Document Actions

Meet the Faculty

Samuel Ruhmkorff


Samuel Ruhmkorff

Division: Social Studies
Appointment: 2001

Hall College Center 2A
p: 413-528-7243
f: 413-528-7248



PhD in Philosophy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2001
Dissertation: "The Reliability of Inference to the Best Explanation," directed by James Joyce
MA in Philosophy, 1996
AB, summa cum laude, in Philosophy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 1993
Honors thesis: "A Rational Belief: Kant's Moral Argument for the Existence of God," directed by Claude Evans

Professional History:

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bard College at Simon's Rock 2010-
Dean of Academic Affairs, Bard College at Simon's Rock 2005-2010
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Bard College at Simon's Rock 2001-2005
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia 2000-2001

Areas of Interest:

Philosophy of Science • Philosophy of Religion • Epistemology • Formal Logic. I also teach Metaphysics, Introduction to the New Testament, Philosophical Problems, and Seminar I.

Research Interests/Professional Service

My research focuses on several areas in philosophy of science, epistemology, and philosophy of religion:

  • Is scientific evidence sufficient for a high level of confidence in the entities and laws posited by our theories, especially those unobservable by unaided human faculties (e.g. quarks, photons)?
  • What is rationally required of agents with partial beliefs?
  • How should we modify our beliefs when we meet with disagreement from our epistemic peers?
  • What conclusions can we draw from the fact of the diversity of religions? For example, is it rational to hold that one's own religion is correct and all others are incorrect? Should one become more tentative in one's commitment to one's own faith?

Publications/Book Chapters/Exhibitions/Performances:

  • Ruhmkorff, Samuel. (Forthcoming.) "The Equal Weight: argument against religious exclusivism". In Models of God and other ultimate realities, edited by Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher. Springer.
  • Ruhmkorff, Samuel. 2011. "Some difficulties for the problem of unconceived alternatives". Philosophy of Science 78: 875-886.
  • Ruhmkorff, Samuel. 2011. "Modeling Plato's heaven and God's green Earth". In Educating Outside the Lines, edited by Nancy Yanoshak, 65-87. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Kierland, Brian, Bradley Monton, and Samuel Ruhmkorff. 2008. "Avoiding certain frustration, reflection, and the cable guy paradox". Philosophical Studies 138: 317-333.
  • Ruhmkorff, Samuel. 2007. "The descriptive criterion and models of God-modeling: Response to Hustwit's 'Can models of God compete?'" Philosophia 35: 441-444.
  • Ruhmkorff, Samuel. 2006. "Reliabilism and inference to the best explanation." In Mistakes of Reason, edited by Kent A. Peacock and A. D. Irvine, 183-196. University of Toronto Press.


Bard College at Simon's Rock

  • Newcomer's Award, 2002

University of Michigan

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, 1998
  • John Dewey Prize, for excellence in teaching, Department of Philosophy, 1998 Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship, 1998
  • Regents' Fellowship, 1993-1997
  • Mellon Fellowship Semi-Finalist, 1993

Washington University

  • Graduated summa cum laude
  • Nishi Luthra Prize, for outstanding graduating philosophy major, 1993
  • Steven Schwarzschild Prize, for outstanding philosophy major, 1992
  • Bemis Traveling Scholarship, for travel and research in Europe, 1992
  • Phi Beta Kappa honorary society
  • Mortar Board honorary society (President)
  • Dean's List, all semesters attended