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James W. Felt, S.J.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy
Father James Felt taught philosophy at Santa Clara University for 41 years, retiring in June of 2006. He specializes in metaphysics, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas and Alfred North Whitehead, as well as epistemology and the philosophy of scientific knowing. He has published many essays and five books on philosophy: Making Sense of Your Freedom; Coming To Be: Toward a Thomistic-Whiteheadian Metaphysics of Becoming; Human Knowing: A Prelude to Metaphysics; Aims: A Brief Metaphysics for Today; and Adventures in Unfashionable Philosophy. He continues to write and occasionally conducts courses in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on campus.
Felt earned his doctoral degree in philosophy at Saint Louis University in 1965, where he also received a master's degree in physics. Earlier, he earned master's degrees in philosophy from Gonzaga University and in theology from Alma College, now the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He began his teaching career at Loyola University in Los Angeles, teaching philosophy, and later taught mathematics at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco. At the end of his graduate studies, in 1965, he came to Santa Clara. Felt has also taught as a guest professor at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna and at Gonzaga University.
As to other interests, Felt designed and built an immense model railroad in the basement of Nobili Hall, formerly the Jesuit residence on campus. That is gone with the wind, but interest in flanged wheels remains.