Department of Philosophy

Meet the Philosophy Faculty

Thora Ilin Bayer

Thora Ilin Bayer (B.A. Bryn Mawr, Ph.D. Emory) is Professor of Philosophy and RosaMary Foundation Professor of Liberal Arts. She is the author of Cassirer's Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms (Yale University Press) and co-editor of Giambattista Vico: Keys to the New Science. Translations, Commentaries, and Essays (Cornell University Press). She is the author of articles in philosophy of culture and value theory. Among these are Cassirer's Normative Philosophy (The Journal of Value Inquiry), Vico's Theory of Education for the Common Good (New Vico Studies), History as Symbolic Form: Cassirer and Vico (Idealistic Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy), Art as Symbolic Form: Cassirer and the Educational Value of Art (Journal of Aesthetic Education), The Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment: Cassirer, Berlin, and Vico (New Vico Studies), The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms as a Philosophy of Pluralism (The Pluralist), Vico's Principle of Sensus Communis and Forensic Eloquence (Chicago-Kent Law Review), and Hegelian Rhetoric (Philosophy and Rhetoric). She has been a participant in conferences and symposia in Israel, Italy, and the U.S. She is the advisor of Xavier's chapter of the national honor society in philosophy (Phi Sigma Tau) and received a Teacher of the Year in Philosophy Award. Her teaching is centered in Logic and Health Ethics.

Robert Berman

Robert Berman (Ph.D. New School University). Full Professor. Dr. Berman teaches Logic, Ethics, Philosophy of Law, History of Philosophy. His research interests include Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy, and German Idealism, and his publications include: "Ways of Being Singular: The Logic of Individuality", Cardozo Public Law, Ethics, and Policy Journal, Volume 3, no. 1, 2004.

Jason Berntsen

Jason Berntsen (Ph.D. University of Missouri). Assistant Professor. Dr. Berntsen teaches Health Ethics and Problems in Philosophy. His primary research interests are metaethics and the philosophy of mind, and his publications include: Why Physicalists Needn't Bother with Perry's Recent Response to the Knowledge Argument, Southern Journal of Philosophy, 42 (2), Summer 2004, 135-148.

James Dunson

James Dunson (Ph.D. Emory University) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy. His primary research interests are 19th Century Philosophy, political philosophy, and the history of ethics. Recent publications include articles in International Philosophy Quarterly and Idealistic Studies. Dr. Dunson is currently collaborating on a book project that focuses on the idea of a 'cosmopolitan citizen.'

Paul M. Schafer

Paul M. Schafer (Ph.D. DePaul University) is Associate Professor of Philosophy. He maintains an active interest in the History of Philosophy, in particular in the area of Post-Kantian European thought. He has published articles in political philosophy and on Hegel and Marx, and is editor of a volume of Karl Marx's early writings, entitled The First Writings of Karl Marx (Ig Publishing, 2006). He has presented work at conferences in the United States, Greece, Poland, and Finland. He is co-advisor (along with Dr. Berntsen) of Xavier University's Forensics and Debate Team. His teaching interests include Political Philosophy, Ethics, Applied Ethics (Health Ethics and Business Ethics), Philosophy of Science, and the History of Philosophy.


Joseph LeFevre

Since 2014, Dr. Joseph LeFevre has been Professor Emeritus. Previously he held the Clarence Jupiter Professorship. He served two terms as department chair, chaired the steering committee for one cycle of reaffirmation of accreditation, and served as the university planning director for five years. His papers and published work include topics ranging from applied ethics to the benefits of social diversity.

Department of Philosophy


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