Our Faculty

Ryan Mott

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information


Office Hours

Office: Administration Building, Room 457

Office Hours: Tuesday, 11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.; Thursday, 11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.; Friday, 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.; by appointment also


Ph.D., M.A, Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder; M.A., Critical & Creative Thinking, University of Massachusetts, Boston; B.A., Philosophy, Wheaton College


I was born in Boston and I am very happy to have returned after having lived in Boulder, Colorado, and then Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a number of years (it was not easy being a Patriots fan in either Bronco or Packer country). Professionally, I am primarily interested in political philosophy and applied ethics - particularly with questions surrounding the justification of state power and its limits. As a teacher, I am most interested in sharing my passion for philosophy and for demonstrating philosophy's immediate relevance to our everyday experience. Personally, I am an avid American blues and rock'n'roll fan, an enthusiastic snowboarder, and I love spending time with my partner of over twenty years and our two young children (particularly if it involves a Frisbee). Someday, when I have free time again, I plan on reading some science fiction and fantasy novels.

What I Love About Emmanuel:

After only a short time here, I have fallen in love with the community atmosphere at Emmanuel College and the overwhelming enthusiasm that I have found among its student body. I could not be happier to be teaching at an institution which so openly and passionately embraces its mission and cares so deeply about student learning.

Courses I Teach

  • PHIL1207 - Ethics at Word
  • PHIL2101 - Problems in Philosophy
  • PHIL2203 - Philosophy of Law

I will be teaching both Health Care Ethics and Recent Moral Issues shortly. I am currently hoping to offer a course in Political Philosophy in the near future.

Publications + Presentations

“The Necessary Connection between Internal and External Legitimacy: Concerns Regarding Intervention”

Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 9, No. 1, May 2013.

Recent Presentations:

  • State Legitimacy, Human Rights, & Corporations" (Invited speaker at the 2014 Morris Colloquium, "In the Unjust Meantime: Moral and Political Philosophy after Alison Jaggar" University of Colorado, Boulder, August 7, 2014

Winner of the 2013 Best Practice for Mission Integration-Residence Life category by the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU) while the sole instructor (and an advisory board member) for the Dorothy Day Social Justice Living-Learning Community at Marquette University.

Research Focus

I work primarily in political philosophy and applied ethics. In particular, I am interested in issues related to the justification of state power, political obligation, democratic theory, human rights, and just war theory. I am currently inquiring into the moral permissibility of political assassination and the use of UAVs (a.k.a. drones). I argue that such methods can not only be justified on moral grounds (provided that they are consistent with just war principles), but that they are (morally) preferable to 'traditional' methods of warfare and that, in certain circumstances, they may even be morally obligatory. In principle, at least, such intervention allows for a maximal impact while significantly lowering the risk of harm to those intervening as well as minimizing the extent of (so-called) collateral damage. I concede that the ways in which political assassination and UAVs are currently being utilized by state actors are likely not morally justified.

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