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Stacey Ake

Stacey Ake, PhD, PhD

Co-Director, Certificate Program in Medical Humanities
Teaching Professor of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5023 MacAlister Hall
Phone: 215.895.6819
Fax: 215.895.1071


  • PhD, Philosophy, 1999
  • PhD, Biology, 1994
  • MA, Philosophy, 1994
  • BA, History, 1985

Research Interests:

Ethics, Semiotics, Existentialism


My areas of research in philosophy are semiotics (Peirce, Percy), existentialism (Kierkegaard), existential ethics (Bonhoeffer), and theology (Chesterton, Derrida, MacDonald, Zizek). My interests in biology include population genetics, evolutionary theory, and the co-evolution of bacterial pathogenicity and human immune response. My interstitial interests include biosemiotics (Deacon, Emmeche, Hoffmeyer, Seboek, von Uexkull), the creation of a lived or existential philosophy of mind as found at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology (Damasio, Edelman, Ramachandran, Sacks), and the elucidation of a realetik vis-a-vis the biological and metabiological natures of human reality.

Favorite Authors and/or Books: On Writing by Stephen King; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins; That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis; The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser, and Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald as well as any poetry by John Donne

Favorite Musical Artists: Bruce Cockburn, Billy Joel, Ruben Blades, Bruce Springsteen, JS Bach, & Poul Krebs

Personal Interests and Hobbies: I am fortunate to be interested in practically everything (except maybe hedge funds).

A Favorite Quote: I have found from past experiences that the tighter your plan the more likely you are to run into obstacles. –MacGyver

Favorite TV Show: M*A*S*H (after Trapper leaves)

One thing that makes me smile is: the delight my dogs seem to have when they’re allowed to run off leash.

A Pet Peeve is: when students ask whether they “missed anything important” in the last class!!!

One hidden talent is: obviously one I intend to keep hidden!

One reason I like my job is: because I get to work with young people.

Selected Publications:

  • Ake, Stacey E. “I” is a Sign: The Emergence of Human Semiotic Individuality. 350 pages. Under contract to University Press of America.
  • A Primer for the Non-Scientific: How to Distinguish Heuristic Models from Predictive Models. IN The 33rd, Volume 3, Drexel Publishing Group, Drexel College of Arts & Sciences, 2010.
  • A Review of VV Raman’s Truth and Tension in Science and Religion. IN Theology and Science Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, CA, 2010.
  • Does God Exist, or Does He Come to Be? Philosophy and Theology, 21:1-2, Marquette University Journal, Philosophy Documentation Center, Charlottesville, VA. 2010.