Peg O'Connor


Professor in Philosophy

I fell hard for Wittgenstein as an undergraduate philosophy major. I was simultaneously perplexed, charmed, befuddled, dubious, challenged, and so importantly, engaged by Wittgenstein's writings. Who could resist someone who wrote "What is your aim in philosophy? To shew the fly the way out of the fly-bottle." Years later (how many I will not say), his philosophy still guides my philosophical pursuits. Wittgenstein is my intellectual companion in all my work.

My interest in Wittgenstein is happily and productively combined with ethical matters. I have published two books on Wittgenstein and ethics. The first is Oppression and Responsibility (2002) and the second is Morality and Our Complicated Form of Life (2008). I am also the co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein (2002).

I regularly teach PHI 147: Applied Ethics, a course in which we explore the moral depth of many of our common ordinary practices and activities. I enjoy teaching this course so much because we focus on acquiring skills that enable us to engage in moral inquiry and transform moral disagreements in productive, useful, and respectful ways.

My recent work brings philosophical insights to issues of addiction and recovery. I have a new book, Higher and Friendly Powers: Unifying a Divided Self, with Wildhouse Publications (2022). My other book on addiction and recovery is Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery (2016). I also have  blog with Psychology Today titled, "Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken."   The address is:

My website is


B.A. Wesleyan University, 1987M.A. University of Minnesota, 1993Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1996

Courses Taught

FTS-100 (FTS:The Good Life), PHI-147 (Applied Ethics), and PHI-246 (Ethical Theory)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
GWS-118 Feminist Controversies 16 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/FA, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/FA, and 2008/SP
PHI-246 Ethical Theory 10 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, and 2010/FA
WOM-118 Introduction to Women's Studies 10 2007/SP, 2006/SP, 2005/FA, 2003/FA, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, 2001/SP, and 2000/FA
GWS-380 Coll:Feminist/Pop Cult 9 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2012/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, and 2007/FA
PHI-247 Applied Ethics 9 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2011/SP, 2008/SP, 2006/FA, 2006/SP, and 1999/FA
PHI-115 Formal Logic 8 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/JN, 2003/SP, 2001/SP, and 1999/FA
WOM-380 Colloquium: Special Topic 6 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/SP
PHI-108 Great Philosophers 5 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/FA, 2020/SP, and 2013/FA
PHI-147 Applied Ethics 5 2021/FA, 2021/SP, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, and 2015/FA
PHI-136 Formal Logic 5 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2017/FA, and 2016/FA
PHI-102 Racism and Sexism 5 2007/SP, 2004/SP, 2002/SP, and 1999/FA
PHI-104 The Individual and Community 4 2000/SP and 1999/SP
PHI-371 Sem:Phil & Addiction 3 2019/FA, 2016/SP, and 2013/SP
PHI-202 Modern Philosophy 3 2010/SP, 2009/SP, and 2000/SP
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 3 2002/FA, 2001/FA, and 2000/FA
PHI-248 GenderKnowledgeReality 2 2020/SP and 1999/SP
GWS-260 Global Feminisms 2 2009/FA and 2007/FA
PHI-290 Philosophical Methods 1 2022/SP
PHI-370 Sem: Wittgenstein 1 2021/FA
PHI-103 Mind and Matter 1 2011/SP
WOM-268 Career Exploration 1 2006/JN
PHI-210 Commodity Culture 1 2006/JN
POL-380 Feminist Political Thought 1 2004/SP
POL-399 Thesis 1 2004/SP
NDL-224 Just Food 1 2003/JN
WOM-360 Feminist Theories 1 2001/FA
PHI-116 Radical Social Commentary 1 2000/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.