Robert Arp, PhD
Welcome. This website features my professional profile, so my biographical sketch leans in the direction of the working aspect of my life, which thus far has fallen broadly into two categories. I speak about them below. Thanks for visiting.
Email me: robertarp320 [at] gmail.com | Call me: 703-946-4669
Philosophy | Religious Studies | Humanities
I became interested in Philosophy and my academic studies in general because of a phenomenal teacher I had for an Introduction to Philosophy course where I was introduced to Plato, his Republic, and a lot of "hot button" issues in Ethics. (Click HERE for recent student evaluations from one of my Ethics courses.)
Also, I became interested in Religious Studies and entered the seminary (nine years total, throughout high school, college for the BA in Philosophy, and one year for my MA in Philosophy) because of a spectacular mentor who helped me ponder the existence of the divine, the significance of religious traditions, and the value of the sublime.
Later, when I read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason for the first time in one of my upper-level undergraduate Philosophy courses, I could relate completely. In the Conclusion, Kant notes: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”
I knew then that I wanted to pursue the PhD in Philosophy so that one day I could assist students in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Humanities classrooms to foster the same deep appreciation for the so-called “big questions” that humans have considered, in addition to the cultural learning, creative expression, and critical thinking in which humans have been engaged for thousands of years.
DoD Work | Data Modeling | Ontologies
I was an Adjunct Professor teaching face-to-face, online, and hybrid Philosophy, Religious Studies, and other Humanities courses all throughout my time as a graduate student in Philosophy at Saint Louis University, and I was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwest Minnesota State University as well as Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University with Michael Ruse in his History and Philosophy of Science Program before doing a postdoc with Barry Smith through the National Center for Biomedical Ontology at the University at Buffalo. The postdoc steered my primary work in the direction of government projects with the US Department of Defense (DoD), which is the full-time work I do now.
With DoD, I have worked through the National Institutes of Health on the ontology that underpins HL7's Reference Information Model (RIM). I also worked on the ontologies associated with net-centricity for the US Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in their Interagency Planning Office (the goal being modernization of the National Airspace System by 2025). Further, I managed a small team of analysts and researchers on a project dealing with the US Air Force’s retooling of the online version of the ASVAB, both the test and the platform on which the test resided.
At present, I am assisting the US Army with various projects in the US Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, specifically as a Knowledge Manager with Mission Command Capability Development Integration Directorate (MC CDID).
That's me above, teaching Logic in a classroom at Florida State University. Photo courtesy of FDR.)
However, since 1996 I have been continuously teaching Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Humanities courses of various types at night, on weekends, online, and/or in hybrid settings through several colleges and universities, no matter what my occupation. Teaching will always be my passion.