I grew up in the rust belt of western Pennsylvania, about seventy miles north of Pittsburgh. I attended Thiel College, located in my home town of Greenville, graduating in 1984 with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science. I then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I enrolled in the graduate program in Philosophy at the University of Virginia, completing my PhD in 1993. After a year of living dangerously, I secured a tenure-track position in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College beginning in the fall of 1994. There I earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001. I served from 2001-2004 as Chair of the department. In 2006, I took an appointment in the Philosophy Department at Florida State University, and I was promoted to full Professor in 2008. In 2010 I came to the University of Arizona to join both the Philosophy Department and the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom. I was honored to be offered the Keith Lehrer Chair. In 2018, I decided to resign from the Center and so to step away from my appointment as the Keith Lehrer Chair. I now hold a full-time appointment exclusively in the Philosophy Department. I remain grateful for the excellent support I received as a faculty member in the Center.
I now reside in the foothills of Tucson, AZ with my wife Danielle Steffey and our son Coen, born in May of 2011. Danielle works for a research center as a social scientist specializing in issues related to criminal justice. My son Coen is a yellow belt in the martial art of Goshunjitsu, a combination of Karate, Jiu-jitsu, and Judo. If you mess with him or those he loves, he’ll drop you like a sack of warm turds. Aside from being a stealth ninja badass, he specializes in building Lego and all lore and technical mastery associated with Mine Craft. He’s also conquered a few of the black diamond runs at Wolf Creek Ski Resort, located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Through my careful instruction, he’s developed some fine dance moves to the tunes we play here at Casa McKenna on P-Funk Fridays. He knows who George Clinton is. And he knows how to tear the roof off the mutha sucka. If you ask him what his favorite kind of music is, he’ll say Motown.
As for my non-philosophical interests, my two great athletic passions are skiing and cycling, pretty much in that order. While there is no snow here in Tucson, the cycling is spectacular. So when I am not cooking for my family or hard at work living the life of the mind, I am getting in a good ride. When my schedule permits, I scoot off into the high mountains in southern Colorado or Utah to see how close I can come to killing myself on a pair of skis.
Oh, and I’ve also been known to enjoy a cocktail from time to time.