Justin C. Donhauser

155 Park Hall
Philosophy Department
jcd8 at buffalo edu

Research interests

  • Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science (ecology, biology, chemistry, and physics)

Personal statement

Justin is a third year ERIE-IGERT Fellow and PhD candidate (ABD) in the Philosophy department at the University at Buffalo.  His specialization is in the philosophy of science, and his primary research interests fall at the intersection of metaphysics, epistemology, and analytic theory.  His current research consists in developing a meta-theory of ‘emergent entities,’ including those found in scientific theories [e.g. atoms, organisms, ecosystems, and solar systems].  Justin’s dissertation is (tentatively) titled “Emergence and Explanation: a Scientific Realism with Applications to Environmental Science for Policy.”  In it, he presents key portions of my view in the form of resolutions to critical debates in both ecology, about the existential status of ecosystems, and in environmental policy and the philosophy thereof, regarding whether and how “ecosystem theories” can be used for purposes of policy and intervention.  Responding to these issues as a jumping-off point, he reveals the general nature of emergent entities, their ontological status, and the role our conceptions of them often play in causal explanation and prediction.

Growing up playing in the forests and waterways of the Adirondacks in Central New York, Justin has carried a respect for nature and the ways in which it confines human endeavors throughout his life.  Against this background, his training as an analytic philosopher allows him to bring a unique skill-set to the many theoretical and methodological issues surrounding ecosystem restoration and management efforts.

He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Summa Cum Laude) in Philosophy and the Deans Medal for Excellence in Philosophy from BSC in 2006.  Since that time he has been doing research in metaphysics at the University at Buffalo (UB), in his Master’s work specializing in issues in the philosophy of time and in general focusing on critical issues with scientific theory.  Justin was awarded a Master of Arts in philosophy in 2008; he was subsequently accepted to the PhD program, progressed through the stages of the program, and is currently working on his dissertation.  Prior to accepting a position as an ERIE trainee, he worked as a lecturer in the philosophy departments at both Niagara University and BSC.  Currently, he is an assistant instructor in the philosophy department at UB and a lecturer in the department of philosophy and humanities at BSC.


  • BA, Summa Cum Laude, in Philosophy and Humanities (SUNY at Buffalo State College)

  • MA in Philosophy (University at Buffalo)

Publications / Presentations


Donhauser, J.C. (2012). If Walter White is breaking bad, maybe we are too. In Koepsell, D. & Arps, R. (Eds.), ‘Breaking Bad’ and Philosophy (pp. 113-123). Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8126-9764-3

Donhauser, J. C. & Corcoran, J. (2012). Implications of implication. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic18, 147-148.

Donhauser, Justin C. and Adam P. Taylor (forthcoming) “Grey Matters: Personal Identity in the Fringe Universe(s),” in The Philosophy of J. J. Abrams, eds. Patricia Brace and Robert Arp. Kentucky University Press.

Donhauser, Justin C. (forthcoming) “If Walter White is breaking bad, maybe you are too,” in ‘Breaking Bad’ and   Philosophy, ed. David Koepsell, Open Court.

Donhauser, Justin C. and Kimberly A. Blessing (2007) “Fade to Black: Absurdity, Suicide, and the Downward Spiral,”    in Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery, ed. William Irwin. Blackwell, pp. 148-59.


Donhauser, J.C., Shockley, K. & Earle, R. (2012, June). Getting real about ecosystem restoration. Paper presented at the Workshop on History and Values in Ecology Restoration: Military to Wildlife Refuges Initiative, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Donhauser, J.C. (2013, April). Ecosystems overlapping on the landscape. Paper presented at the University of Toronto Department of Classics Graduate Conference: Domesticating Reality: Representations of Space and Place in Antiquity, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

April 2011“Whales are(n’t) Fish” University of Waterloo Philosophy Graduate Student Association 18th Annual Graduate Conference inPhilosophy; Keynote: Diana Raffman

April 2010 “Constraining Too Promiscuous Realism” Instruments: Mental and Material: 6th Annual Graduate Student Association of the Institute for the Philosophy and History of Science and Technology (HAPSAT) at the University of Toronto: Keynote: Jacalyn Duffin

March 2010 “Spacetime Dimensionality and Real Presentism” University of Waterloo Philosophy Graduate Student Association 17th Annual Graduate Conference in Philosophy: Keynote: Mark Wilson