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Rick Werner earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Rochester. He joined the Kirkland College faculty in 1975 and, after the two colleges merged, remained at Hamilton where he studies issues relating to applied philosophy: war, climate change, experimental ethics and evolutionary ethics. Professor Werner has published in a number of professional journals and co-edited the book Just War, Nonviolence, and Nuclear Deterrence. He twice directed Hamilton’s New York City Program and has been recognized with the Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching and by students with the Pentagon Service Award.

Recent Courses Taught

Contemporary Moral Issues
History of Ancient Western Philosophy
Ethics of Globalization
Creating Right and Wrong
Environmental Ethics
Theory and Practice of Nonviolence
Technology and Alienation
Nineteenth Century Philosophy
The Pursuit of Happiness
Seminar in Ethics: Happiness
Seminar in Ethics: Naturalism


  • Elected by Class of 2015 to address them at First Gala Dinner Event, May 2015
  • Awarded Leadership Course Development Grant from the Levitt Center, fall 2013
  • Awarded The Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching, May 2006
  • Awarded the Pentagon Service Award for Service by the students of Hamilton College, May 2004
  • Editorial Committee, The Acorn: Journal of the Gandhi-King Society, 1990-present
  • Consulting Editor, Public Affairs Quarterly, 1996-99
  • Eastern Division Representative, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, 1987-91
  • Tennent Caledonian Fellow, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, spring 1989
  • Co-Director, “Issues in Nuclear Deterrence,” international conference in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, June 1985
  • Co-recipient of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Liberal Arts Package Grant, to present an open seminar series on artificial intelligence, Hamilton College, 1984
  • Hamilton College Faculty Fellowship, 1983-84; spring 1989; spring 1995; 2002-2003, 2007-2008, spring 2014
  • John Dewey Senior Research Fellowship, University of Southern Illinois, 1983-84
  • Co-recipient of N.E.H. Package Grant on Technology and Human Values, to develop courses relating to technology and values, 1980
  • Margaret Bundy Scott Faculty Fellowship, Hamilton College, 1979

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Rochester
M.A., University of Rochester
B.A., Rutgers University

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