Louis Pojman

Louis Pojman

Louis Paul Pojman (April 22, 1935-October 15, 2005) (pronounced Poyman) was an American philosopher and professor who received a D. Phil from Oxford University and a PhD from Union Seminary. His name is most recognized as the author of clearly written philosophy texts and anthologies used at nearly half the colleges and universities in the USFact|date=September 2007. Dr. Pojman was known for work in applied ethics and philosophy of religion.

Early life and career

Louis Paul Pojman, grew up in Cicero, Illinois, where he attended Morton High School and Junior College. He went on to receive a B.S. degree from Nyack College and a B.D degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, becoming an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America. After serving an inter-racial church in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, he returned to seminary, attending Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University in New York where he studied under Reinhold Niebuhr and earned a Ph.D. in Ethics. During this time he received several fellowships to study abroad. In 1969-71 he was a Fulbright Fellow and a Kent Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and in 1970 a Rockefeller Fellow at Hamburg University, Germany. Upon receiving his PhD from Union, he decided to study analytic philosophy and went to Oxford University from which he earned his D. Phil in 1977. He also lectured at Oxford. In 1977 he became a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. After this he taught at the University of Texas (Dallas), and became a Professor at the University of Mississippi, where he was Chair of the Philosophy Department. He was also a visiting Scholar at Brigham Young University, University of California, Berkeley and New York University among others. He was a Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a Professor for nine years. In 2004-5 he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, UK, where he was a Life-Fellow. He read over 100 papers at 60 universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.


Pojman was an outstanding teacher. Among his teaching awards, are the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship (1988) the Outstanding Scholar/Teacher in the Humanities at the University of Mississippi (1994), and the U. S. Military Academy Outstanding Scholar/Teacher Award (1999). In 2004 he received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service to the United States Military. Pojman wrote primarily as a teacher so his books connected with students.


Dr. Louis Pojman was the author or editor of 34 books and 100 articles, including: The Logic of Subjectivity (1984), Religious Belief and the Will (1986), The Abortion Controversy (2nd ed. 1998), Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong (5th ed., 2006), Global Environmental Ethics (1999), Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application (5th ed. 2008), Justice (2005), Who Are We? (2006), Philosophy of Religion (2001), Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology (5th ed., 2007), Philosophy: The Quest for Truth 6th ed. 2006), Terrorism, Human rights, and The Case for World Government (2006). Dr. Pojman was best known perhaps for presenting extremely balanced perspectives in his writings on a variety of some of the most controversial and challenging contemporary issues, including abortion, affirmative action and the death penalty. He endeavors to explain why people disagree on such issues and presents the roots of the ideas, teachings and writings that help build an understanding of these differing viewpoints. He presents the different positions on issues so that the reader can reflect on their own point of view on the issue.


Louis was an anti-war and civil rights activist in the 1960s. He became a vegetarian, avid hiker, biker, and environmentalist. He died of liver cancer secondary to hepatis-C contracted via a blood transfusion 18 years earlier. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Trudy, and two children, Ruth Freedom, who works for USAID, and Paul Theodore, who is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Towson University. He has a grandson, Theodore ‘Petri’ Pojman, and two step-grandchildren, Lena Ryspekova and Timur Ryspekov.

External links

  • http://www.louispojman.com
  • http://www.dean.usma.edu/english/pojman/Pojmanbio.html

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