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About Gordon Purves

Gordon Purves joined the Department of Philosophy at Sacred Heart University in 2012. Dr. Purves’ interests tend to focus more on the applications of philosophical methods and ideas to more concrete problems. His main interests are in the philosophy of science, in particular in questions concerning what makes certain scientific methodologies and investigations successful (or unsuccessful) and producing true knowledge, and in applied ethics, principally animal ethics and environmental ethics.
Degrees: Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Physics, Bucknell University; Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of South Carolina.
Teaching Responsibilities: Dr. Purves primarily teaches logic and philosophy in the contemporary Anglophone traditions.
Much of Dr. Purves’ research has been in a prolonged investigation of the various ways that scientists use falsehoods in models that generate true knowledge of the world. He also has strong interests in interpretations of quantum theory, in particular quantum statistical mechanics and quantum field theory, and a correlate interest in the representative power of abstract mathematical models. In addition to his work in philosophy of science, Dr. Purves done research in applied ethics, in particular environmental ethics and animal ethics, and is currently completing a project on the nature of rationality and risk assessment in environmental policy.


September 2018 - Present Associate Professor Philosophy, Sacred Heart University Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies
2012 - August 2018 Assistant Professor Philosophy, Sacred Heart University Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies

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Honors and Awards

  • Tenure and Promotion 2018/2019 AY


  • The Art of Thinking
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Analytic Philosophy

Contact Information

Academic Bldg HC 124
College of Arts and Sciences


Articles (Peer-reviewed) (4)

Dissertation (1)