Benjamin Huff has taught in the Philosophy Department at Randolph-Macon College since September 2006. His research interests include Ethics (especially Virtue Ethics), Confucianism, Comparative (East-West) Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion. He teaches a number of courses in these and other areas in ethics (theoretical and applied) and the history of philosophy. Dr. Huff was born in northern Virginia but has traveled extensively, living in Saudi Arabia for seven years and Japan for two years. He graduated from The Cate School in 1989, completed his B.A./B.S. in Philosophy and Mathematics at Brigham Young University in 1996 and his M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2006) in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. The focus of his current research is to develop a contemporary eudaimonist ethical theory, incorporating insights from ancient Greek and Confucian ethical thought.
Course Syllabi (in PDF):
Phil 220—Philosophy East and West
Phil 234—Philosophy of Education
Phil 251—Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Philosophy
Phil 260—Philosophy of Religion
Phil 313—Environmental Ethics (was Phil 213)
Phil 343—Confucian Tradition
Phil 370—19th-Century Philosophy
Phil 408—Virtue (contemporary virtue ethics)
FYC 178—Ethics and Ecology of China's Three Gorges Dam
“The Target of Life in Aristotle and Wang Yangming,” forthcoming in Stephen Angle and Michael Slote, eds., Virtue Ethics and Confucianism (Routledge, in copy editing).
“Total Recall’s Total Rethink,” in Philip K. Dick and Philosophy (Open Court, 2011), 237-46. [analysis of free will for a popular audience, drawing on Nietzsche, Kant, Aristotle, and Emerson]
“Theology in the Light of Continuing Revelation,” in David Paulsen and Donald Musser, eds., Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies (Mercer UP, 2007). 478-88.
“Eudaimonism in the Mencius,” Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought, Indiana Univ., April 13, 2012.
“Justice, Benevolence, and Liberality: A Confucian Revision to Thomistic Ethics?” with Heidi Giebel of University of St. Thomas, Society of Christian Philosophers Central Region conference, Hendrix College, March 24, 2012.
“Freedom in Pursuing the Good: Bondage and Emancipation in Plato’s Gorgias,” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture conference, November 11, 2011.
Eudaimonist Virtue Ethics: A Dialectical Approach (book manuscript)
The major schools of classical Greek and Hellenistic ethical philosophy all embraced eudaimonism—the claim that happiness is to be found in living virtuously. Yet they developed quite different, competing accounts of virtue and happiness, and of how they come together in a human life, exploring the theoretical possiblities with great subtlety. I retrace the conceptual structure of the classical debate to assess the possibilities for a contemporary eudaimonist theory of ethics. I particularly examine the role of desire, luck, and the good of others within both virtue and happiness. I argue that Aristotle’s theory of ethics offers the most satisfying account of these matters and can be developed to persuasively address contemporary ethical concerns.
“Friendship and Political Solidarity in Aristotle and Mencius” (article manuscript)
International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP)
Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology