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Thad Botham

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Lecturer
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Instructor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography: 

Thad Botham is published in epistemology and in metaphysics. Botham was a visiting assistant professor at Valparaiso University in 2006. He has taught at ASU since the fall of 2006. He has taught for Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, and is currently the faculty honors advisor for philosophy. Botham Thad is a founding faculty member of the ASU's Master of Liberal Studies Program.

Professor Botham has a penchant for high quality teaching that, pacé Socrates’s Meno, produces results. Fostering an environment where students feel safe, yet challenged, Botham equips students to master both evaluation and delivery of sound arguments for controversial claims. He nurtures the sense of community many consistently experience in his classroom. Botham enjoys refereeing manuscripts for top-tier philosophy journals such as Synthese, Analysis, and Erkenntnis.

Botham's 2008 book, "Agent-Causation Revisited: Origination and Contemporary Theories of Free Will," reveals that experts in the secular free will literature neglect to take seriously the deeply seated intuition that acting freely requires being an ultimate originator of change in the world.  From his findings, Botham argues that a theory called agent-causation best fits both our intuitive commitments about free will as well as our scientific understanding about how the world works.

Botham's current research includes several works on progress. One engages a debate in the philosophy of religion between three theories that attempt to reconcile a creator with maximal control over creation, on the one hand, and creaturely free will, on the other hand. The three theories are Thomism, Molinism, and Open Theism. While studying at Notre Dame under several of the most authoritative minds on the issue, Botham has developed a conjecture that the last 30 years of debate, which includes thousands of professional contributions, rests on a big mistake. Botham’s research unearths early contributions that have apparently gone unnoticed and unappreciated for three decades. He aims to unpack his BIG IDEA that the three theories are not mutually exclusive candidates for addressing the reconciliation-problem.  If plausible, Botham's BIG IDEA would launch an entirely new research program in the philosophy of religion.

Botham enjoys rock-climbing as well as camping and hiking with his three children. He roasts fair trade organic coffee beans.  For fun, Botham builds large boomerangs from a 1912 Australian design that really do return.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame 2006
  • M.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame 2002
  • M.A. Philosophy, Texas A&M University 1999
  • B.S. Mathematics and Philosophy, Lynchburg College 1996
Publications: 
  • Botham, Thad (forthcoming, 2017) ‘A Defense of Libertarianism’ Philosophy for Us. Ed. Leonard Clapp. Cognella.
  • Botham, Thad (2012) ‘Free Will and Determinism’ in What Might Be: Readings in Philosophy (Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company): 169-179.
  • Botham, Thad (2012) ‘Reflections of a Philosopher’ in What Might Be: Readings in Philosophy (Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company): 307-321.
  • Botham, Thad (2008) Agent-Causation Revisited: Origination and Contemporary Theories of Free Will (Berlin: Verlag D Müller)
  • Botham, Thad (2003) ‘Plantinga and Favorable Mini-Environments,’ Synthese 135: 431-441
Research Activity: 

 Research.  Thad’s (2008) book, Agent-Causation Revisited: Origination and Contemporary Theories of Free Will, reveals that experts in the secular free will literature neglect to take seriously the deeply seated intuition that acting freely requires being an ultimate originator of change in the world.  From his findings, Thad argues that a theory called agent-causation best fits both our intuitive commitments about free will as well as our scientific understanding about how the world works.

Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 493Honors Thesis
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 105Intro to Ethics
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 492Honors Directed Study
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 101Introduction to Philosophy
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
PHI 492Honors Directed Study
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
PHI 493Honors Thesis
MLS 503Ethics, Science, and Culture
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 101Introduction to Philosophy
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
PHI 492Honors Directed Study
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
PHI 318Philosophy of Religion
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
MLS 503Ethics, Science, and Culture
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 101Introduction to Philosophy
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 105Intro to Ethics
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 103Principles of Sound Reasoning
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
MLS 503Ethics, Science, and Culture
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 101Introduction to Philosophy
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 105Intro to Ethics
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PHI 103Principles of Sound Reasoning
PHI 300Philosophical Argument/Exposit
PHI 304Existentialism
MLS 503Ethics, Science, and Culture