Education and Experience

Joel A. Van Fossen received a B.A. in philosophy and classical studies from St. Norbert College (2013). After graduating, he taught English for two years in Tokyo. He then returned to the United States to complete his M.A. in philosophy at Georgia State University (2017), where he wrote a thesis on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. He then received a Ph.D. in philosophy at Boston University (2023), where he wrote a dissertation on the ethics and philosophy of love. He has previously taught at several universities, including Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University.

Research Interests

Professor Van Fossen’s research focuses on how emotions and personal relationships play a role in normative ethics. Methodologically, he is interested in the history of philosophy as a resource for contemporary debates on these topics. He has published on the ethical significance of shame, disgust, reverence, and resentment in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. His current research concentrates on the nature of love as a rational emotion and how loving relationships justify action within an impartial moral framework. In addition, he is interested in metaethics, political philosophy, and applied ethics.

Teaching courses
Research output

・Van Fossen, Joel A. Forthcoming. “Ressentiment as a Reactive Attitude.” In The Moral Psychology of Resentment, edited by Antti Kaupinnen and Max Lewis. Rowman & Littlefield.
・Van Fossen, Joel A. 2022. “Nietzsche on Self-Reverence.” The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 53 (2): 181-201.
・Van Fossen, Joel A. 2019. “Nietzsche and Shame.” The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 50 (2): 233-49.