Justin Skirry, PhD

Contact Information

Justin Skirry, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Chair, Philosophy & Religion Department
Early Modern Philosophy, esp. Descartes; Currently Exploring Native American & Egyptian Philosophy
Philosophy & Religion
Office location

Old Main 206

Office hours

10am to 10:50am MWF


Dr. Skirry began teaching at Nebraska Wesleyan University in the Fall of 2006 after having taught at Emory University, William Paterson University of New Jersey, and Saint Xavier University at Chicago.


Ph.D in Philosophy from Purdue University (2003): His doctoral dissertation provided a new interpretation of Descartes' theory of how the immaterial mind is united to the body to form a whole and complete human being.

M.A. in Philosophy from San Francisco State University (1998): His masters thesis was on the philosophical connection between the metaphysics of American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce and medieval, Scottish philosopher John Duns Scotus.

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science from San Francisco State University (1991). His undergraduate thesis was on citizen involvement in crime prevention.

Courses taught

Introduction to Philosophy


Business Ethics

Identity: An Introductory Exploration (Interdisciplinary)



Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy of Science

Medieval Philosophy

Modern Philosophy

Science & Religion Seminar (Interdisciplinary)


Research and academic interests

Until recently, Dr. Skirry's research interests focused on Early Modern Philosophy (ca. 1600-1780) with a particular emphasis on the metaphysics of Descartes (1596-1650) and its relation to the later Medieval, scholastic philosophical tradition. Currently, Dr. Skirry is exploring non-western philosophies, especially Native American Philosophy and Ancient Egyptian Philosophy

Dr. Skirry has published two books. The first is entitled, Descartes and the Metaphysics of Human Nature, which is in the process of being translated into Persian. The second is Descartes: A Guide for the Perplexed, which was translated into Portuguese. Both are published by Bloomsbury. Dr. Skirry has also published articles in several journals including Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, and The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, among others.

His essay, co-authored with his son, Sam Skirry, "Visions, Dreams, and Spirits: Native American Epistemology and the Aang Gang" is forthcoming (2022) in Avatar: The Last Airbender & Philosophy. He is currently working on ancient Egyptian ethics through the literature known as "instructions." His study will also include other literary genre's like dialogues, tales, autobiographies, and religious texts.

Service interests

Dr. Skirry is currently Chair of the Philosophy & Religion Department, Faculty President, and a Member of the NWU Board of Governors. He has served on a variety of committees over the years.


Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards

American Philosophical Association

British Society for the History of Philosophy

Higher Learning Commission, Peer Review Corps