Frances grew up in South Africa and dreamed of being a writer. She attended the University of Cape Town studying philosophy, English, and Greek. Sadly, creative writing classes hadn’t been invented yet, or if they had, they hadn’t reached the tip of Africa. She found literature wonderful to read but difficult to write about. So, she focused on philosophy, earning a BA and an MA. Then she earned a Ph.D at Syracuse University in New York, where she met and married her husband, Daniel. After short stints at Wayne State in Detroit, and Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, she moved with Daniel to the Pacific Northwest, where she teaches at Western Washington University in Bellingham. In 1999, she gave birth to twin sons, William and Peter, who absorbed most of her time for the next twelve years. On their twelfth birthday, she found she had more time, and returned to her first love, fiction.
When not writing, teaching, or playing with her family, Frances likes to walk, read, play chess (badly) and watch Shakespeare.
Frances Mary Howard-Snyder
Home: Department of Philosophy
Ph.D. in Philosophy, Syracuse University, August 1991
Dissertation: An Analysis and Defense of an Ethics of Love
Advisor: Jonathan Bennett
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Cape Town, 1986
Thesis: Private Property
B.A. Honors, University of Cape Town, 1984
Areas of Specialization
Areas of Teaching Competence
Philosophy of Religion, Applied Ethics, 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, Aesthetics
Logic, Critical Thinking, Human Nature, Political Philosophy, History of Philosophy
The Power of Logic, 5th edition, with Daniel Howard-Snyder and Ryan Wasserman, McGraw-Hill, 2012.
Articles, Chapters, Encyclopedia Entries, Philosophical Short Stories
“A Load on my Mind,” Clover, January 2018.
“Daymare,” Words We Piled Loosely, January 2018.
“Cold Front,” Magnolia review, 2017.
“Divine Freedom,” European Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 2017..
The Pearl of Great Price,” International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion,Special issue on Faith, edited by Daniel McCaughn and Rebekah Rice, f2017).
“Time of Trial.” Collection of Philosophical Essays on God and Value. Dean Zimmerman (ed) OUP 2018.
“Rocket Science,” Cirque, December 2015.
“Degrees of Wrongness,” in Degrees and Dimensions of Rightness: Reflections on Martin Peterson’s Dimensions of Consequentialism for a special issue of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.
“Swing Vote,” ed. John-Christopher Keller, Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from van Inwagen (Oxford, 2017).
“Winter of Our Discontent,” Short Fiction Break (First place contest winner.)
“Faith,” Everyday Fiction, April 2015.
“Late for Lunch,” Everyday Fiction, March 2015.
“Leap of Faith,” Wordhaus, October 15, 2014.
“Hypocrisy,” Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Religion (Jonathan Kvanvig ed.) 2011.
“Doing and Allowing Harm,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2011.
“’Ought” implies ‘Can,’” The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2011.
“The Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer,” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 2010, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“Damned if you do; Damned if you don’t,” Philosophia, 2008.
“’Cannot’ implies ‘Not Ought’,” Philosophical Studies, 2006.
“It’s the Thought that Counts,” Utilitas, 2005.
“On these Hang all the Law and the Prophets,” Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 22, Number 1 (2005).
“Truth in Fiction: the Whole Story,” in Realism, William Alston (ed.) (Cornell UP, 2002).
“Infallibilism and Gettier’s Legacy,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2001, with Daniel Howard-Snyder and Neil Feit.
“Christianity and Ethics,” in Michael Murray (ed) Reason for the Hope Within, (Eerdmans, 1999).
“Is Theism Compatible with Gratuitous Evil?” American Philosophical Quarterly, 1999, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“Response to Qizilbash and Carlson on the Rejection of Objective Consequentialism,” Utilitas, 1999.
“How an Unsurpassable Being Can Create a Surpassable World,” with Daniel Howard-Snyder, in Eleonore Stump and Michael Murray (eds) The Big Questions: Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell, 1998). Originally published in Faith and Philosophy, April 1994.
“The Rejection of Objective Consequentialism,” Utilitas, July 1997.
“De Re Modality Entails De Re Vagueness,” in Michael Rea (ed), Material Constitution, (Rowman and Littlefield, 1997). Originally published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, June 1991.
“The Real Problem of No Best World,” Faith and Philosophy, July 1996, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“A New Argument for Consequentialism? A Reply to Sinnott-Armstrong” Analysis, April 1996.
“The Heart of Consequentialism,” Philosophical Studies, October 1994.
“Rule Consequentialism is a Rubber Duck,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 1993.
“A Consequentialist Case for Rejecting the Right,” Journal of Philosophical Research, 1993, with Alastair Norcross.
“The Christian Theodicist’s Appeal to Love,” Religious Studies, 1993, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“Is it Less Wrong to Harm the Vulnerable than the Secure?” Journal of Philosophy, December 1992. “Elbow-Room for Consequentialists,” Analysis, October 1992.
“Love and Future Generations,” presented at Biola University, October 2015.
“Good Faith, Bad Faith,” presented at Faith seminar in Bellingham, WA September 2016.
Participant in Dean Zimmerman’s summer seminar, June 2016. Debating Peter van Inwagen.
Comments on James Sterba on The Problem of Evil, APA Pacific Division, April 2015.
Comments on Jonathan Kvanvig, “Faith and Trust,” conference on Themes from Swinburne, Purdue University, September 2014.
Comments on The Dimensions of Consequentialism by Martin Peterson, Konstanz University, November 2013.
Comments on Josh Parsons, “Command and Consequence,” Bellingham Summer Conference in Philosophy, August 2012.
Response to Laurie Paul, “Why Family Planning is Irrational,” Notre Dame, May, 2012.
Response to Brian Kierland, “Beyond Actualism and Possibilism,” American Philosophical Association, Seattle, April 2012.
“The Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer,” presented at Baylor Philosophy of Religion Conference in San Antonio, February 2010, the American Philosophical Association in Vancouver, April 2009 and Hong Kong Baptist University 2009.
Response to Jamin Asay’s “How to Express Ontological Commitment in the Vernacular” at the American Philosophical Association meeting in New York City, December, 2009.
Response to Kelly Sorenson’s “The Actual and the Expected,” to be presented at the American Philosophical Association in Chicago in February, 2009.
“Damned if you do; Damned if you don’t,” British Society for Ethical Theory, Bristol University, July 2007.
Comments on Peter Alward, “Truth in Fiction: the Story Continued,” Canadian Philosophical Association, Vancouver, October 2006.
“Cannot” implies “Not Ought,” Syracuse University, September 2004.
“It’s the Thought that Counts,” Western Washington University, May 2004, BFR/Sigma Xi Research Presentation Series.
“Minding our Neighbor’s Morals,” Oxford University, August 2003
“Comments on Alastair Norcross on harming,” Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, August 2003
Comments on Robert Audi’s “Ethics of Love and Love of Others,” at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Seattle, April 2002.
“Truth in Fiction: the Whole Story,” invited paper presented at Boise State University, April 2002.
“Truth in Fiction: the Whole Story,” invited paper presented at University of British Columbia, November 2001.
“Vegetarianism and Animal Rights,” invited paper presented at Indiana University, April 1999.
“Is Gratuitous Evil Compatible with God?” presented, with Daniel Howard-Snyder, at the Northwest Conference for Philosophy, University of Oregon, Eugene, October 1998. “Christianity and Ethics,” Gordon College, August 1997.
“Jonathan Bennett on Doing and Allowing,” symposium paper at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, March 1997.
“What Gettier Did Not Teach Us,” with Daniel Howard-Snyder, Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, April 1996.
“Scalar Consequentialism and the Demands of Morality,” Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, March 1996 and Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Gonzaga University, October 1995.
“Killing and Letting Die” Western Washington University, November 1995, BFR/Sigma Xi Research Presentation Series.
“Can Love, as an Affection, Be Commanded?” Society of Christian Philosophers, LaVerne, January 1995.
“Varieties of Utilitarianism and Their Pitfalls,” Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Reed College, Portland, November 1994.
“Why Consequentialism is not a Theory of the Right,” Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, December 1993, with Alastair Norcross.
“The Heart of Consequentialism,” Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Kwantlen College, Surrey, British Columbia, November 1993.
“Rule Consequentialism is a Rubber Duck,” Central Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, April 1993.
“How an Unsurpassable Being Can Create a Surpassable World,” Pacific Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association, March 1993, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“Theoretical Grounds for Resolving Ethical Dilemmas,” Conference for Academic Advisors, Purdue University, September 1992.
“On the Line Between Deontology and Consequentialism,” Wayne State University, November 1991, and Purdue University, January 1992.
“Mill on Utilitarianism and an Ethics of Love,” University of Iowa, January 1991, and Wayne State University, February 1991.
“Love and Sanctions,” Central Division meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, October 1990.
“The Christian Theodicist’s Appeal to Love,” Eastern Division meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, February 1990, with Daniel Howard-Snyder.
“De Re Modality Entails De Re Vagueness,” New York State Philosophical Association, April 1989, and Discipuli Conference, University of Southern California, April 1990.
2005 Professor, Western Washington University
1998- Associate Professor, Western Washington University
1993- Assistant Professor, Western Washington University
1992-1993 Assistant Professor, Purdue University
1991-1992 Lecturer, Wayne State University
Summer 1991 Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Seminar on ethics and fiction
Seminar on our ethical obligations to future generations
Seminar on consequentialism and deontology
Seminar on consequentialism
Seminar on the philosophy of literature
Ethical Theory I and II
Metaphysics I and II
20th century Moral Philosophy
Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Society, Law and Morality
Ethics from Hume to Ross
Introduction to Philosophy: Moral Issues
Introduction to Philosophy: Religion
Service since arriving at Western Washington University
Service To the University
2011-2015 Faculty Affairs Council
2009-2011 Senate ad hoc awards Committee
2007-8 Professional Leave Committee
2003-8 Honors Board
2002-6 Faculty Senate
1998-9 Faculty Senate
1998-9 Chair of Philosophy Department Search Committee
1997-9 Academic Coordinating Council
1997-8 Faculty Senate Executive Council
1997-98 Ad Hoc Committee for the Grievance and Dismissal for Cause
1996-8 Faculty Senate
1996 (spring) University Planning Council
To the Profession
Referee for Oxford University Press, Cornell University Press, Ethics, Faith and Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Nous, British Society for Ethical Theory (conference)
August 2008 I acted as an outside member of dissertation committee for Fiona Woollard at the University of Reading in August 2008.
- Program Coordinator, Society of Christian Philosophers, Pacific Meeting
- Executive Committee, Society of Christian Philosophers
To the Philosophy Department
2013-14 Member of search committee
2011-2014 Compass to Campus
- Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference Program Committee
2008-2015 Western Preview
2007-8 New Faculty Mentor to Dennis Whitcombe
2004-5 Philosophy Department Search Committee
2004-5 Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference Program Committee
2002 Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference Program Committee
To the Community (in a professional capacity)
2012 I gave two lectures on The Philosophical Implications of The Giver to seventh grade classes at St. Paul’s Academy.
2011 I gave two lectures on Ancient Greek philosophy to sixth grade classes at St. Paul’s Academy.
2009-2010 Coached a math team at St. Paul’s Academy (Taught inter alia, probability)
- Presentation on meta-ethics to a group called “Open Windows:
Winter, Spring 2017 Professional Leave, Western Washington University
Summers 2014-2016 Participant in the Nature and Value of Faith Project, based at Baylor University and funded by The Templeton Foundation.
Summer 2010 WWU Bureau for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant
Winter 2009 Professional Leave, Western Washington University
Fall 2006 Professional Leave, Western Washington University
Summer 2005 WWU Bureau for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant
Spring 2004 Professional Leave, Western Washington University
Summer 2003 WWU Bureau for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant
1999-2000 Professional Leave, Western Washington University
- Notre Dame, Senior Fellowship
Summer 1999 Seminar on Realism and Anti-Realism at Calvin College (with William Alston
Summer 1997 WWU Bureau for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant
Summer 1995 WWU Bureau for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant