Mark K. Spencer / Fellow for Aesthetics and Metaphysics

Mark Spencer is Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Spencer fell in love with philosophy in high school when he first encountered the writings of Albert Camus and St. Thomas Aquinas. He earned his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, and his M.A. and B.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he first encountered the work of Dietrich von Hildebrand. He is the author of over 35 papers, mostly focusing on the nature of the human person, beauty, and God's relations to us. In his research, he above all tries to synthesize many traditions’ approaches to these topics, drawing on the scholastic, phenomenological, analytic, and Greek Patristic traditions. Among the things he takes greatest delight in is introducing students to the insights of these traditions, so as to help them better perceive and contemplate reality, for which he finds the work of von Hildebrand an indispensable guide. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Susanna, and their four children. Together, they especially enjoy hiking, camping, reading novels, watching films, gardening, and homeschooling.

Read more about Mark Spencer.

Research Areas:

Philosophical Anthropology, Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Philosophical Theology

Selected Bibliography:

“Created Persons are Subsistent Relations: A Scholastic-Phenomenological Synthesis." Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89, Analyzing Catholic Philosophy (2015): 225-243.

“Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity.” International Philosophical Quarterly 55:2 (June 2015): 145-164.

“Divine Causality and Created Freedom: A Thomistic Personalist View.” Nova et Vetera 14:3 (Summer 2016): 375-419.

"The Many Powers of the Human Soul: Von Hildebrand’s Contribution to Scholastic Philosophical Anthropology,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91:4, Special Issue on Dietrich Von Hildebrand (Fall 2017): 719-735.

“Perceiving the Image of God in the Whole Human Person,” The Saint Anselm Journal 13:2 (Spring 2018): 1-18.

“Sense Perception and the Flourishing of the Human Person in von Hildebrand and the Aristotelian Traditions,” Tópicos, Revista de Filosofía 56 (2019): 95-118.

“Beauty and Being in von Hildebrand and the Aristotelian Tradition,” The Review of Metaphysics 73:2 (December 2019): 311-334.

“Covenantal Metaphysics and Cosmological Metaphysics: An Aesthetic Critique and an Aesthetic Synthesis”, The Saint Anselm Journal 15:2 (Spring 2020): forthcoming.

“Beauty and the Intellectual Virtues in Aristotle,” in Beauty and the Good: Past Interpretations and Their Contemporary Relevance ed. Alice Ramos, (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2020).


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