Professor William Sweet

Research and Course Information Page

Starting in September 2001, Will Sweet will be Professor of Philosophy at St. Francis Xavier University, in Nova Scotia, Canada. He will continue to be a faculty member in the graduate programme of the Collège dominicain de philosophie et de théologie in Ottawa, Canada.
    During 2000-2001, he is on academic and sabbatical leave. He is travelling for most of the year; from November 1, 2000 until August 1, 2001 he is Professeur invité at the Collège dominicain and Chercheur invité at the Chaire UNESCO d'étude des fondements philosophiques de la justice et de la société démocratique, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    For information on how to contact him, click here.

Professor Sweet regularly teaches the following courses:
Philosophy 100 (Introductory Philosophy),
Philosophy 240 (Philosophy of Religion), and
Philosophy 330 (Ethics).

Other teaching:
He has taught the honours seminar, Philosophy 450 (Topics in Political Philosophy and the Philosophy of Law) and has supervised theses in political philosophy, ethics, feminist epistemology, and the philosophy of religion.

   Prior to taking up his current position, he taught at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the College de l'Outaouais (Heritage Campus), the University of Saskatchewan (St Thomas More College and St Peter's College) and in France.


Professor Sweet is the author of three books, several edited collections of scholarly essays, some 100 articles and encyclopedia articles, and has numerous other publications. His work has been published in English, French, German, Polish, and Chinese.

    (Lists of his recent and forthcoming publications and conference presentations can be seen by clicking on the appropriate links.)

    He is the Editor of two philosophy journals--Etudes maritainiennes - Maritain Studies and Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions--and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Dharma and of The South Pacific Journal of Philosophy and Culture. He serves as well on the Board of Referees of the journal of the Canadian Philosophical Association, Dialogue, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Science et esprit. He was on the Editorial Board of Carrefour from 1986 until 1991, and served as Editor of the Newsletter of the Canadian Society of Christian Philosophers (from 1991 to 1999) and of the Bulletin of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (from 1999 to 2001).

   His principal areas of scholarly and teaching interest are: late 19th and early 20th century Anglo-American Philosophy; British idealism; Philosophy of Religion; Ethics; Social and Political Philosophy; his secondary interests are: Comparative Asian and Western Philosophy; Recent French and German Philosophy; History of Classical Greek and Mediaeval Philosophy; Philosophy of Human Nature; Critical Thinking.

    He is listed in Who's Who in Canada and Marquis Who's Who in the World. A lengthy interview with him appeared in a recent newspaper article; to read it, click here . A news article based on a previous interview, may be found here.

Research and Conference Travel:

Professor Sweet travels regularly for research purposes and in order to give lectures and participate in scholarly conferences. For his present travel plans, click here. For a few photos from recent trips, click here.

Conference Organisation:

Professor Sweet is frequently involved in the organisation of scholarly conferences or workshops. Currently, he is principal organiser of conferences on Philosophy, Culture, and Pluralism (in Quebec City, in 2001; this conference is funded by the SSHRCC), Science and Religion (in Toronto, in 2002),  Philosophy, Globalization, and the Environment (in Ottawa, in the fall of 2002), and the annual conferences of The Canadian Jacques Maritain Association. (The web pages for each of these conferences will be updated regularly.)

   In the spring and summer of 2000 he organised a workshop on Liberal Political Thought and Rights from the 18th to 20th Century (August 2000, in Bergen, Norway), a series of workshops on metaphysics (September 2000, in Rome, Italy), and a conference on The Philosophy of History (May 2000, funded by the SSHRC). In 1999, he was principal organiser of the International Conference on Bernard Bosanquet and the Legacy of British Idealism (Harris Manchester College, Oxford); in 1998, he organised the annual meeting of The Atlantic Region Philosophical Association. He has also been a principal organiser of the annual conferences of the Canadian Society of Christian Philosophers.


Professor Sweet serves on the Executive Committee of the World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies,(of which he is also Secretary-General), the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association (of which he is also President), theCanadian Society for the Study of Religion (of which he is also Membership Secretary), the International Council for Social Philosophy (India), and the Canadian Society of Christian Philosophers, (of which he is also Vice-President). He is Chair of the Committee on Outreach to Christian Philosophers Abroad of the Society of Christian Philosophers (in the United States), and is actively involved in a number of other professional associations. He has served on the Board of Directors of La Société de philosophie de l'Outaouais and The Canadian Philosophical Association.

   At St Francis Xavier, in addition to his university committee work, he has also chaired the annual Dr Moses M. Coady Debating Competition.

    In his spare time, he maintains the Atlantic Region Philosophical Association web page, as well as web pages on a number of 'idealist' philosophers, and is actively involved in a number of other professional associations.

Recent Projects:

Currently, he is at work on several books (Signification, démonstration et croyance religieuse; Bernard Bosanquet: An Introduction to His Life and Work (with Stephen Moller); Libéralisme et droit naturel) and is revising a textbook manuscript on Liberalism and Rights. He is also in the process of editing collections of essays on Philosophical Theory and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Nature of Metaphysics (with James Thomas),  The Philosophy of History(with James Thomas), and The Philosophy of Bernard Bosanquet (with Colin Tyler). He has received a three-year SSHRC Research Grant to work on a book-length project on British Idealism in India and South Africa.

    His recently completed books include: Anti-foundationalism, Faith and Community (with Hendrik Hart), five volumes of scholarly essays [Idealism, Metaphysics, and Community (Aldershot, 2001), The Bases of Ethics  (Milwaukee, WI, 2000), God and Argument (Ottawa, 1999), The Changing Faces of Femininity: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives (Bangalore, 1998), and Religion, Modernity, and Post Modernity (Bangalore, 1997)], an edition of Natural Law: reflections on theory and practice, by Jacques Maritain (South Bend, IN, 2001), a new edition of Bernard Bosanquet's The Philosophical Theory of the State (with Gerald F. Gaus) (South Bend, IN, 2001), and a 20 volume set of the Collected Works of Bernard Bosanquet (with introductions and critical bibliographies) for Thoemmes Press in Bristol, U.K. (1999).


Professor Sweet has done doctoral studies in political science at the Sorbonne at the Université de Paris (D.E.A.) and in philosophy at the University of Ottawa (Ph.D) and at the Université Saint-Paul (D.Ph.). He is also a graduate of Carleton University (B.A. Hons., M.A.), the University of Ottawa (B.A. Hons., B.Th.), Saint Paul University (B.Ph., S.T.B., L.Ph.), and the University of Manitoba (M.A.), and has done additional studies at: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universität Wien (Austria), Centre Sèvres, (Faculté de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus, Paris), Collège International de Philosophie (Paris), Collège de France, Collège dominicain de philosophie et de theologie (Ottawa), Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the Goethe Institut.

  Personal Matters:

Although a native of western Canada, having lived in each of the prairie provinces, and now living in Atlantic Canada, Professor Sweet nevertheless retains close ties with the nation's capital, Ottawa. Check out the 'Hill Cam' here. He has a particular fondness for Melbourne and Berlin as well.

    His areas of not-quite-so-scholarly interest are... difficult to articulate. He does find the following to be examples of 'humour'. Readers may well wonder why.

If you wish, you may send a comment to him.

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DDr. William Sweet                 Voice:  (902) 867-2341       
Associate Professor                 Fax:    (902) 867-3243        
Department of Philosophy      Email: 
St. Francis Xavier University      
P. O. Box 5000                     
Antigonish, N. S. B2G 2W5
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Updated 2000/10/04.



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