When students do civic engagement projects in our philosophy classes, they commit to making changes in their communities. Through their civic engagement experiences, reading, writing, and classroom discussion, students learn how philosophical reasoning matters in the world, improve their argumentative skills, and gain practical skills—particularly the ability to see themselves as agents of change.

Engaged Philosophy aims to help other philosophy professors—and their students—join us in civic engagement. The site facilitates organizing, participating in, sharing, studying, and disseminating the results of civic engagement projects in philosophy classes by showcasing examples of student work and by providing syllabi, results, and references. We are piloting Engaged Philosophy at our three institutions: Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon; Anoka Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minnesota; and St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Please contact us at info@engagedphilosophy.com if you are already using or are planning to implement civic engagement projects in your classes, or if you would like more information. We welcome your involvement! Feel free to email us if you see any problems with the web site, or if you have any questions or suggestions.

We thank the American Philosophical Association, the St. Catherine University Summer Scholars program, and Pacific University’s Faculty Development Grant for the funding that makes this site possible.

Ramona Ilea is an associate professor and chair of Philosophy Department at Pacific University Oregon. Her research focuses on demonstrating that philosophical work can contribute to public debates and social issues. In addition to developing this site, she writes about empathy and sympathy, animal ethics, environmental ethics, and normative ethics. She co-edited (with Julinna Oxley) Experiential Learning in Philosophy, published by Routledge Press in September 2015. She has also co-edited (with Avram Hiller and Leonard Kahn) Consequentialism and Environmental Ethics. She has implemented civic engagement projects in nine classes, published “Beyond Service Learning: Civic Engagement in Ethics Classes” with Susan Hawthorne, and has presented on civic engagement at numerous conferences.

Susan Hawthorne is an associate professor in the Philosophy Department at St. Catherine University. She has assigned civic engagement projects classes on environmental ethics and socially engaged philosophy. Ramona Ilea and she coauthored the article “Beyond Service Learning: Civic Engagement in Ethics Classes”.  Her core research, which investigates how epistemic, practical, and ethical features of clinical science and medical practice affect individuals and society, crosses the boundaries between philosophy of science and medical ethics. Her book, Accidental Intolerance: How We Stigmatize ADHD and How We Can Stop, was published in October 2013 by Oxford University Press.

Monica “Mo” Janzen is an assistant professor at Anoka Ramsey Community College in the Department of Philosophy. Her research interests focus on how individuals and communities work to create more just societies. She utilizes civic engagement projects as a method of community-based learning in her ethics classes—even when these classes are exclusively taught online. She has presented about civic engagement at numerous conferences. In addition to her extensive work with civic engagement in the classroom, she is interested in concepts of hospitality, civic responsibility, and social guardianship.


Chad Wiener is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pacific University where he teaches various ethics courses including a course that combines ethics and civic engagement.  He also works and publishes on Ancient Greek Philosophy, especially Plato and Aristotle.