Robert Arp, Ph.D.

Robert Arp's Website

Contact Information

Thanks for visiting the site. Contact me:


  • (703) 946-4669
  • robertarp320@gmail.com


My Academic Life

I am a trained philosopher currently teaching face-to-face (in class), online, and hybrid Philosophy, Religion, and Humanities courses as an adjunct at several schools.


My specializations, concentrations, and general interests include:


Philosophy of Religion

Environmental Ethics

Spiritual Ecology

Modern Philosophy

Feminist Philosophy

Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Biology

The History of Western Philosophy

Pop Culture and Philosophy


I have a lot of experience teaching, researching, presenting, writing (scholarly, technical, and popular), editing, and publishing in the areas mentioned above, and in other areas, too.


I have been using Blackboard to teach online and hybrid classes since the dinosaur days of version 1 back in 1999. I am proficient with D2L, Canvas, and Moodle as well. And I have a Quality Matters Online Teaching Certification (acquired 2012).


Professional Academic Memberships


Fairly Recent Academically Related Happenings



  • Ben McGraw is a hard-working and rigorous scholar. We have co-edited four books in the past couple of years, two of which have been published through Routledge's Philosophy of Religion series:

Philosophical Approaches to Demonology (Routledge, 2017)
The Concept of Hell (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)





Professional Experience at a Glance

Email me at [email protected] to request my CV.

1996-Present:
As an adjunct professor, assistant professor, and visiting assistant professor teaching in-class, online, and hybrid Philosophy, Religion, and Humanities courses at numerous schools, to include:

  • Saint Louis University as a Grad Student (Adjunct Professor, 1996-2005)
  • Southwest Minnesota State University (Assistant Professor, 2005-2006)
  • Florida State University (Visiting Assistant Professor, 2006-2007)
  • University of Missouri - St. Louis (Adjunct Professor, 1999-2005)
  • Fontbonne College (now University, Adjunct Professor, 1999-2005)
  • Harris-Stowe State College (now University, Adjunct Professor, 1996-2005)
  • McKendree College (now University, Adjunct Professor, 1996-2005)
  • Jefferson College (Adjunct Professor, 1996-2000)
  • Maryville College (now University, Adjunct Professor, 2000-2005)
  • Lewis and Clark Community College (Adjunct Professor, 2000-2005)
  • Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville (Adjunct Professor, 2002)
  • Forest Park Community College (Adjunct Professor, 1996-2005)
  • Florissant Valley Community College (Adjunct Professor, 1999-2005)
  • St. Charles Community College (Adjunct Professor, 1999-2005)
  • Barton Community College (Adjunct Professor, 2013)
  • Maple Woods Community College (Adjunct Professor, 2011-2013)
  • Penn Valley Community College (Adjunct Professor, 2011-2013)
  • University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, KS (Adjunct Professor, 2011-2014)
  • University of Missouri - Kansas City (Adjunct Professor, 2011-Present)
  • Webster University - St. Louis (Adjunct Professor, 1999-Present)
  • Webster University - Kansas City (Adjunct Professor, 2011-Present)
  • Johnson County Community College (Adjunct Professor, 2011-Present)
  • Missouri Western State University (Adjunct Professor, 2015-Present)

2009-Present:
- Analyst/Writer/Editor/Teacher - many projects for US Department of Defense
- As noted above, also Adjunct Professor at various schools (same for below)

2007-2009:
- Postdoctoral Researcher, National Center for Biomedical Ontology
- Worked with Barry Smith and the Ontology Research Group

2006-2007:
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University
- Moderator, Philosophy Club; Member, Ethics Across the Curriculum

2005-2006:
- Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwest Minnesota State University
- Co-developer of the Center for Ethics

1996-2005:
- Adjunct Professor and Graduate Student at Saint Louis University
- President of the Philosophy Graduate Student Association (1998-2000)

1993-1996:
- Educator at Paul VI High School
- Coach of Tennis, Basketball, Softball, and Guitar Choir Director


Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities can be defined as research, inquiry, study, scholarship, and teaching having to do with the effective usage of computational tools and the disciplines that comprise the Humanities (this is my rough-&-ready definition).


Data and Information Categorization, Housing, and Retrieval, as well as Hypertexting, Hypermedia, Data Visualization, Digital Mapping, Data Mining, and Text Mining are just a few of the topics and activities found in the realm of digital humanities.


In terms of Data and Information Categorization, Housing, and Retrieval:


- I have published extensively on ontologies, to include my fairly recent book through MIT Press, Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology (2015). 


Also:


“Radiological and Biomedical Knowledge Integration: The Ontological Way,” with Rethy Chhem, Cesare Romagnoli, and James Overton, in Scholarship in Radiology Education: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Rethy Chhem, Kathy Hilbert, and Teresa Van Deven (eds.), 87-106. Springer, 2009.


“Ontologies of Cellular Networks,” with Barry Smith, Science Signaling (2008) 1: mr2.


“Creating a Controlled Vocabulary for the Ethics of Human Research: Towards a Biomedical Ethics Ontology,” with David Koepsell, Jennifer Fostel, and Barry Smith. The Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (2009) 4: 43-58.


- I have built many ontologies with the distinct purpose of categorizing data so as to search and retrieve it more easily.


- I have developed the beginnings of a Philosopher’s Ontology to assist researchers in keeping track of philosophers and their writings and other information about them.


In terms of Data Visualization and Digital Mapping:


- My work with the Department of Defense as a government contractor has afforded me the opportunity to visualize, model, and map numerous domains.


- This has included the utilization of tools like Enterprise Architect and MagicDraw (UML) as well as Protégé and TopBraid (OWL).


In terms of Data Mining and Text Mining:


- In the spring of 2015, I worked on a six-month project in artificial intelligence, learning theory, and the psychology of learning.


- With the help of one of the most intelligent and resourceful persons I have every met, I performed data-mining and text-mining tests with Smartlogic’s Semaphore ontology-building tool, and I wanted to see if Semaphore’s suite of tools could perform:


NLP (natural-language processing), a field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. One important goal of NLP is trying to get computational systems to “understand” the meaning (semantics) and context of words, sentences, and other linguistic devices in much the same way that a human mind is able to do so.


NER (named entity recognition), the goal of which is to locate and classify elements in text into pre-defined categories such as the names of persons, organizations, locations, and others. Humans seem to be preconditioned for this; of course, they need training to do so, which normally occurs throughout the first 20 years (or so) of their lives while in school during grammar, composition, writing, literature review, speech, and communication classes. In these classes, people learn to make explicit what is taking place mentally when they locate parts of speech, parse a sentence, grasp the meaning of terms utilized, and/or understand the intention of the writer/speaker.


- The result: given that humans are prone to error, Semaphore may be used along with human research as a kind of check of the researcher’s own work.