Blake Hereth (they/them)

Ph.D. 2019

Contact Information


M.A., Philosophy, University of Washington, 2017
M.A., Philosophy, University of Arkansas, 2014
B.A., Philosophy, Cedarville University, 2011
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Washington, 2019
Curriculum Vitae (201.05 KB)

I'm an Atlanta native who slowly made my way to the West Cost. For the 2017-2018 academic year, I had the privilege to serve as the Research Assistant for the Program on Values in Society (now the Program on Ethics). For the 2018-2019 academic year, I'll be serving as a personal research assistant for Professor Stephen Gardiner. I'll also continue to serve my second year on the APA's Graduate Student Council after being elected to the inaugural council, and this year I'll serve as its Chair in addition to staying on as the council's LGBTQ Liaison. I'm also honored to receive this year's Department of Philosophy's Graduate Teaching Award.

I've been working on defending a radical pacifist view since my junior year of college and my dissertation explores a pacifist 'solution' to the so-called Problem of Multiple Threats (PMT). According to the PMT, the grounds for a liability justification for defensive killing can be satisfied by any number of persons, including dozens or even millions of them, yet any plausible view of permissible defense would condemn killing millions of (for example) minimally responsible threats. This should motivate us to find some principled limit to the number of unjust threats we can permissibly kill. I explore several recent attempts to do so by Jeff McMahan, Kerah Gordon-Solmon, David Rodin, and Helen Frowe, and argue that none of their proposals succeed. I argue that the fundamental problem behind the PMT is one that motivates a pacifist view of defensive permissions.

I'm also an animal ethicist and a philosopher of religion. In animal ethics, I'm interested in ethical problems related to animal predation, animal rights militancy, and arguments for the conclusion that nonhuman animals are immortal and spend their afterlives in Heaven. My interests in philosophy of religion also concern other neglected topics including trans* embodiment in the afterlife and alternative conceptions of the divine, including whether nonhuman animals might in some way partake in the divine nature. Over the past year and a half, my co-editor Kevin Timpe (Calvin College) and I have secured a contract with Routledge for a volume on unexplored and underexplored issues in Analytic philosophy of religion and philosophical theology, tentatively titled The Lost Sheep: Perspectives on Race, Gender, Disability, and Animals.

Outside of my research interests, I have a handful of academic and non-academic hobbies. My academic hobbies include trying (and failing) to keep up with the literature on Gaia and abstract objects and reading about Molinism. My non-academic hobbies include road-tripping, sight-seeing, and hiking around the Northwest with my partner and two adopted canine kids.

Pronouns: they/them


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