Michael J Mulnix

Michael J Mulnix

Professional Details

Title: Associate Professor
Office: SB-203B1
Phone: 978-542-6315
Email: michael.mulnix@salemstate.edu
Resume: Michael J Mulnix [DOCX 147KB]

Spring Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
2477 01 PHL100 Introduction to Philosophy
2478 02 PHL100 Introduction to Philosophy
2503 01 PHL307 Ethics
2506 01 PHL317 Philosophy of Happiness
2508 01 PHL500 Tutorial, Readings and Research in Philosophy

Professional Biography

Mike Mulnix received his PhD and MA in philosophy from the University of Iowa. His dissertation was an exploration of the value that individual liberty has to our private happiness, especially as found in the work of John Stuart Mill. Prior to his graduate education, he earned a BA in philosophy and English literature from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He has taught full time at Cornell College, Dean College, and now at Salem State where he has been a faculty member since the Fall of 2008.

Professional Interests

Professor Mulnix’s has broad interests in philosophy especially when understood as a practical art--the study of how to live well. The courses he teaches and the research he engages in all focus on one or more aspects of the life well-lived, including what it means to be a good person, what is the nature of well-being and happiness, and how best to organize ourselves socially. His research focuses primarily on the areas of ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of happiness, although he has published and presented on philosophical pedagogy as well.

Selected Publications

  • Happy Lives, Good Lives: A Philosophical Examination. 2015. Broadview Press. Co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix.
  • Theories of Happiness: An Anthology. 2015. Broadview Press. Co-edited with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix.
  • “Doing Philosophy--The Sooner the Better,” in Philosophy Through Teaching, Emily Esch, Kevin Hermberg, Rory Kraft (eds.), Philosophy Documentation Center, 2014. Co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix.
  • “Using a Writing Portfolio to Teach Critical Thinking,” Teaching Philosophy (33) 1, 2010. Co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. 
  • “Squaring Liberty with Utility,” Review Journal of Political Philosophy (7) 2, 2009.
  • “Harm, Rights and Liberty: Towards a Non-Normative Reading of Mill’s Liberty Principle,” Journal of Moral Philosophy (6) 2, 2009.
  • “Patient Interests and Medical Paternalism,” Clinical Laboratory Science (21) 2, 2008.
  •  “Of Steel Drivers and Train Whistles: Johnny Cash and ‘Johnny’ Mill on the Good Life,” in Johnny Cash and Philosophy: The Burning Ring of Truth, editors J. Huss and D. Werther, Open Court, 2008.

Selected Presentations

“Building Philosophical Skills”

  • Twentieth International Workshop Conference on Teaching Philosophy, American Association of Philosophy Teachers; The College of St. Benedict’s and St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, July 30-August 3, 2014. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.

“Justice and National Well-Being”

  • Wheaton College, Norton, MA; November 5, 2014. Philosophy Department Colloquium Series. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Invited Talk.
  • The Northern New England Philosophical Association Annual Conference; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA; October 17-18, 2014. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.
  • International Well-Being and Public Policy Conference; Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; June 10-12, 2014. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.

“Who’s the Happy Person? Part Two”

  • Salem State University, Salem, MA; February 24, 2014. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Invited Talk.

 “Teaching Courses on the Happy Life, the Good Life, and the Moral Life”

  • Nineteenth International Workshop Conference on Teaching Philosophy, American Association of Philosophy Teachers; St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX; July 25-29, 2012. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.

“Who’s the Happy Person?”

  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA; April 4, 2012. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Invited Talk.
  • Wheaton College, Norton, MA; March 21, 2012. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson. Invited Talk.
  • Salem State University, Salem, MA; March 19, 2012. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Invited Talk.

“Harm, Self-Concerning Conduct and Liberty: Understanding Mill’s Harm Principle”

  • 34th Annual Midsouth Philosophy Conference, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, March 5-6, 2010. Refereed conference.

“Is Happiness a Feeling? John Stuart Mill and the Concept of Pleasure”

  • Faculty Colloquium sponsored by the Salem State Philosophy Club, November 16, 2009.
  • Salem State College Graduate Research Symposium, Panel Presentation, May 2, 2009.

“Self-Concerning Conduct and Mill’s Liberty Principle”

  • The Northern New England Philosophical Association Annual Conference at University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, October 16-17, 2009. Refereed conference.

“Can an Ethic of Social Welfare Make Room for an Absolute Value of Individual Liberty?”

  • Salem State College School of Arts and Sciences Open Forum Series, October 27, 2008.

Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking”

  • The Northern New England Philosophy Association Conference at Colby College, Waterville, ME, October 24-25, 2008. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.

“Measuring Critical Evaluation Skills through the Use of Writing Portfolio Projects,”

  • Seventeenth International Workshop Conference on Teaching Philosophy, American Association of Philosophy Teachers; The University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, August 6-10, 2008. Co-presented with Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix. Refereed conference.

“On the Necessary Instrumental Value of Liberty: An Act Utilitarian Defense.”

  • The Northern New England Philosophical Association Annual Conference; Dartmouth, MA; October, 2007. Refereed conference.

“Harm, Self-Regarding Conduct and Liberty: Understanding Mill’s Harm Principle.”

  • The 9th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies: The John Stuart Mill Bicentennial conference; hosted by The Bentham Project; University College London; London, England; April, 2006. Refereed conference.

“Mill and Self-Regarding Conduct: A Utilitarian Defense of Liberty”

  • Annual Meeting of the Iowa Philosophical Association; Simpson, IA; November, 2005. Refereed conference.

“Radical Heterogeneity and Visual Inversion”

  • Twenty-Eighth Annual Mid-South Philosophy Conference, Memphis, TN; February, 2004. Refereed conference.
  • Iowa Philosophical Society meeting, Grinnell, IA; November, 2003. Refereed conference.

“The Inverted Image and the Visual Orientation of Space: A New Look at the New Theory

  • Central States Philosophical Association meeting, Chicago, IL; October, 2003. Refereed conference.

Commentary on Thomas Carson’s “A Defense of the Golden Rule”

  • Illinois Philosophical Association meeting, Normal, IL; November, 2003.