Faculty Profiles

Michael Waddell

Michael Waddell

Associate Professor
Edna and George McMahon Aquinas Chair in Philosophy
Autism Studies
Autism Studies - Grad Studies


PhD, University of Notre Dame
MMS, University of Notre Dame
BA, Cornell College

Research Interests 

  • Philosophy and disabilities (especially autism spectrum disorder)
  • Ancient and medieval philosophy
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Philosophy of human nature
  • Ethics

Courses Recently Taught 

  • Gateway to Autistic Experiences (AUST 500)
  • Autism and Humanity (AUST 510)
  • Autism and Ethics (AUST 611)
  • Philosophy of Religion (PHIL 247)
  • Socrates to Scholasticism (PHIL 230)
  • Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (PHIL 334)

Professional Experience 

  • Villanova University, faculty, philosophy
  • Augustana University, faculty, philosophy and classics

Creative and Scholarly Work 

  • “Should We Tell Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder That They Have Autism?  A Question for Disputation.” SOPHIA Symposium on “Disability, Civic Responsibility, and Community Friendship,” University of Mississippi, February 26, 2011.
  • “Embodiment, Ensoulment, and Cognitive Disability: Resources from the Writings of Thomas Aquinas.” International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12, 2013.
  • “The Importance of Rapture in the Thought of Aquinas.” Nova et Vetera, English Edition 12, 1. (2014): 255–85.
  • “Faith and Reason in the Wake of Milbank and Pickstock.” International Philosophical Quarterly 48, 3. (2008): 381–96.
  • “Truth or Transcendentals: What Was St. Thomas’s Intention at De Veritate 1.1?” The Thomist 67. (2003): 197–219.
  • “Integrating Beauty: Reflections on the Psychology, Ontology and Etiology of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae 1.5.4.” The Saint Anselm Journal 8, 1. (2012): 1–18.
  • "Autism and Assisted Suicide."  Journal of Disability and Religion. December 17, 2019.  https://doi.org/10.1080/23312521.2019.1694463

Professional Memberships 

The American Catholic Philosophical Association
The Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy