Tadd Ruetenik, PhD


Teaches a variety of philosophy courses including American philosophy, critical thinking, philosophy of life, and philosophy of religion.

Dr. Ruetenik is a William James scholar and member of the William James Society, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, and the American Philosophical Association.

Read Dr. Ruetenik's CV (pdf)

See Courses Taught

Education and Training

  • PhD, Purdue University, Philosophy and Literature
  • MA, University of Toledo, Philosophy
  • BA, Eastern Michigan University, Philosophy

Areas of Professional Interest

  • American philosophy
  • William James
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Progressive rock and metal music
  • Critical thinking and logic
  • Existentialism
  • Animal ethics
  • Latin American Culture

Presentations and Conferences

See CV for complete listing

International Presentations
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
"Gloria Anzaldúa, Hybrid History, and the American Imagination." Annual Conference of Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. September 2022.

Zaragosa, Spain
"The Many Faces of Globalism: Gloria Anzaldúa and the Herida Abierta of Colonialism." International Conference for the Study of European Ideas. University of Zaragosa. July 2019.

Bogotá, Columbia
"The City and the Hive: Susanne Langer and William James on Overpopulation and the Nature of Humanity." Philosophy of the City Conference. La Universidad de la Salle. October 2018.

Beijing, China
"William James the Philosophy of Teaching." Lectures at Beijing Normal University. May 2018.

Dublin, Ireland
"Demons, Mediums, and Seers: An Unorthodox Introduction to William James." Summer Institute in American Philosophy. University College Dublin. June 2015.

Invited Presentations (selected)
"Sports: The Flywheel of the Military Industrial Complex." Lyceum Lecture Series. Murphreesboro: Middle Tennessee State University. March 2020.

Chair comments on the symposium "Pacifism: For and Against" (Andrew Fiala, Bat-Ami Bar On, Robert Holmes). American Philosophical Association (Central). Chicago: February 2018.

Conference Papers and Presentations (most recent)
"'The Violence Against Me Prevailed': Communal Crisis and the Calling of Ambrose of Milan." St. Ambrose of Milan: Constructing Community. Davenport, IA: April 2018.

"Jane Addams, 'Pragmatic' Compromise, and Anti-War Pragmatism." Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Indianapolis: March 2018. (Received the Ila and John Mellow Prize).

"Creationism, Darwinism, and the Pragmatism of William James." American Philosophical Association (Central). Kansas City: March 2017.


Bodies and Battlefields: Abortion, War, and the Moral Sentiments of Sacrifice. CASCADE Books (under contract, forthcoming 2021).

The Demons of William James: Religious Pragmatism Explores Unusual Mental States. Palgrave Macmillan (2018).

"Father Catich and the Clean Cut Christs: Re-Presenting American Values Through Religious Art," in Imagining Dewey: Artful Works and Dialogue about Art as Experience. Brill Press (forthcoming 2020).

"The SNL Impressionist: What Does It Mean to be ‘Spot On,' and Does It Matter?" in SNL and Philosophy. Blackwell (2020).

ARTICLES (selected)
"Jonathan Edwards and the Vegan Elect," Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. 18:3 (2019).

"Victim Blaming and Victim Blaming Shaming," Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology. 16:1 (2019).

"Jane Addams, ‘Pragmatic' Compromise, and Anti-War Pragmatism." The Pluralist. 14:1 (2019).

The Demons of William James (2018). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-319-91623-1

Transactionism, Dominionism, and Moral Exceptionalism in Animal Ethics. Contemporary Pragmatism. 13:2 (2016)

Self-Reliance, Plagiarism, and the Suicide of Imitation. Teaching American Literature. 8:1 (2015)

Violence Hidden: The Unacknowledged Victims of Flesh-Eating Rituals. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture. Vol. 22 (2015)

Beauty, Horror and Tragedy: The Idea of Hell in Jonathan Edwards and William James. Philosophy & Theology. 26:1 (2014)

Last Call for William James: Pragmatism, Piper, and the Fruits of Psychical Research. The Pluralist. 7:1 (2012)

The Moral Equivalent of Meat: A Vegetarian Challenge to the American Omnivore. Contemporary Pragmatism. 8:2 (2011)

The First Church of Christ, Pragmatist: Christian Science and Responsible Optimism. Journal of Religion and Health. 50:3 (2011)

Another View of Arthur Dimmesdale: A Profound Lesson in Scapegoating from The Scarlet Letter. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture. Vol. 18 (2011)

More About Dr. Ruetenik

Courses Taught

Critical Thinking
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Sport
Philosophies of Life
Environmental Ethics
American Philosophy
Senior Seminar in Philosophy
Comprehensive Pro-Life Ethics
Philosophy of Art
Social and Political Philosophy

Professional Memberships

Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
Colloquium on Violence and Religion
William James Society
Iowa Philosophical Society


Recipient of the 2018 Ila and John Morrow Prize, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy

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