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Walter J. Schultz
Professor of Philosophy / Scholar-in-Residence
I have been teaching philosophy courses at Northwestern College since 2004, having taught at three different colleges before coming here. My favorite course is the Seminar on Jonathan Edwards. We concentrate on his philosophical argument for a particular view of God’s purpose in creating the world. We situate his work in its 18th century philosophical and religious setting. I am nearly finished with a book on the topic.
Edwards has influenced me deeply and I deliberately attempt to conceptually connect my research to biblical theology, especially the fundamental idea that what gives the world and the bible its unity is that God is acting progressively according to his plan for his purposes. I am currently working on a new kind of formal semantics for systems of logic, a corresponding alternative modal metaphysics and the nature of dispositional properties. All of these are conceptually related to this basic truth.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching and discussing things with my students. As I introduce them to this way of thinking in my courses by involving them in what interests me, I find their level of interest and learning increases significantly.
I am also interested in issues related to economic efficiency and justice. I emphasize these in my course in ethics.
- Logic & Metaphysics
- Ethics & economic theory
- Jonathan Edwards’ End of Creation
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Minnesota
M.A., Philosophy, University of Minnesota
B.A., Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
SELECT CURRENT RESEARCH
- Divine Compositionalism: A Form of Occasionalism or a Preferable Alternative View of Divine Action? (Harvard conference 2013)
- The Actual World from Platonism to Plans
- The Structures of the Actual World. (ACMS conference 2013)
- Truth and Truth-makers
- God Acts: The Dynamic Underlying Reality. Forthcoming.
- “Jonathan Edwards’ Concept of an Original Ultimate End,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 56/1 (2013): 107-22.
- “Jonathan Edwards’ End of Creation and Spinoza’s Conundrum,” Jonathan Edwards Studies 2.2 (2012).
- The Moral Conditions of Economic Efficiency, Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law , Cambridge University Press, 2001.
- Responsible Altruism: A Democratic Morality, University Press of America (in process)
- "What is the Relationship of Worldviews to Truth?" chapter in Christian Contours: How a Biblical Worldview Shapes the Mind and Heart, Douglas S. Huffman, ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2012).
- "Toward a Realist Modal Structuralism: A Christian Philosophy of Mathematics," Philosophia Christi 12:1, 2010.
- "Toward a Christian Modal Structuralism," Proceedings of the Biennial Conference. Journal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, 2010.
- "Dispositions, Capacities and Powers: A Christian Analysis." Philosophia Christi 11:2, 2009.
- “'No-Risk' Libertarian Freedom: A Refutation of the Free-will Defense," Philosophia Christi 10:1, 2008.
- "Jonathan Edwards’ ‘End of Creation: An Exposition and Defense,’" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 49(2), 2006.
- “Wittgenstein and Postmodern Epistemology,” Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics. Vienna: Verlag Hölder-Pichler-Temsky, 1993.
- "Divine Compositionalism: A Form of Occasionalism or a Preferable Alternative View of Divine Action?" presentation with Dr. Lisanne Winslow at the Theory of Occasionalism: East and West conference, Harvard Divinity School, May 4, 2013.
- “Jonathan Edwards’ Concept of an Original Ultimate End" presented at the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco, CA, November 2011.
- “Three Concepts of Capitalism” presented at Staley Foundation Lecture Forum on Capitalism and the Poor. Cedarville University, 2010.
- “How Markets Can ‘Redeem’ the Poor,” viewpoint presented in contrast with the views of Marvin Olasky (World Magazine) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners Magazine).
- “Toward a Christian Modal Structuralism” presented at the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences. Wheaton College, 2009.
- “Arrow’s Theorem, Sen’s Paradox and a Social Decision Mechanism for Optimal Market Outcomes” presented at the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Association of Christian Economists. Baylor University, 2009.
- “Dispositions, Capacities and Powers: A Christian Philosophy of Nature” presented at the Evangelical Philosophical Society annual meeting. 2008.
- “Theistic Modal Structuralism” presented at the Science and Mathematics Colloquium. Northwestern College, Fall 2007.
- “Two Possible types of ‘No-Risk” Libertarian Freedom” presented at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. Washington, D.C. November, 2006.
- “The Problem of Evil is a Problem of God’s Goodness” presented at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. Valley Forge, PA, November 2005.
- “Libertarian Freedom as the Teleological suspension of the Dispositional” presented at the Evangelical Philosophical Society annual meeting. Valley Forge, PA, November, 2005.
- “The Actual World and Truth” presented at the Evangelical Philosophical Society annual meeting. San Antonio, TX, November, 2004.
- “Selfishness and the Common Good: Was Adam Smith Right?” presented at William Mitchell College of Law. St. Paul, MN, November, 2004.
- “Truth and Knowledge are Undecidable” presented at the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Chicago, April 2004.
- “The Actual World and Open Theism” presented at the Society of Christian Philosophers. Asbury College, December, 2003.
- “Understanding Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems” presented at the Seminar in Mathematics. Cedarville University.
- “Can the Law be kept perfectly? A logical analysis of Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:10" presented at the Evangelical Theological Society's Midwest regional meeting. St. Paul, MN, 1999.
- “Wittgenstein and Postmodern Epistemology” presented at the 15th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Kirchburg, Austria, August 1992.
Office Location: Nazareth Hall 3063