Praxis Circle Contributor James Hall is the James Thomas Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus and former head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Richmond, whose academic interests include 20th century analytic philosophy, philosophy of religion, epistemology, and logical empiricism. Praxis Circle interviewed James Hall because of his engaging perspectives and communication skills concerning the philosophy of religion, particularly the Abrahamic monotheisms.
Born in 1933 in Texas, he grew up in New Orleans and Washington, D.C. He has been the recipient of many grants, fellowships, and honors during his forty years of teaching at UR, including three different awards for being an outstanding faculty member at the university.
After graduating with a B.A. in the Humanities Group from Johns Hopkins University in 1955, Dr. Hall proceeded to obtain his Master of Theology from Southeastern Theological Seminary (1960) and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1964). His professional career began while he was a student at Southeastern Theological Seminary, where he was a Grader in Philosophy of Religion and continued at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was an Instructor in Ethics. After receiving his Ph.D., he was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Furman University, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UR, and ultimately, Professor of Philosophy at UR.
In addition to his academic career, Dr. Hall is a “star” lecturer for The Great Courses with his two courses, Philosophy of Religion (2003) and Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World through Experience and Reason (2005), and has authored three books: Knowledge, Belief and Transcendence (1982); Logic Problems (1991); and Practically Profound (2005). He was also the author of numerous papers, articles, and individual book chapters.
“Philosophy is reflecting on why you think what you think, believe what you believe, and do what you do. Anyone can do it. Everyone should.”
– James Hall for The Great Courses