Willis J. Smith Professor of Philosophy
John Armstrong is the Willis J. Smith Professor of Philosophy at Southern Virginia University.
He joined the faculty in 1998. With Dr. Jan-Erik Jones, he founded the university’s philosophy major in 2002. He is the chair of the American Academy for Liberal Education’s Council of Scholars and has been president of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities and of the Virginia Philosophical Association.
Dr. Armstrong coordinated Southern Virginia’s successful bid for accreditation in 2003. With Provost Madison Sowell, he supervised the university’s compliance certification for regional accreditation, which accreditation was granted in 2012.
He teaches the core course Reason and the Self as well as courses in ethics, political philosophy, classical Greek and Roman philosophy, and classical Chinese philosophy. He has taught travel study courses in Rome, Greece, and China.
His research on ancient Greek philosophy has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and by Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies. His articles have been published in leading journals for ancient philosophy and classics.
Dr. Armstrong’s administrative experience includes three years as chair of the Division of Humanities and four years as associate provost. In these roles he raised funds for faculty development, directed institutional research, and supervised student advisement and registration.
Before coming to Southern Virginia, Dr. Armstrong studied and taught at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Austin, and Brigham Young University. He was a visiting professor at Washington and Lee University in 2006.
His service in the community has included four years as a member of the Buena Vista City School Board. He and his family actively participate in a local ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a young man, he was a missionary for the Church in Taipei, Taiwan.
B.A., Brigham Young University, 1992; M.A., Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1995, 1998
Southern Virginia University
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