Environmental Studies

Erin McKenna

Erin McKenna

Professor of Philosophy

253-535-7213 (office)



Ph.D., Purdue University, 1992

M.A., Purdue University, 1990

B.A., Claremont McKenna College, 1987


Erin McKenna is a Professor of Philosophy who specializes in feminist theory and American Pragmatism, focusing on issues of social and political philosophy. Her most recent book is Pets, People, and Pragmatism (Fordham UP, 2103) which looks at how human beings might build more respectful relationship with the other animal beings we commonly classify as pets.  She has also co-edited a volume titled Animal Pragmatism:Rethinking Human-Nonhuman Relationships, which came out in the spring of 2004 from Indiana University Press. Some of her articles include "Pragmatism and Primates," “Women, Power, and Meat,” “Feminism and Vegetarianism,” “The Occupied West Bank,” and “Some Reflections Concerning Feminist Pedagogy.” Her book, The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) focuses on the work of John Dewey. She also co-edited Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy (Open Court, 2009). She teaches Women and Philosophy every fall; Philosophy, Animals, and the Environment every spring; Ethics and the Good Life; Social and Political Philosophy; and Pragmatism and American Philosophy. McKenna has been teaching at PLU since 1992.