My full name is Dale Allen Hobbs, Jr. However, I have gone by the name D.J. Hobbs my entire life, and – in the longstanding tradition of philosophers like G. E. Moore or A. J. Ayer – I have chosen to use these initials in my academic career as well.
I was born in the city of Memphis, TN, in 1989, and lived there throughout my early life. I began to attend Christian Brothers University, a Lasallian institution and the oldest degree-granting college in Memphis, in 2007. I did not begin my academic career as a philosopher, but rather as a student of English literature. In Spring 2008, I took a course entitled “Theories of Personhood” that introduced me for the first time to the vastness of philosophical tradition in a comprehensive way. I added philosophy to my course of study and have never looked back. During my time as an undergraduate, I also studied the German language for several years. In May 2011, I graduated summa cum laude from CBU with a double major in Religion & Philosophy and English, receiving several honors. My two senior theses focused on the role of eternity in Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript and the myth of the gentleman in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, respectively.
In Fall 2011, I took up studies towards a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Memphis. It was here that I received a thorough background in Kant. I further broadened my philosophical horizons to include topics ranging from the notion of collective moral responsibility to that of the semantic meaning of epithets, studied philosophers as diverse as Hegel, Wittgenstein, and Levinas, and so on. Here, too, I grappled extensively with the discipline of phenomenology for the first time (though I would not take it up as my area of specialization until later on). During this time, I passed my comprehensive examinations in both ancient and modern philosophy at the Ph.D level. Throughout the two years I spent obtaining this degree, I worked as a sales associate at a local jewelry store (James Gattas Jewelers in Memphis) to pay my way. I graduated with an MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis in May 2013.
In the fall of 2013, I began studies towards a doctorate in philosophy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, financed by university-sponsored research and teaching assistantships. I continued to study widely in the field, further developing my ongoing interests in disciplines as diverse as contemporary hermeneutics, theoretical ethics, philosophy of mind, and formal logic, as well as in particular philosophers ranging from Hegel to Paul Ricœur. These years also confirmed my particular focus on the discipline of phenomenology developed by Edmund Husserl, which remains my primary research interest. During this time, I passed Marquette’s language examination in German and took up the study of the French language as well. I graduated from Marquette University with a Ph.D. in Philosophy in August 2017.
On May 10, 2017, I successfully defended my dissertation, entitled Investigations of Worth: Towards a Phenomenology of Values. Under the direction of Sebastian Luft, and working with the ideas of great phenomenologists like Husserl and Max Scheler, among others, I argue in my dissertation towards my own phenomenological interpretation of such values as beauty or virtue. A revised version of this dissertation has recently been accepted for publication as part of the Routledge Research in Phenomenology book series, under the inverted title Towards a Phenomenology of Values: Investigations of Worth (for purposes of search engine optimization, I am told!). I am also working on several additional projects, as can be seen on other pages of this website.
From Fall 2014 to Spring 2021, I also taught undergraduate-level courses in philosophy at Marquette, first on a teaching assistantship, then as a Lecturer, and finally as a Visiting Assistant Professor. From Fall 2017 to Spring 2018, I taught several courses as an Adjunct Instructor at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family as well. I have taught courses on ethics, human nature, formal logic, and professional ethics, all topics in which I am personally invested and which, I believe, are central to my own philosophical research. Over the years, the size of my classes have varied from as few as 5 to as many as 37 per course. Overall, I have found my experiences in teaching these classes to be both enlightening and enjoyable, and – judging both from my own observations and my evaluations – many of my students have found the classes to be so as well.
In terms of my philosophical identity, I consider myself, first and foremost, to be a systematic phenomenologist working in the broadly Husserlian tradition. I believe that phenomenology’s efforts towards a scientific investigation of the world of everyday experience stand as one of the most potentially fruitful areas of philosophical inquiry in the present day. I do, however, acknowledge the value of many other regions of philosophy to this task, and so I am willing to take up in my philosophical studies any thinker who offers something of worth for that endeavor. I have a great deal of interest in the hermeneutic tradition of philosophy, in particular, and my interests as a whole are wide-ranging.
For further details on my philosophical outlook and background, see my C.V., as well as the other sections of this website.