George Appleton Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy
"I take seriously the search for an environmental ethic that will treat animals and habitats as possessing significant worth. There are a number of theories and ideas about how this can be done. My paper, "Critical Features Theory: The Wetlands Example," draws on ideas from discussions and field trips in my environmental ethics class-showing how teaching and research often strengthen each other.
Another area of research is the history of maps. Maps contain biases that both reflect and shape the belief systems of the viewer. Maps often convey subtle prejudices about the superiority of nations and cultures. In the Knox College map archives I found several useful examples that are used in Global Structures and Processes."
Years at Knox: 1969 to present
Ph.D., Philosophy, with distinction, 1970, University of Georgia.
M.A., Philosophy, with distinction, 1967, University of Georgia.
B.A., Philosophy, cum laude,1965, Ohio State University.
American philosophy, symbolic logic, philosophy of science, Greek philosophy, environmental ethics.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
The R. Lance Factor Chair in Philosophy, the first endowed faculty chair in College history to recognize the accomplishments of a living professor, was established in 2006 through a gift from an anonymous donor.
Chapel in the Sky: Knox College's Old Main and Its Masonic Architect. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009.
"At 150-Old Main Rocks." Knox Alumni Magazine, 2007.
"Conversations on Oil and Water." Invited Panelist. Illinois Humanities Council, Augustana College, 2009.
Campus & Community Involvement
Director, Knox College Religious Studies Program.
Member, American Philosophical Association.
Member, Phi Beta Kappa.
Member, Phi Kappa Phi.
Member, Society of Christian Philosophers.
What Students Say
"What makes Lance Factor an effective and well-loved professor is his ability to relate to the interests of his students. He has a knack for incorporating philosophical ideas into a variety of subjects, encouraging students to look at their disciplines and personal interests in a new light. As a philosopher, of course he's committed to ideas, but he also encourages students to relate to their world through the development of their knowledge and understanding of truth."
-Justin Hoye, Philosophy Major