Ramona Ilea

My students spray painting the (school) "spirit bench" on campus at

1 A.M.!  And I was not even involved!


Office: 202 Drake House (map)

(Walk in the house & go upstairs)

Office hours - Fall 2012:
Office phone: 503-352-2760
Fax: 503-352-2775
Email: ramona.ilea@pacificu.edu


Schedule: Fall 2012 (On sabbatical)

Course Time

Note: During the 2012-2013 school year, I will be on a full-year sabbatical, so I will not be teaching any classes.



Ph.D.: Philosophy, University of Minnesota, July 2006

          Dissertation: Moral Arguments and Social Change

          Advisors: Naomi Scheman (Univ. of Minnesota), Helen Longino (Stanford Univ.)

M.A.: Philosophy, University of Minnesota, May 2003

B.A.: Philosophy, University of Toronto, May 2000

Research Interests

There is a common conception that philosophy is interesting and deep, but it does not make much of a difference in the real world. This is in part because in the 20th century, philosophers in the Anglo-American, or analytic, tradition aspired to the objectivity of the sciences; and this aspiration led philosophers to think that they needed to be neutral on controversial social/political issues. My work fits within a growing movement to reverse this trend. I argue that it is possible for philosophical work to contribute to public debates and social issues in ways that do not undermine our roles as philosophers. Furthermore, I aim to show philosophers interested in doing publicly engaged philosophy how to do so in a responsible and effective manner by articulating the methodologies implicit in the work of exemplary engaged philosophers. Through systematic and rigorous thinking about our distinctive roles, skills, and knowledge, philosophers will be better able to make valuable contributions to important social issues. Philosophers' engagement in the world, collaboration with others, and the motivation to search more deeply for new and innovative ideas will enrich and further issues of public concern.

During the 2012-2013 school year, I will be on sabbatical. I will be writing a couple of articles on sympathy and working on a big project on civic engagement in philosophy.

My dissertation, "Moral Arguments and Social Change," was an analysis of philosophy's potential for making an impact in the public domain. My publications and conference presentations include: “Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach and Non-Human Animals: Theory and Public Policy” (in the Journal of Social Philosophy), "Beyond Service Learning: Civic Engagement in Ethics Classes" (in Teaching Philosophy), “Intensive Livestock Farming: Global Trends, Increased Environmental Concerns, and Ethical Solutions" (in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics), “The ‘Mutant’ Cure or Social Change? Debating Disability and the X-Men” (in X-Men and Philosophy), "Hume and Singer on Sympathy," "Publicly Engaged Philosophy,""Biotechnologies of Gender: Coercive or Liberatory?" “The New Green: When Pigs Fly … Off Our Plates,” "Gender Identity Disorder: A Disorder?" "Parmenides' Two Routes of Inquiry: Reassembling the Jigsaw Puzzle," and "Women and Art: Embodiment and Self-Representation."

Teaching Interests

My teaching and my research are highly connected. When I teach, I aim to show students that studying philosophy is not just intellectually stimulating but also a powerful tool that can enable us to understand, analyze, and change the world.

When we teach philosophy courses at Pacific University we do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunity to get to know the faculty in your discipline.

The courses that I teach are:


Organizing Conferences and Colloquia

  1. Coordinator, Large Public Lecture by Peter Singer (attendance: 1,300 people) and Small Group Workshops with Peter Singer, University of Minnesota, March 2010
  2. Coordinator, Animals and Ethics Discussion Series, University of Minnesota, February - March 2006
  3. Assistant to Program Chair, Minnesota Inter-seasonal Conference in Ethics, Spring 2004
  4. Coordinator, Colloquium with Martha Nussbaum, University of Minnesota, December 2003
  5. Assistant to Program Chair, Minnesota Philosophical Society Conference, October 2002
  6. Co-Organizer, The 12th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Feminist Colloquium, York University, March 2000

Selected Service

  1. Pacific University Sustainability Committee, Chair: Fall 2010-Spring 2011, Chair Elect: Fall 2009 – Spring 2010,
  2. Member, Advisory Board, Pacific Center for Civic Engagement, Fall 2009 – present
  3. Faculty adviser for the Philosophy Club, Fall 2007-Present
  4. Faculty adviser for the Animal Ethics Club, Spring 2009-Present
  5. Faculty Representative in the Undergraduate Community Council (PUCC) and the Campus Life subcommitee, Spring 2007-Spring 2009
  6. Member of the Feminist Studies Curriculum Committee, Fall 2006-Fall 2008
  7. Member of the Pacific University Art Committee, Fall 2007-Spring 2008



I like to do crafty things out of recycled materials. Here is an outfit -- including the earrings and skirt -- made from 27 ice cream containers ("Purely Decadent" -- the best ice cream ever!!).  I wore it on Halloween 2 years ago; it was also featured in the "Junk 2 Funk" fashion show. Right now, I'm crocheting with plarn (yarn made from torn/useless plastic bags), making rugs, purses, etc; plarn is an awesome material to work with (google it if you want to know more).  I also make wallets from soy milk and juice containers as well as beads/jewelry from all kinds of scrap paper, etc.  Unlike other kinds of activism I do, this is not a social justice project. It's just relaxing!