WILLIAM CORNWELL, PH.D.

Dean of Education & Professor of Philosophy
Blog Editor of the WCSA Journal

Email: cornwell.william@gmail.com

Blog Editor

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. William Cornwell is Dean for the College of Education at the American University in the Emirates (AUE) and also teaches philosophy there.

He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the Univ. of Connecticut, where he studied under the noted philosopher of biology and language Dr. Ruth Garrett Millikan. There he became particularly interested in the interdisciplinary “naturalized” approach of philosophy applied to philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and epistemology. His publications and presentations include those subjects as well ethics, meta-ethics, political philosophy, history of philosophy, and philosophy of technology.

After graduating from the Univ. of Connecticut, Dr. Cornwell taught full-time at Drew Univ., Mary Washington College (now the Univ. of Mary Washington), and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he primarily taught philosophy but also some composition courses. At West Point, his interest in social and political philosophy expanded to include just-war theory, a topic on which he also has published.

Dr. Cornwell next joined the faculty of Salem State Univ. in Massachusetts, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Philosophy. While Chair, he steered the Philosophy Dept. in its successful bid to offer a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a difficult, 3-year process that culminated in approval from the Mass. Board of Higher Ed. He served on key university committees, was an officer for the chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi, and served as a member of the Executive Board of the SSU chapter of the Massachusetts State College Association.

Dr. Cornwell became Dean of the College of Education at the AUE in 2018, where he has chaired or been a member of many important university committees and has supervised the largest college in terms of student enrollment. While in Dubai, he has enjoyed getting to know people from around the world and deepening his understanding of the Middle East. He managed the college as the Covid-19 pandemic led to an abrupt closure of the campus and a switch to online teaching and learning.

Dr. Cornwell’s teaching has encompassed courses in almost every major field of philosophy. He received the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and is Marquis Who’s Who Top Educator.

He can be reached at cornwell.william@gmail.com