Professor of Political Science. Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1983.
Professor Dobbs studies ancient Greek philosophy, American constitutionalism, and Catholic social thought. He joined Marquette’s faculty in 1987, having taught at Tufts, Emory, and in the Honors Program at the University of Houston. Over the past three decades, he has published extensively in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics. From 2006 to 2009, he was associate editor of the American Journal of Political Science. He has twice won Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and has received multiple research grants from the Earhart Foundation and the Bradley Institute for the Study of Democracy and Public Values. The Mellon Foundation provided support for the development of his innovative introduction to political philosophy, which taps the medieval Trivium to explore difficulties raised by the American Founding. He has served on the Board of Directors of Mercy Academy and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies at Carthage College. He lives in the city of Milwaukee with his wife and ten children.
In the classroom, Professor Dobbs enjoys discussing arguments, speeches, and stories with students on all grade levels, freshmen through doctoral candidates. His instruction tends to focus on original texts of philosophy, literature, and statesmanship and to stress the cultivation and exercise of tools of learning rather than the communication of bodies of knowledge. He guides his students principally by attempting to be at all times the most educable person in the classroom. He sees political philosophy as a consummation of the seven traditional liberal arts, and thus as something valuable not only to a few aspiring academic professionals but, in respect of our common humanity and citizenship, to everyone.
PDF files of some of his scholarly publications are available:
Plato's Paragon of Human Excellence: Socratic Philosopher and Civic Guardian," Journal of Politics, (2003), 65: 1062-1082. (Full Text)
Socratic Communism, Journal of Politics (2000), 62: 491-510. (Full Text)
Family Matters: Aristotle's Appreciation of Women and the Plural Structure of Society, American Political Science Review (1996), 90:74-89. (Full Text)
Choosing Justice: Socrates' Model City and the Practice of Dialectic. American Political Science Review (1994), 88:263-277. (Full Text)
Natural Right and the Problem of Aristotle's Defense of Slavery, Journal of Politics (1994), 56:67-94. (Full Text)
The Piety of Thought In Plato's Republic, Book 1. American Political Science Review. (1994), 88:668-683. (Full Text)
Rationalism or Revelation? American Political Science Review (1988), 82:579-587 [coauthor]. (Full Text)
Reckless Rationalism and Heroic Reverence in Homer's Odyssey, American Political Science Review (1987), 81:491-508. (Full Text)
For Lack of Wisdom: Courage and Inquiry in Plato's Laches, Journal of Politics (1986), 48:825-849 [lead article]. (Full Text)
The Justice of Socrates' Philosopher Kings, American Journal of Political Science (1985), 29:809-826. (Full Text)
Aristotle's Anticommunism, American Journal of Political Science (1985), 29:29-46. (Full Text)
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