A Philosopher's Blog

About Me

MCL FAMUI’m Michael LaBossiere, a guy from Maine who went to school in Ohio and ended up in Florida.

Professionally I am a philosophy professor at Florida A&M University. I started teaching there in the Fall of 1993 and greatly enjoy my choice of careers. I teach a wide variety of classes that range from Aesthetics (theories of art and beauty) to Theory of Knowledge. My course pages are here.

My first philosophy book, What Don’t You Know? hit the shelves in the spring of 2008. I blog for The Philosophers’ Magazine.  I also have numerous academic publications but I will not bore you with them here. You can find my books on Amazon.

In addition to my love of wisdom, I have a great love of running. I started running at the age of fifteen. I tried out for the basketball team, but sucked badly. The coach told me that the track team had to take anyone and suggested that I become a runner. It was a great choice. I ran in high school and then ran in college. I got rather good-I was All Conference in my Junior and Senior years. I’m still an avid runner and a member of the Gulf Winds Track Club.

I also enjoy the martial arts, specifically tae kwon do. I started training in grad school at Ohio State and still practice today. I enjoy the physical and mental training. Plus, hitting a punching bag is a great way to burn off stress. That makes it possible to survive meetings.

I started gaming (Dungeons & Dragons) when I was 15. I fell in love with the idea of creating worlds and stories and ended up writing professionally for several game companies. I still game as hobby. My gaming publications can be found at Paizo and at DriveThruRPG.

You can reach me at ontolologist@aol.com.

My Amazon Author Page

My Paizo Page

My DriveThru RPG Page

46 Responses

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  1. Matt Kelley said, on December 25, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Merry Christmas, doc! I’m a fan of the CoC game adventures you’ve written, as well as your blog. I live and game in Tampa, and like you I have ties to Maine (my father’s family is from Bangor and Portland).

    Happy Holidays!

  2. mlabossi said, on February 25, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for reading!

  3. bibomedia said, on February 27, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Have a nice day !

  4. Geaghan said, on March 4, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the bio. Nice to encounter another expatriate Mainer who enjoys philosophy, running, reading and writing. I was born in Bangor and lived in Guilford until my family moved to Connecticut. Eventually I relocated to Oregon. Agree or (rarely, I expect) disagree, I encourage you to keep up the good work.

  5. mlabossi said, on March 5, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Always good to hear from another Mainer. It seems that many people leave the state-too few jobs. Perhaps the winter has something to do with it as well.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. pkmiranda said, on July 25, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Hi Michael! I wanna thank you for three things: 1. for visiting my blog, 2. for sharing your comments in one of my postings, and 3. for putting my blog on your blogroll list! Love your thinking and writing.. 🙂 Keep in touch!

  7. pixie said, on August 3, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    i didn’t know you had a blog! now i have a reason for living. 🙂

  8. Michael LaBossiere said, on August 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    “Giving a Reason to Keep on Living” is just #142 on the list of good things this blog does. What are the others? Watch the forthcoming movie “Blog Apocalypse” to find out. There will be explosions. Lots of them.

  9. SPARTAN-367 said, on September 3, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I just found your blog today and I must say very interesting topics, I was hooked all day and now I must get back to studying for my courses, hehe.

  10. Michael LaBossiere said, on September 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I’m always glad to contribute to such delinquency. 🙂 Good luck with the studying.

  11. readnshare said, on March 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm


  12. Matthew said, on February 9, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Hi Michael. I would like to know what you think about Africana philosophy, especially since you teach at FAMU. I am in my last semester of a terminal masters in philosophy at Howard.

  13. Art said, on March 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Learn something new every day… So what year did you run in the trials?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      Back in the 1990s. It happened that the Columbus Marathon was the trial event that year. I ran with a woman who ended up qualifying, although I never did learn her name. I’ll never forget her slap, though. 🙂

  14. God said, on July 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I’m going to smite you, Michael LaTwattiere, good and hard in the anus with my mighty, divine fist. Prepare for some Godly gaping!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      Ah, very clever modification of my name. Have you considered a career in comedy? Such wit should not be wasted in anonymous posts. The world wants to know the person behind such a clever turn of phrase.

  15. Jesus said, on July 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    My back is making farting noises, and it sounds like your philosophy.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      If your back is doing that, you need to seek medical attention.

      Thanks for returning to make a comment, Jesus. I assume you are just back for a little while and this is not judgment day. I mean, aside from judging me.

  16. King Charles said, on July 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I just shat myself, oh no, that’s just your life’s work down my pants

  17. Hilary Nicholls said, on December 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Are we allowed to use material from your site for examination paper use please?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

      That would be up to your professor. 🙂

      My blog falls under the usual fair use laws; so you can quote it for use in academic work.

  18. Mikalee Byerman said, on December 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Gets joy from jumping in puddles, a nerdtastic gamer … and a philosopher?

    That’s quite the diversity of interests, Professor.

    Great “About” page — I look forward to reading more!

    • T. J. Babson said, on December 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Just don’t ask him for extra credit 🙂

  19. sara said, on December 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    hello, i am taking Philosophy in college and i am having trouble we are doing the fallacies here is one question ..i wondering what we were suppose to find out?

    Getting a philosophy degree is a waste of time and money! Reputable degrees in engineering, medicine—even art—can make people into valuable citizens. Students of those fields have knowledge and skills that normal people don’t. So there’s an important role in society for engineers, doctors, lawyers, and even artists.
    But everyone has their own philosophy. What’s more, everyone has to figure out their own philosophy for themselves. Since everyone’s a philosopher, there’s no special role in society for philosophers. That’s why the degree is useless.

    • Asur said, on December 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm


      So, I’m sure you’ve treated a cut before…does that make you a doctor?

      Perhaps you or someone you know has built a bookcase…does that make them an engineer?

      Everyone has drawn a picture at least once…are we all artists?

      No. It’s excellence in these areas that qualify someone to call themselves an actual practitioner–a doctor, an engineer, or an artist. Simply dabbling within the territory is not enough.

      Being a philosopher is no different.

      • sara said, on December 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

        i have another one …and what fallacy is it ….

        Any time you see a watch, you know it was made by someone. The watch is far too complex to result from some random process. You rightly infer that the watch is designed by a watchmaker: a person with the intelligence necessary to design the watch and the ability required to make the watch. Consider the universe. It is complex, vast, and awe-inspiring—much more so than any contraption made by a human being. Just as you rightly infer that a watch is made by a watchmaker, you must infer that the universe has a Creator. This Creator must have the
        intelligence necessary to design the universe and the power required to make the universe. Surely this Creator is amazing beyond our comprehension.

      • Asur said, on December 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

        Haha! My bad. I was wondering why your writing changed so much after your first linebreak…I should have realized that what you actually wanted was for someone to do your homework for you and post it to Mike’s blog bio so you could see the answers.

        • WTP said, on December 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm

          If that is indeed the case, I’ve got a question. How ethical is it for someone teaching philosophy to ask such a loaded question? Of all the philosophical questions one could present to students, isn’t this one, with its implied “good” answer, rather self-serving? Perhaps in a way, the instructor is trying to generate demand for his own employment. Kind of (stretching a bit, but what’s a philosophy for?) having the students do his homework.

        • sara said, on December 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm

          well i truly don’t understand ..this teacher is soooo confusing…please do help me and its not homework its my exam

  20. sara said, on December 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    what are the Fallacies?

    1. The doctor must think I’m someone else. She referred to me as “John’s son” but my father’s name is “Mike”. I just turned in all of my paperwork. My father is listed as my emergency contact. You can’t miss it! What’s worse is that I printed my name clear as day right on the font: Charles M. Johnson. Whether the doctor can’t read or if she picked up someone else’s paperwork, I’m never coming back here again. If they can’t keep my name straight, I’m hesitant to trust them with my bloodwork or to give me the right vaccinations!

    2. Use Max! body wash! All the sweet bros are doing it, and all the hot babes are doing it on strippa-poles all over the building. With Max!, you too can be associated with young women that have photoshopped breasts and eating disorders. You’ll be like an exclamation point: long, powerful, and confusing when used in a product
    name because it’s hard to tell where sentences end. Be a sweet bro! Hot babes! Max!

    3. A man in a suit walked in and sat next to me. I saw him looking over at my plans. Snoopy. He must’ve been a fed. I crumpled the plans to make it look like they weren’t important, then jammed them into my pocket. I wrote down a couple of math problems to make it look inconspicuous. “I see the feds are on to me already,”
    I said. “I’m not a fed,” he replied. “I’m a doctor at the hospital. My name’s Colin.” Nice try, Agent ‘Colin.’ But the friendly line won’t work with me. “That’s just the kind of thing a fed would say, ‘Dr. Colin’.” That conversation wasn’t going anywhere. I went to the can and snuck out the window. I knew the feds were on my
    heals. I needed to watch my back.

  21. johanneseffen said, on February 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Nice Site.

  22. Andreas B. Olsson said, on April 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Consider this: Subsribe to http://www.monoxus.com. Feel no obligations though. You are a very inspiring writer as can evidenced by my comments on Talking Philosophy. In your case, I would consider the morality of the case to be a quid pro quo. Whatever you choose in regards to subscription, consider becoming a Follower!

  23. A J MacDonald Jr said, on July 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Michael, I was going to send you this message on facebook but, because I have sent too many people this message (10?!), facebook has now blocked me from doing so. Messaging my many friends about something important isn’t, to me. spam. Anyways, the message is not private or personal. In fact it is public knowledge; only this needs to be more public:

    Hi, it seems that many of my very close friends (including Pip and Ian?!) in C-burg are defriending me. I guess it’s because I am posting too much? or they think I’m a nut? I don’t know, but it breaks my heart. Thanks for not doing so. I will not be posting on facebook at all for couple of weeks, but will be after that.

    Anyways, you may be interested in this article, which I wrote last year, explaining just one example of the corruption that has gone on in Washington for many years.

    The Mena, Arkansas CIA cocaine/weapons/cash smuggling as well as a link concerning the CIA’s introduction of crack cocaine into Los Angeles during the same period of time sounds like conspiracy theory stuff, I know, but, unfortunately, it’s both true and common knowledge to people who are old enough to know.

    The link to the crack cocaine/CIA story is to George Washington University’s National Security Archives and to another university as well.

    Not exactly conspiracy nut websites.

    GWU also chronicle the CIA’s infamous Air America, which operated during the Vietnam War, wherein the CIA would fly heroin out of Southeast Asia into Europe and America. The same thing has been goinf on for the past ten years in Afghanistan, which is the richest place in the world when it comes to opium and heroin. Even richer than Southeast Asia’s “Golden Triangle”.

    Alfred McCoy wrote a famous tome on the subject years ago: “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade”

    Please see: See: http://www.amazon.com/Politics-Heroin-Complicity-Global-Trade/dp/1556521251

    AS WELL AS: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/george-h-w-bush-and-bill-clinton-corruption-cocaine-and-murder/

    AS WELL AS: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

  24. FRE said, on December 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Right now, the Chinese are committed to developing a source of nuclear energy that appears very promising; it will use thorium instead of uranium. From what I have read, it appears that it will circumvent most of the problems and objections to our present nuclear energy technology. If we in the U.S. don’t get busy and work on it, we will probably end up importing the technology, at great expense, from China. Check out the following web site and see what you think:


    Probably this will provide you with plenty to blog about.

  25. Bill Mathers said, on December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Mike,

    I just want to thank you for the great job you do on your blogs. Your articles are always interesting and you respond readily to your posters. In that same spirit, I will aspire to writing better comments for you.

  26. Zoya Kashmiri said, on February 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Hey, im zoya a philosophy student from the UK. I was wandering if you could give me a summary of your key environmental philosophy. It would be much apprieciated.

  27. bboyredkid said, on January 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Micheal,

    you are interested in philosophy so you must also be interested in how it is taught. Please have a look at my project

  28. ming1211 said, on September 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Hello I am very interested in your courses pages but I can’t find anything there. If you could fix the link it would be really nice 🙂 Thanks in advance!

  29. Anonymous said, on June 15, 2016 at 8:00 am

    could you tell me what your part is in shallow ecology because I dunno and I cba to find out.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 17, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      As a mammal, I am part of the ecology. Whether I am shallow or not is a matter of comparison.

      • Anonymous said, on September 6, 2016 at 6:43 am

        lol thanks, got an A* thanks to you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  30. […] 港鐡日前宣布,決定為全線列車增加關愛座,數目由每卡 2 個增至 4 個,預計 2017 年完成。除非是立法規定必然要讓座,否則讓座與否依然是自願的道德問題。多數人認為讓座是美德,但這種美德是否構成義務呢?佛羅里達農工大學哲學系教授  Michael LaBossiere 就曾歸納常見有關「對陌生人是否具有義務」的論點——我們對陌生人有必然的義務嗎? […]

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