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Mitch Clearfield

Mitch Clearfield

Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and General Studies

Mitch's main interest is the philosophy of language: thinking about how language relates to both the mind and the external world, and what (if anything) can be revealed about those through the study of language. In pursuing that interest, he focuses on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein from the first half of the twentieth century, and on the more recent development of pragmatism in the work of Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, and Robert Brandom.

Since moving to Walla Walla, which has a large state penitentiary on the outskirts of town, he has also become quite interested in the philosophy of criminal justice. This has led to the development of a course at Whitman, as well as participation in Whitman's Prison Research Group and volunteering with several different non-profits in the area that relate to issues of criminal justice. Mitch has also recently started teaching a course about applied ethics that meets inside the Penitentiary, with a combination of students from campus and incarcerated students.

When Mitch isn't at work, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and playing cards and games with friends. He also loves cats, but thought for many years that he was allergic to them. Now that he's learned that he isn't, he's fighting the urge to adopt 100 cats at once.

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania

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