Scenes of Green Mountain College
Home > William Throop

William Throop Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies

Dunton Hall 221
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
Email Address:
Phone: 802-287-8214 Fax: 802-287-8094

I am passionate about the value of an environmental liberal arts education. The challenge of becoming a sustainable society will dominate our next century, and I am excited about helping to craft a new model of education that can meet this challenge. I am also passionate about being in nature. I am an avid hiker, having recently climbed all 46 of the 4000 foot peaks in the Adirondacks, and I love to work on my farm.

Dr. Bill Throop specializes in environmental ethics, theory of knowledge and educational philosophy. Trained in philosophy of science and epistemology at Brown University, his approach to environmental issues emphasizes analysis and argument. His interests are broad ranging, as are the sources on which he draws for his research and teaching. In his twenty-five years at small value-oriented liberal arts colleges, he has taught courses on topics ranging from the philosophy of mind to the nature of community, from value theory to eastern philosophy. His current research focuses on wilderness preservation, the ethics of ecological restoration and education for sustainability. Much of this work grows out of a longer-term project of developing a detailed ethic that can adequately guide land use policy.

In addition to teaching catalog courses such as Environmental Ethics and Philosophy of Science , Dr. Throop has co-taught a wide range of interdisciplinary courses, including a fifteen credit block course, The Northern Forest, a nine-credit course on Wilderness in Vermont, and smaller block courses, such as Renewing Civil Society, Philosophy of Education, and The Promise and Perils of Biotechnology. He enjoys working closely with faculty members from other disciplines and with students. He is currently working with a student on a project called “The Tower and the Garden: The Role of the University in Sustainable Urban Development“.

B.A. (summa cum laude) in Philosophy, Lehigh University
Ph.D. in Philosophy from Brown University

Selected Publications
Arthur, J., Shapiro, A., Throop, W. 2001. Reason and Culture: An Introduction to Philosophy, Prentice Hall.

Throop, W. 2000. Environmental Restoration: Ethics, Theory and Practice. Humanity Books: Prometheus Press.

Throop, W., Purdom, R. "Wilderness Restoration: The Paradox of Ecological Restoration", Restoration Ecology 14 (4), 493-499.

Hettinger, N., Throop, W. 1999. "Refocusing Ecocentrism: De-Emphasizing Stability and Defending Wildness" Environmental Ethics, 21: 3-21. Reprinted in Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Applications, 3rd edition, Louis Pojman (ed.) Wadsworth, 2001.

Throop, W. 1998. "Defeating the Skeptic" Philosophia 26: 321-336.

Throop, W. 1997. "The Rationale for Environmental Restoration," in R. Gottlieb (ed.) The Ecological Community.

Throop, W. 1996. "Humans and the Value of the Wild" Review of Human Ecology 3.

Throop, W. 1995. "Neopragmatism After Fifteen Years," (translated into Polish) in A. Bronk (ed.) Filozfowac Dzis, (Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego).

Throop, W., Doran, K. 1991. "Putnam's Realism and Relativity: An Uneasy Balance" Erkenntnis 34.

Recent Presentations
William Throop and Tom Mauhs-Pugh "Placing Sustainability at the Center of General Education", Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, October 2006

William Throop "The Tower and the Garden: The Role of the University in Sustainable Urban Development" Keynote Address at the University of North Florida Conference on Ethical Aspects of Urban Development, October 2006.

William Throop "Distributive Justice and Water," University of Piracicaba, Brazil May 2006

William Throop "Educating for Environmental Virtues," International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU) Adelaide, Australia July 2005

William Throop and Rebecca Purdom "Preserving Restoration as a Substantive Policy Goal" Society for Ecological Restoration August 2004.

William Throop and Rebecca Purdom "Protecting Biodiversity by Preserving Wilderness: A Reconsideration" Society for Conservation Biology July 2004.

Honors and Recognitions

  • 2004 Philosophy, Politics and Law Visiting Scholar, Binghamton University

  • 2004 Distinguished Leadership and Contributions Award, Society for Human Ecology

  • 2000 Robert W. Leonard Teacher of the Year Award

  • 1999 - Present Executive Board member of the Society for Human Ecology

  • 1993-95 Elected President of the North Carolina Philosophical Society

  • 1989 Prize for Best Paper by an Assistant Professor, North Carolina Philosophical Society

  • 1981 Dissertation nominated by the Brown Philosophy Department for the Johnsonian Book Award

© 2015 Green Mountain College | One Brennan Circle | Poultney, Vermont 05764 | 800-776-6675 | MyGMC Login | Email Login