Meet Your Professor: John Wright
CMU Office: Anspach 301N.
Occupation title: Professor of Philosophy
Department: Philosophy and religion
Academic College: College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Classes Taught: PHL 230: Philosophy of Religion, PHL 302: History of Philosophy: Modern Period, PHL 490: Senior Seminar
Professor of philosophy, historian and researcher John Wright has a dual citizenship with Canada and the United States. He came to Michigan in 1997 to teach philosophy to Central Michigan University students.
Wright is fascinated with people and other cultures. In recent years, he has attended philosophy conferences in Turkey and Brazil. At these conferences, he met philosophy students and discovered how everyone has a story to tell.
"We all struggle through life," he said. "My real heart is in my students and thinking about how people thought in previous ages."
In Turkey, he learned about rug making and visited the reconstruction of a Roman City in Ephesus.
Just before the conference in Brazil, there were demonstrations against the government concerning the upcoming World Cup. Wright was able to talk to some of the students at the conference who had participated in these demonstrations to find out what the demonstrations were all about.
"They were building these big stadiums," Wright said. "There was a lot of money that wasn't going to other things."
He said the Brazilian students were more politically involved than most American students would be because they believed they could make a change.
Wright loves to probe the great minds of history. He said he is interested in how these people thought in ways that rose above the norm.
He visited the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. right after the government reopened its doors from the federal shutdown. Wright was researching Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In the box of Benjamin Rush's papers and research, Wright came upon a letter from Thomas Jefferson right after Jefferson stepped down from his presidency.
"When you find handwriting like Jefferson's, you just say, 'Oh, this is just the most beautiful thing,'" he said. "When you come across things like that, you just don't expect it"