Albert R. Spencer
Senior Instructor of Philosophy
Albert Spencer received his PhD from Baylor University (Waco, TX) in June 2007 and began teaching at PSU the following fall. His dissertation is entitled Reconstructing the Republic: Dewey’s Back to Plato Movement and his research focuses on Classical American Pragmatism specifically John Dewey's aesthetics, pedagogy, and environmental philosophy. He is also interested in Plato, Existentialism, and Eastern Religious Philosophies.
At PSU Albert teaches a variety of applied ethics courses that are part of the University Studies Morality cluster (e.g., Life and Death Issues, Philosophy of Sex and Love, and Environmental Ethics) as well as historical survey courses (e.g., Existentialism and American Philosophy). Since 2009 he has been converting his courses to online format and currently researches best practices for teaching philosophy online.
When not on campus, Albert enjoys yoga, playing guitar, and listening to The Black Crowes. He also spends too much time failing to shut off his philosophical filter by watching television, playing obsolete computer games, and reading pulp sci-fi/fantasy novels.
Selected Presentations & Publications
"Keepin' It Real: Designing and Facilitating Discussions in Web-Based Courses," co-presented with Ajae Wallace at the 2011 Peer-to-Peer Mentor Conference hosted by Portland State University, September 2011.
"Book-in-Progress: Reconstructing the Republic," presented at The Summer Institute in American Philosophy hosted by the University of Oregon, July 2011.
"Am I My Brother's Keeper? The Lost Individual in Royce and Dewey," The Pluralist, Summer 2007, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press).
"Evolutionary Despair in Kierkegaard & Arthur C. Clarke," The Everyday Fantastic: Essays on Science Fiction and Human Being, ed. Michael Berman, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).