhood of the Good." New York Pragmatist Forum, New York, NY, May 2007

"Motivating Moral Beauty: Confucianism, American Philosophy, and Subjective Well-Being," Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Asilomar, CA, October 2005

"Learned Goodness: Dewey, Optimism, and Moral Beauty ," Sino-American Philosophy Summit, Shanghai, China, May 2005

Invited Plenary Panelist, Coss Interdisciplinary Dialogues, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Bakersfield, CA, March 2005

"American Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, and Ecofeminism," Invited Address at Kwansei Gakuin University's School for Policy Studies, Sanda, Japan, June 2004

"Habits of Happiness: Optimism, Hope, and the Philosophy of William James," Society for the Study of Empirical Ethics, Marlboro College, VT, November 2003

"Love Your Mother: Natural Caring and Feminist Earth Ethics," Women's Studies Symposium, Castleton State College, Castleton, VT, March 2003

"Consequences of Reason: Philosophical Roots of Dehumanization and a Pragmatic Response" Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, March 2002

"Pragmatic Pluralism and a Response to September 11," American Catholic Philosophical Association, Albany, NY, October 2001

"Hartley Burr Alexander: An American Philosopher," Chair, organizer, and panelist, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Las Vegas, NV, March 2001

"Senses of the Self: Pragmatism and Individuality," Northern New England Philosophy Association, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, October 2000

"'Empathy as Moral Imagination,' a commentary on A Imagination in Pragmatist Ethics" American Philosophical Association, Central Division, Chicago, IL, April 2000

"American Philosophy and the Widespread Use of Adjunct Faculty: Reports and Proposals," Chair, organizer, and panelist, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, March 2000

Membership in Professional Associations
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy
Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
Northern New England Philosophy Association
Society for the Study of Empirical Ethics
American Philosophical Association
Society for Women in Philosophy

French (written and spoken)
German (written)
Japanese (conversational, some written)

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