Dr. Monica L. Vilhauer

Associate Professor
Department: Religion/Philosophy
Office: 317 Francis T. West Hall
Phone: 375-2458



  • B.A. in Philosophy: Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR
  • M.A. in Philosophy: The New School for Social Research, New York, NY
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy: The New School for Social Research, New York, NY

Research & Teaching Interests:

  • Ethics
  • Social-Political Philosophy
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • 19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy
  • Existentialism
  • Hermeneutics

Scholarly Activities:

  • Secretary for the North American Society for Philosophical Hermeneutics (2008-2014), Conference Host (2014)
  • Faculty Development Committee, Roanoke College (2009-2012)
  • Co-creator and co-coordinator of the Gender and Women's Studies Concentration, Roanoke College (2008-2012)

Recent Presentations:

  • "Beyond Dialogue: Gadamer, Play, and an Ethics of Life" Upcoming Presentation at the "Ethics of Play" conference, Prague, Czech Republic, Fall 2014 
  • "On the Question of Understanding Nature: The Two Voices of Gadamer" Upcoming Presentation at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Fall, 2014
  • "Overturning Soul-Body Dualism in Plato's Timaeus" Presented at the Ancient Philosophy Society Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL, Spring 2014
  • "Sickness and Rehabilitation in Plato's Timaeus: Retrieving the Value of the Body and Pursuing the Holistic Good Life" Presented at the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Annual Conference, Fordham University, NY, Fall 2013
  • “Socrates, the ‘Love Doctor’:  Philosophic Therapy in Ancient Greece” Presented at “Love: A Conference on the Theological Virtues,” Viterbo University, Spring 2013
  • “Socrates, the Love Doctor of Ancient Athens”  Presented at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum Participants’ Conference, Italy, Summer 2012
  • “The Game of Understanding: Dialogue Play and Opening to the Other” Keynote Address at the “Philosophy at Play” Conference, University of Gloucestershire, England, Spring 2011
  • “Broadening Gadamer’s Ethics of Play” Presented at NASPH (North American Society for Philosophical Hermeneutics) Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, Fall 2010
  • “Beyond the Fusion of Horizons:  Gadamer’s Notion of Understanding as Play" Presented at the Eastern APA (American Philosophical Association) main program, Philadelphia, PA, Winter 2008
  • “At Play With the Hermeneutic Other: Re-Focusing Gadamer’s Conception of Understanding” Presented at SPEP (Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) main program, Pittsburgh, PA, Fall 2008  
  • “Wittgensteinian Ethics?” Presented at the NAWS (North American Wittgenstein Society) annual meeting, Pacific APA, CA, Spring 2007


  • Guitar Player in Folk Duo: "Erin and Monica"
  • Dog Whisperer


  • Gadamer's Ethics of Play:  Hermeneutics and the Other (Lexington, 2010)

In Progress: 

  • Socrates the Love Doctor: Philosophic Therapy in Ancient Greece

Recent Publications:

  • "Gadamer and the Game of Understanding:  Dialogue Play and Opening to the Other" (in The Philosophy of Play, eds. Ryal,   Russell, Maclean, Routledge, 2013)
  • "Beyond the Fusion of Horizons:  Gadamer's Notion of Understanding as Play" (in Philosophy Today, 53:4, Winter 2009)
  • "Socratic Dialogue and the Ethical Conditions of Knowledge" (in Skepsis, Vol. XVI i-ii, 2005)

Recent Awards:

  • Faculty Research Year Award, Roanoke College 2014-2015
  • Exemplary Professional Achievement Award, Roanoke College 2013: http://roanoke.edu/News_and_Events/News_Archive/Faculty_Awards_2013.htm
  • Sabbatical, Roanoke College 2012-2013
  • Summer Research Award, Roanoke College 2012
  • Faculty Scholar Award, Roaonke College 2009-2012
  • Summer Research Award, Roanoke College 2010


  • PHIL 205: Moral Philosophy
  • PHIL 206: Social Philosophy
  • PHIL 251: Early Western Philosophy
  • PHIL 260: Special Topics: Nietzsche and Ethics: Unmasking Good and Evil
  • PHIL 260: Special Topics: Philosophy and Feminism
  • PHIL 260: Special Topics: Existentialism and Feminism
  • PHIL 266: Contemporary French Philosophy
  • PHIL 301: Plato
  • PHIL 330: Wittgenstein
  • PHIL 340: Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy: Hermeneutics
  • INQ 120: Living an Examined Life:  In Socrates' Footsteps (core curriculum)
  • INQ 177/PHIL 277: Relating to Nature: Philosophy, Literature, and Immersion (May term, intensive learning course)
  • GNDR 150: Intro to Gender and Women's Studies