George Lynn Cross Research
Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
B.A., Stanford; M.A., UC Berkeley; Ph.D., UCLA
Research areas: Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Epistemology, free will and fatalism
I work on a variety of issues in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, virtue ethics, and the problems of fatalism. Two books and a number of papers focus on the intersection of epistemology and ethical theory. In Virtues of the Mind (Cambridge University Press, 1996), I developed a virtue theory of ethics that included intellectual virtues within the theory, and applied it to fundamental problems in epistemology. In Epistemic Authority: A Theory of Trust, Authority, and Autonomy in Belief (Oxford University Press, Oct. 2012), I apply the concepts of authority and autonomy to the domain of belief. I defend epistemic authority on the model of political authority, and show its application to the moral and religious domains. I end with a general account of autonomy. This book arose out of my 2010 Wilde Lectures at Oxford, my 2011 Kaminski Lectures at the Catholic University of Lublin, and my 2011 Olaus Petri Lectures at the University of Uppsala. It was supported by a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation (2011-12). (Table of Contents, pdf).
My current project is a book on Exemplarist Virtue Theory, a novel form of virtue ethics based on direct reference to moral exemplars. This book will be aimed at a more general audience than my previous work on this theory (Divine Motivation Theory, 2004), and will incorporate empirical literature on the emotion of admiration, on imitation, and work on the neuroscience of exemplars. It will be supported by grants from the Templeton Foundation and from the Character Project at Wake Forest University. (“Exemplarist Virtue Theory," draft pdf, Metaphilosophy, Jan. 2009).
In Feb. 2013 I will give the Aquinas Lecture at Marquette University. The lecture will be called “Omnisubjectivity: A Defense of a Divine Attribute.” My first paper on this topic is “Omnisubjectivity,” (draft pdf) published in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, 2008. I describe this attribute as the complete and accurate grasp of every conscious state of every conscious being from that being’s first person perspective.
My view of epistemology and its problems as a whole appears in On Epistemology (Wadsworth/Broadview Press, 2008). A translation in Farsi will be published in 2012.
My overview of the central problems of philosophy of religion appears in Philosophy of Religion: An Historical Introduction (Blackwell, 2007). It was published in Polish translation in 2012 and is currently being translated into Italian. A companion anthology of historical readings was co-edited with Timothy Miller, and published as Readings in Philosophy of Religion: Ancient to Contemporary (Blackwell, 2009).
I am currently returning to the topic of my first book, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge (Oxford University Press, 1991) for a possible next book project comparing the forms of fatalist arguments: logical, theological, and causal.
6473 Graduate seminar on the varieties of fatalism
6523 Graduate seminar on epistemic authority and autonomy
4293/523 Survey of ethical theory
4473/5473 Survey of contemporary philosophy of religion
4523/5523 Survey of contemporary epistemology
3433 Modern philosophy of religion
Kaminski Lectures, Catholic University of Lublin, 2011
Olaus Petri Lectures, University of Uppsala, 2011
Wilde Lectures in Natural Theology, Oxford University, spring 2010. Topic: Epistemic Authority. Abstract
Bitar Lectures, Geneva College, April 2-3, 2008
True Family Lecture, University of Oklahoma, 2007
McCarthy Lectureship in Philosophy, Gregorian University, Rome, Feb-April 2006
Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship of Philosophy, 2005-6
Killeen Lecture, St. Norbert College, Wisc, 2002
Rossner Lecture, Rockhurst College, 2000
Eslick Lecture, Saint Louis University, 1998
Jellema Lectures, Calvin College, 1996
McManis Lectures, Wheaton College, 1996
Sahlin Lecture, Bethel College, Minn, 1995
Templeton Foundation, 2013-14
Wake Forest Character Project, 2012-13
John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, 2011-2012
Lilly Fellows Program, 1998-9
Center for Philosophy of Religion, Univ of Notre Dame, Fall 1997
National Endowment for the Humanities, 1994-5
President, Society of Christian Philosophers, 2004-7
President, American Catholic Philosophical Assoc, 1996-7
Click here for full CV (.pdf)
“Powers and Reasons” (draft pdf)
“The Place of Motivation in Knowledge” (draft pdf)
“Trust” (draft pdf)