Crystal L'Hôte Philosophy Department Chair, Associate Professor of Philosophy



Ph.D., M.A. Johns Hopkins University
B.A. Colgate University

Areas of Expertise:

Philosophy of mind (and cognates), metaphysics and epistemology, feminist philosophy, and bioethics/neuroethics, all in the analytic tradition.

Courses I Teach:

Philosophy of Mind: The Mental and the Physical
Logic: Laws of Thought
Feminist Philosophy
Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Environment
Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Introduction to Philosophy: The True, The Good, and the Beautiful


The courses I teach highlight the ongoing relevance of philosophy. For instance, Philosophy of Mind treats topics in contemporary neuroethics; Logic: Laws of Thought prepares students for the Law School Admissions Test (as well as democratic citizenship); and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Environment examines our relationships to modern technologies and our responsibilities to nature and the environment. I also make efforts to see that learning extends beyond the classroom: I launched the Plato Lecture and am a regular host of the Philosophers’ Table.


Research Interests:

L’Hote works on philosophy of mind and its many cognates (including philosophy of science and neuroethics), on core issues in metaphysics and epistemology, and on feminist philosophy, all in the analytic tradition.

Her research engages contemporary iterations of the so-called “mind-body problem,” and generally advances the thesis that mindedness defies reductive explanation. She is now working on a book, The Neuroscientist’s Dilemma, in which she argues that brain mapping initiatives cannot succeed until they abandon reductive physicalism.

Other work focuses on the relationship between mental states and moral endeavors, for example, between memory, emotion and forgiveness.

Selected Publications:


L’Hote, C. (2013). “From non-minds to minds: biosemantics and the tertium quid. The Origins of Mind: The Biological Beginnings and Evolutionary Development of the Human Mind. Dordrecht: Springer. 85-95.

L’Hote, C. (2012). Philosophy in the wild: An introductory exercise. Teaching Philosophy 35:3. 263-274.

L’Hote, C. (2012). From content-externalism to vehicle-externalism. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 51(2) 275-287.

L’Hote, C. (2010). Charles Griswold’s Forgiveness. Journal of Value Inquiry, 44(2) 261-268.

L’Hote, C. (2010). Biosemantics: An evolutionary theory of thought. Evolution: Education and Outreach 3(2) 265-274.

L’Hote, C. (2009). Asher Seidel’s Inhuman Thoughts. Metapsychology (13)2.

Selected Conferences and Presentations:

L’Hote, C. (2015). Lewis and logic. ‘Oh, Frabjous Day! A Panel Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Invited Panel, Humanities Colloquium, SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2015). Blue to blue: aligning mind and brain. Invited, The Mind and Life Institute, Amherst College. Amherst, MA.

L’Hote, C. (2014). (Neural) activity and consciousness. Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference. Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ.

L’Hote, C. (2013). Memory, moral agency, and forgiveness. Invited, Colgate University. Hamilton, NY.

Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Brown University. Providence, RI. 2013.

L’Hote, C. (2013). Inception and solutions to skepticism. Invited, SMC Film Series. SMC.

New Waves in Philosophy of Mind Online Conference. Eidyn: The Edinburgh Centre for Epistemology, Mind and Normativity. 2012.

Evolution and Function of Consciousness Conference, Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition. UQAM Institute of Cognitive Science, Montreal, QC. 2012.

L’Hote, C. (2012). The space of consciousness. Toward a Science of Consciousness. Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ.

L’Hote, C. (2011). Forgiveness and feeling. Annual Joint Meeting of the Mind Association and the Aristotelian Society. Society for Women in Philosophy. University of Sussex, England.

Northern New England Philosophical Association Annual Conference, SMC. 2011.

L’Hote, C. (2010). Human rights. Invited Panelist, Philosophy Club. SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2010). Louise Antony’s ‘Multiple realization: Keeping it real.’ Invited, UVM Metaphysics and Mind Group, University of Vermont. Burlington, VT.

L’Hote, C. (2010). Impossible virtue: Against the new posthumanism. Invited, Ethics Group, UVM Department of Philosophy. Burlington, VT.

L’Hote, C. (2009). Philosophy and the body. Invited, Gender Issues and Society. SMC.

American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting, Eastern Division, New York, NY. 2009.

L’Hote, C. (2009). “Forgiving is not forgetting, but what does it mean to remember? Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Salzburg, Austria.

L’Hote, C. (2009). Vehicle-externalism and content-externalism. Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind, Institute of Cognitive Science. University of Osnabrueck, Germany.

Extended Mind Thesis in Theory and Applications Conference, Zentrum fur Internationale Friedenseinsatze (ZiF). Invited. Universiteit Bielefeld, Germany. 2009.

L’Hote, C. (2009). Can the virtual be spiritual? Invited Panelist, Technology, Spirituality, and the Intellectual Life Series. SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2008). Ecofeminism. Invited, Gender Issues and Society. SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2008). On the possibility of forgiveness. Invited Panelist, Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower. SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2007). Thoughtlessness: Cognitive and ethical dimensions. International Conference on the Value of Knowledge. The Knowledge, Belief, and Normativity Project. Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands.

L’Hote, C. (2007). The narrative-narrative? Narrative Alternatives to Theories of Mind, Consciousness in a Natural and Cultural Context Initiative. Centre for Normativity and Narrative, European Science Foundation. University of Hertfordshire, England.

L’Hote, C. (2007). Mind mapping. Invited, Humanities Colloquium, SMC.

L’Hote, C. (2007). Philosophy and feminism. Invited, Gender Issues and Society, SMC.

UVM-Dartmouth Philosophy Symposium, University of Vermont. Burlington, VT. 2007.

Award & Recognition

Senior Visiting Scholar, Mind and Life Institute, Amherst College – 2015

VPAA Student Research Grant, Chrissy Skrzat on Autonomy and Informed Consent/Bioethics – 2012

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, Seminar on Metaphysics and Mind, Washington University St. Louis – 2009


Life Off Campus:

I revel in physical activity, whether hiking with my dog in the Green Mountains, cross-country skiing in the wooded areas of Burlington, or training for triathlons. On occasion, I get to see dear friends, write poetry, play piano, and explore new countries and landscapes.

Recent News

George Dameron, professor emeritus of history, presented a lecture titled “Dante in a Global Context” on Nov. 1 in the Roy Room of the Dion Center. Introducing George was Christina Root of the English faculty, who, with Crystal L’Hote of philosophy, is a co-director of the College’s Humanities Center that George founded.
(posted February 2022)

Crystal L’Hote of the philosophy faculty this past summer was interviewed by The Independent, a British online newspaper established in 1986 as a politically independent national morning newspaper published in London. It was for a recent feature in the website’s culture section by writer Sam Hancock, titled “How close are we to achieving the transhumanism seen in ‘Years and Years’? A new study suggests the bridge between human and machine is closing faster than we thought.” In the article on this issue of transhumanism – the interface of machines with human brains, as explored through recent popular TV shows and other media – Crystal probes some ethical angles.
(posted February 2020)

Crystal L’Hote of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty was quoted extensively in a feature appearing on the website Bustle noting the 15th anniversary of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindBustle is an online American women’s magazine founded 2013, designed for women, and it positions news and politics alongside articles about beauty, celebrities, and fashion trends. By September 2016, the website had 50 million monthly readers. Crystal also was deeply involved in Public Philosophy Week during April in the greater Burlington area again this year as in past years, as are some of her fellow St. Mike’s faculty members. Crystal coordinates the College’s participation and also hosts a session downtown — as do Patrick Standen and Trevien Stanger.
(posted June 2019)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor of philosophy, along with faculty colleagues Patrick Standen (also philosophy) and Trevian Stanger (environmental studies faculty), contributed to a robust Saint Michael’s presence during Public Philosophy Week (April 30-May 5), an informally organized week of events by area philosophy scholars and enthusiasts billed as “A wonderful week of stimulating discussions and spirited debate.” The Saint Michael’s professors helped lead discussions at different Burlington venues during the week.
(posted June 2018)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor of philosophy, reports that a paper titled “Free Will and Responsibility in the Neuroscientific Age” — by her student Katie Petrozzo, whom Crystal mentored during summer research last year, –has now been published in Compos Mentis: Undergraduate Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics. Crystal also participated, as did her colleague Patrick Standen of the philosophy faculty, in “Burlington Public Philosophy Week” early in April. Professors from the University of Vermont and Middlebury also gave talks at various public venues in Burlington and in Winooski.
(posted June 2017)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor of philosophy, was interviewed by Elaine McMillon Sheldon for her Lifetime/TED Women short called “The Experience of Time.” This short film “explores the history of humans’ complicated relationship with time, deconstructs our obsession with controlling it, and contemplates how to be more mindful of this valuable resource.” Crystal’s comments (and a nice drawing of her appears on the visual) at about 1:40 at this link:
(posted November 2016)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor of philosophy, in late April delivered a paper, “From Correlation to Causation: The Pluralist’s Way,” at the Science of Consciousness conference, hosted by Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. The paper engages metaphysical questions in philosophy of science and neuroscience. Crystal is a member of the Neuroscience Program Steering Committee at the College.
(posted June 2016)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, was in short-term residence at the Mind and Life Institute at Amherst College, where, in May, she was invited to present a paper on her sabbatical work. Inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson, who lived in Amherst, the title was “Blue to Blue: Aligning Mind and Brain.”
(September 2015)

Crystal L’Hote, associate professor of philosophy, received a grant from the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania to support her participation in a two-week, interdisciplinary summer session on contemporary topics in neuroscience.” In late April, Crystal delivered a paper, “(Neural) Activity and Consciousness,” at the annual Toward a Science of Consciousness conference, hosted by Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. The paper engages methodological questions in the contemporary neuroscience(s).
(posted August 2014)

Crystal L’Hôte, associate professor of philosophy, presented a lecture, “Memory, Moral Agency, and the Possibility of Forgiveness,” on November 15, at Colgate University.  (November 2013)