Andrea Christelle, Ph.D.

AndreaDr. Andrea Christelle is interested in pushing the boundaries of who does philosophy and where philosophy is done. SPEX was the inspiration that grew out of her belief that philosophy should be connected to our experience of the natural world. Andrea has been convinced for a while that philosophy isn’t just for classrooms. She founded and directs Philosophy in the Public Interest at Northern Arizona University. She has designed programs that put philosophy in museums, movie theatres, private homes, high schools, historic hotels, artists’ studios, small businesses, community centers and more. She studied at Tulane University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and The Ohio State University. Andrea is passionate about helping people understand the practical value that philosophy has for our everyday lives. She believes that the creative and critical work of philosophy can help us understand other people and the natural world. In turn, we come to know ourselves, and to shape our own lives with wisdom and intention.

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Andrea's Upcoming SPEX Programs

The Meaning of Life, September 22-24, 2017

Andrea’s Public Presentations

Trust-Based Leadership: Increase Productivity, Reduce Monitoring and Boost Morale, Northern Arizona Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Luncheon, September 10, 2015.

Voting as Essential Civic Engagement. League of Women Voters of the Verde Valley; Sedona, AZ; 2015.

Mind/Body Dualism: Descartes’ Legacy. Sedona/Verde Valley Freethinkers; Sedona, AZ; 2015.

Money and Macaroons. Integral Sedona; Sedona, AZ; 2015

Free Speech! Why Free Speech? NAU Summer Seminar Series; Flagstaff, AZ; 2014.

Women and Wisdom: a new philosophy of leadership and advocacy. Mary Magdalene Celebration; Sedona, AZ; 2014.

Overview of the Hot Topics Café Model. O’Connor Institute.  Flagstaff, AZ; 2013.

Andrea’s Academic Presentations

With Kara Dillard. Federal Lands and Stewardship of Place: Campus and Community Engagement Strategies in Alaska and Arizona. The American Democracy Project; New Orleans, LA; 2015.

Public Philosophy and Civic Engagement. Public Philosophy Network; San Francisco, CA; 2015.

With John Lachs and Eric Thomas Weber. SOPHIA: Building Communities of Philosophical Conversation. Public Philosophy Network; San Francisco, CA; 2015.

On Philosophy for Fun. American Philosophical Association; Philadelphia, PA; 2014.

The Role of Campus-Based Centers and Institutions in Expanding Dialogue and Deliberation. National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation; Reston, VA; 2014.

NAU Philosophy in the Public Interest. SBS Compassion Conference; Flagstaff, AZ; 2014.

On Philosophy’s Intrinsic and Practical Value. American Philosophical Association; Baltimore, MD; 2013.

Environmental and Economic Value. Shaanxi Normal University; Xian, China; 2012.

Jack Turner’s Abstract Wild. Hefei University; Hefei, China.

Andrea’s Public Writing

“Indignation Right Response to Racial Injustice.” Arizona Daily Sun. 2014.

“Grown Men Also Need Friends,” Sedona Red Rock News. 2012.

Andrea’s Academic Writing

“Film as a Means of Global Exploration.” NAU Global. 2015.

“What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Global Learning.” NAU Global. 2012.

In Depth

Andrea’s Ph.D. Thesis, A Place for Public Philosophy: reviving a practice, focuses on how philosophy should be an essential resource for people in day-to-day life. She traces the history of philosophy from ancient, through medieval, modern, and contemporary periods to show how, increasingly, philosophy became more and more arcane, and a practice done almost exclusively by and for other academic philosophers. She notes that the dearth of philosophy in popular society leads to unfortunate alternatives, such as those pointed out by Steve Salerno in his book SHAM (Self-Help and Actualization Movements). In this work Andrea makes a case for more publicly engaged philosophy and explains why more people benefit through its practice.