Chair, Professor of Philosophy
Russell Marcus teaches Logic and Modern Western Philosophy, as well as philosophy of language and philosophy of mathematics, his main area of research. He teaches two introductory courses, Infinity and Philosophy of Education, and senior seminars on Wittgenstein and philosophical methods, called Intuitions and Philosophy. Russell also works on Descartes’s epistemology, and has presented and published widely on philosophical pedagogy. He is a board member of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and on the editorial board of the preeminent journal on philosophical pedagogy, Teaching Philosophy.
Russell's books include Introduction to Formal Logic with Philosophical Applications (Oxford, 2017), developed in his logic classes at Hamilton; a monograph, Autonomy Platonism and the Indispensability Argument (Lexington); and a co-edited compendium, An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics (Bloomsbury).
Marcus developed and directs the Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy (HCSPiP), a laboratory for pedagogical innovation in philosophy since 2018. The HCSPiP welcomes creative teachers, intrinsically motivated students, and alumni tutors to campus for two weeks of intensive philosophy study.
Before Hamilton, Marcus taught philosophy at Queens College, Hofstra University and the College of Staten Island, and high school mathematics in New York City and in Costa Rica. He received a doctorate from City University of New York.
Recent Courses Taught
- Philosophy of Education
- Modern Philosophy
- Senior Seminar: Wittgenstein
- Senior Seminar: Intuitions and Philosophy
- American Philosophical Association’s Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching, 2020
- Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award, Hamilton College, May 2016
- Class of 1966 Career Development Awards, Summer 2011 and Summer 2014
- The John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award, Hamilton College, May 2011
- “Scaffolding for Fine Philosophical Skills.” AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, volume 5, Fall 2019.
- “Philosophical Method.” The Philosophers’ Magazine 85 (2nd Quarter 2019): 62–67.
- “Teaching as a Humanism.” In Philosophers in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching, edited by Steven Cahn, Alexandra Bradner, and Andrew Mills, Indianapolis: Hackett, 2018.
- Introduction to Formal Logic with Philosophical Applications, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics, a reader and text, co-edited with Mark McEvoy, Hofstra University; Bloomsbury, 2016.
- “The Eleatic and the Indispensabilist,” Theoria 30.3 (2015): 415–430.
- “The Holistic Presumptions of the Indispensability Argument,” Synthese 191.15 (2014): 3575-3594. doi: 10.1007/s11229-014-0481-7
- “On Reading the History of Philosophy: Comments on David Concepción’s ‘Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition’.” In Recognizing Teaching Excellence: The Lenssen Prize, edited by Emily Esch, Kevin Hermberg, and Rory Kraft, published by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers in cooperation with the Philosophy Documentation Center, 2014.
- “How Not to Enhance the Indispensability Argument,” Philosophia Mathematica 22.3: 345-360, 2014. doi: 10.1093/philmat/nku004.
- “Intrinsic Explanation and Field’s Dispensabilist Strategy,” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21.2: 163-183, May 2013.
- Review of Kenneth Harrelson, The Ontological Argument from Descartes to Hegel, The APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 10.1, Fall 2010: 11-13.
- Autonomy Platonism and the Indispensability Argument. Lexington Books, 2015.
- “Indispensability Arguments in the Philosophy of Mathematics, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First Posted: October 18, 2010.
- “A Cooperative-Learning Lesson Using the Objections and Replies,” The APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 9.2, Spring 2010: 5-9.
- “Observations on Cooperative-Learning Group Assignments,” The APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 9.2, Spring 2010: 2-5.
- “Structuralism, Indispensability, and the Access Problem,” Facta Philosophica 9: 203-211, 2007.
- “Cooperative Learning on the First Day of Class,” The APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy, Spring 1998.
- Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy (HCSPiP)
- Education Studies Committee
- Honor Court
- Humanities Organizing Committee
- Library of the Future Committee
- New Faculty Orientation
- Member, American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT), 2008 to present
- Board Member, 2017-present
- Sessions Committee Chair (2018-present)
- Program Committee Chair (2010-16)
- Nominating Committee (2008-10)
- Lenssen Prize Committee (2011)
- Member, American Philosophical Association (APA), 1998 to present
- Editorial Board, Teaching Philosophy
Appointed to the Faculty2007
Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
B.A., Swarthmore College