Welcome to the home page of the Mississippi Philosophical Association. As set forth in our constitution, the purpose of the MPA is to increase the understanding and appreciation of philosophy; to encourage research and advance the standards and ideals of the teaching of philosophy; and to cultivate an interest in the study of philosophy in Mississippi institutions of higher learning.

The MPA holds an annual meeting, usually in the spring, featuring papers by faculty, students, and invited speakers. Members not on the faculty of one of the four multi-person philosophy departments in the state pay $20 per year in dues, but the annual meetings are free and open to the public.

The most recent meeting was held February 9-10, 2018 at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. It was organized by Alicia Hall. The theme of the conference was "Well-being and Happiness." The keynote speaker was Valerie Tiberius of the University of Minnesota.

The two winners of prizes for "Best Graduate Student Presentation" were Anthony Kelley of the University of Colorado-Boulder and Alycia Laguardia-Lobianco of the University of Connecticut.

Here is the full program.

Friday, February 9  

9:30 – 10:10              Kirsten Egerstrom, Southern Methodist University, “Meaning in Life and Happiness: Two Dimensions of Selfhood”

10:10 – 10:50            Alex Braud, Arizona State University – Tempe, “Toward a Subjective-Plus Account of Meaning”

11:10 – 11:50            Marigny Nevitt, Florida State University, “Welfare Value and Narrative: Two Problems for Velleman’s Account Presented in ‘Well-Being and Time’”

1:00 – 1:40                MPA Presidential Address, Anthony Neal, Mississippi State University, “Deepening the Hunger: Philosophical and Theological Poetics”

1:40 – 2:20                Alycia LaGuardia-LoBianco, University of Connecticut, “Suffering as a Component of Well-Being”

2:40 – 3:20                Jason Chen, Saint Louis University, “You Win: Why Playing Video Games Can Significantly Boost Well-Being”

3:20 – 4:00                Benjamin Yelle, Northeastern University, “How to Be a Sophisticated Subjectivist About Well-Being”

4:30 – 6:00                Keynote Address, Valerie Tiberius, University of Minnesota, “Fulfillment and Failure”

Saturday, February 10

10:00 – 10:40            Kiki Berk, Southern New Hampshire University, “Why Positive Psychology Needs Philosophy”

10:45 – 11:25            William Bell, University of Missouri-St. Louis, “On Loneliness as Social Disattunement”

11:30 – 12:10            Anthony Kelley, University of Colorado at Boulder, “Well-Being and Alienation”

1:40 – 2:10                Sherry Ya-Yun Kao, Rice University, “How Should I Live?”

2:15 – 2:55                Joshua W. Felix, Binghamton University / University of Memphis, “A Defense of Conativism”

3:25 – 4:05                Gil Hersch, Virginia Tech, “No Theory-Free Lunches in Well-Being Policy”

4:10 – 4:50                Claudio D’Amato, Virginia Tech, “Collective Wellbeing and International Development"

Prior conferences focused on Civic Studies (2016-17), Attention (2015-16), Philosophy of Race (2014-15), Consciousness (2013-14), Philosophy of Biology (2012-13) and Experimental Philosophy (2011-12). The MPA will take a one-year hiatus, then meet in 2020 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. The theme of the conference will be "Astrobiology: Philosophical Issues and Implications."


Officers for 2018-2020:


Alicia Hall, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University (AHall@philrel.msstate.edu)


Neil Manson, Department of Philosophy and Religion, The University of Mississippi (namanson@olemiss.edu)


Anthony Neal, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University (aneal@philrel.msstate.edu)

Mike Bruno, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University (mbruno@philrel.msstate.edu)

Steven Smith, Department of Philosophy, Millsaps College (smithsg@millsaps.edu)

Bart Moffatt, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University

Donovan Wishon, Department of Philosophy and Religion, the University of Mississippi

Robert Thompson
, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University