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David E Fenner

Professor | Professor of Philosophy, Distinguished Professor

Philosophy & Religious Studies | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Aristotle, Art Criticism, Artworld Ethics, Educational Ethics, Environmental Aesthetics, Environmental Ethics, Ethical Theory, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Film, Value Theory, Philosophy of Art


Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship University of St Andrews, Scotland 1995-96

Ph.D. in Philosophy University of Miami, Florida 1987-91
M.A. in Philosophy University of Miami, Florida 1987-90
B.A. in English and Psychology Palm Beach Atlantic College, Florida 1981-85


David Fenner – Professor of Philosophy, Senior Fellow in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences -- joined UNF as a visiting assistant professor in 1992. In 1995-96 he was moved to a tenure track line but spent that year at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) on a post-doc funded by the Ford Foundation. In 2001 he earned tenure; in 2008 he was promoted to professor. He served as interim chair of the Philosophy Department and as dean of the Graduate School.

Fenner has taught 27 different courses – primarily Gen Ed philosophy, theoretical and applied aesthetics, theoretical and applied ethics, and metaphysics. He has served on over 30 dissertation committees as well as several masters and undergraduate thesis committees. In 1996 he received a teaching award and in 2001 was named a “UNF Students’ Choice Professor.” He is an honorary member of Golden Key and a member of Phi Kappa Phi.


Distinguished Professor 2010
Phi Kappa Phi 2006
Honorary Member, Golden Key 2004
UNF Students’ Choice Professor 2001
UNF Teaching Incentive Program Award 1996
Visiting Fellow, Department of Moral Philosophy, University of St Andrews 1995-96   


American Society for Aesthetics

Grants and Contracts Awarded

UNF Office of Faculty Enhancement Faculty Fellowship 2005-06
UNF Half-Year, Full-Pay Sabbatical Fall 2004
UNF Office of Faculty Enhancement Conference Attendance Funds 2004, 2005
UNF Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program Grant 2003-04
UNF Office of Faculty Enhancement BUILD Seminar Participant 2003
JEA Community Outreach Grant for the Earth Kinship Conference 2001
UNF Matching Funds for Post-Fellowship Research 1996-97
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for Minorities 1995-96

Publications & Presentations

Books Authored
Art in Context (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press & Swallow Press, 2008).
Introducing Aesthetics (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group / Praeger Publishers Imprint, 2003).
The Aesthetic Attitude (Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1996).

Books Edited
Ethics in Education (New York: Garland Press, 1999).
Ethics and the Arts: An Anthology (New York: Garland Press, 1995).

Refereed Journal Articles
“Why Has Aesthetic Formalism Fallen on Hard Times?” Reason Papers, Forthcoming.
“Context Building and Educating Imaginative Engagement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 44:3 (Fall 2010), pp. 109-123.
“Formalism and the Consumable Arts,” Journal of Philosophical Research, 33 (July 2008), pp. 127-141.
“The Aesthetics of Research Methodologies in the Social Sciences,” International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 20:2 (Fall 2006), pp. 311-330.
“The Acquisitive Attitude,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 40:4 (Winter 2006), pp. 39-50.
“Why Modifying (Some) Works of Art is Wrong,” American Philosophical Quarterly 43:4 (October 2006), pp. 329-341.
“Environmental Aesthetics and the Dynamic Object,” Ethics and the Environment 11:1 (Spring 2006), pp. 1-19.
“Production Theories and Artistic Value,” Contemporary Aesthetics 3 (2005),
“Why Was There So Much Ugly Art in the Twentieth Century?” Journal of Aesthetic Education 39:2 (Summer 2005), pp. 13-26.
“In Celebration of Imperfection,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 38:2 (Summer 2004), pp. 67-79.
“Artistic Value,” Journal of Value Inquiry 37:4 (2003), pp. 555-563.
“Aesthetic Appreciation in the Artworld and in the Natural World,” Environmental Values 12:1 (2003), pp. 3-28.
“Aesthetic Experience and Aesthetic Analysis,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 37:1 (Spring 2003), pp. 40-53.

Contact Information

Building 10, Room 2333

(904) 620-2580