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About Susan Hawthorne, PhD

My scholarship has two tracks, both of which are well supported at St. Kate's. My main scholarship concerns the social and ethical effects of the sciences and practices surrounding mental illness. This work crosses traditional boundaries within philosophy, involving the philosophy of science, philosophies of psychiatry and psychology, philosophy of medicine, and biomedical ethics among others. The effort is also interdisciplinary, requiring particularly engagement with psychology and medicine (and psychologists and physicians). Several of my recent works or presentations, as well as two papers in progress, have been co-authored with Psychology colleague Anne Williams-Wengerd; an exciting project on civil commitment, law, and ethics of care was a joint project with colleague Amy Ihlan (a philosopher and lawyer teaching in St. Kate's MAOL program). My other area of interest is civically engaged philosophy. Given the attention my work pays to the real-life concerns of people who experience mental illness, I think of my work on mental illness as a form of civic engagement, albeit indirect. In addition, I edit the Engaged Philosophy website interview series, highlighting the exciting work of colleagues around North America, and colleagues and I published research that examined the effectiveness of civically engaged pedagogies in philosophy and an essay highlighting the achievements of other civically engaged philosophers.


Present Associate Professor, Philosophy, St. Catherine University Philosophy Department

Curriculum Vitae

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Professional Service and Affiliations

2017 - Present Faculty Senate, St. Catherine University
2017 - Present Department Assessment Lead, St. Catherine University
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  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Human Life
  • Ethics
  • Ethics in Communication
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Socially Engaged Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Madness
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Biomedical Ethics


2008 PH.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota ‐ Ph.D., Philosophy

Contact Information



Publications (5)

Website (1)

Internal Grant Award (1)

Presentations (1)