Patrick Standen Instructor of Philosophy


B.A. University of Vermont
M.A. Boston College

Areas of Expertise

Philosophy of Disability, 19th century Aesthetic Theory, Existentialism, Medical ethics.

Courses I Teach:

  • Pursuing Wisdom
  • Logic
  • Healthcare ethics
  • First Year Seminar.

My interests in philosophy stem from a brilliant high school philosophy course I chanced to take. I subsequently pursued an undergraduate degree in analytical philosophy and a graduate degree in continental thought. I have also completed graduate studies in psychoanalysis and philosophy at Harvard University, the philosophy of education at the University of Vermont, comparative law at Harvard Law School and literature and politics at Boston University. I served as an editorial assistant on the scholarly journal Philosophy and Social Criticism. My research interests include examining the philosophical and historic dimensions of disability, as well as studying the history of ideas and aesthetics.

Recent News

Patrick Standen of the philosophy faculty was awarded the major faculty award for teaching during the Academic Convocation in September.
(posted February 2023)

Patrick Standen, a Saint Michael’s College philosophy instructor and author, has a new book publication to his credit after spending the last six years delving into research in the mornings, writing longhand in notebooks, typing a manuscript, and integrating research. The title of Standen’s book from publisher Onion River Press is Disability: The Genealogy of a Concept from Prehistory to Mid-20th Century. Patrick said that after noticing many years ago a demand for the type of book he was interested in writing, he dedicated himself to compiling a fairly readable, easy, and affordable book about the genealogy of disability for students and colleagues to integrate into their classrooms.” The author describes the book as a “survey,” meaning he has taken many different histories of disability and cobbled them together in order to conceptualize disabilities throughout the centuries. This summer he posted on social media about a welcome development in his professional world: “Some good news. My book, Disability: The Genealogy of a Concept from Prehistory to the Mid-20th Century, is being reviewed by the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History and was just blurbed by a colleague in a Harvard Educational Review,” wrote Patrick, adding that another colleague, Ninon Dubourg, at the département des Sciences historiques at the University of Liège, is writing a review as well. Further, Patrick was elected to his Vermont high school’s Hall of Fame and was the guest of honor at this year’s alumni parade on June 19. “In addition, I am hard at work on my second book, and in non-academic news, I was second in my division at this year’s Vermont City Marathon,” he shares.
(posted July 2022)

Patrick Standen of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty has written a new book titled Disability: The Genealogy of a Concept from Prehistory to Mid-20th Century. The release date of the paperback through Amazon was January 4, 2022. Here’s how the publisher’s website summarizes the book: “An exhaustive survey of the history of disability in a single volume. An eye-opening look into how various cultures have conceived of the concept of disability through the centuries. Building on recent research in disability studies, this work examines the concept of disability from an interdisciplinary perspective.” Pat’s book is now available from Phoenix Books in Vermont and online at Amazon.
(posted February 2022)

Trevien Stanger of the Environmental Science and Studies faculty helped organize a tree-planting event in September with biology colleague Declan McCabe and the campus environmental group Green UP, down in the College’s Natural Area. They took advantage of an Arbor Day Foundation tree-giveaway program surplus in Colchester and Winooski that provided the trees. Then in October, he and McCabe did another planting project on the newly created wetlands dug by Natural Resources Conservation Service Vermont, an event Trevien billed as “Restoration Generation” This was a youth-focused Ridge-to-River field trip in the name of restoring the ecological and cultural vitality of the Winooski River. For that activity on October 7, he led a student group from Marshfield before ending the day with a planting in the Natural Area. Also, Trevien has a beautiful new book out in collaboration with photographer Mike Sipe, titled Our Basin of Relations: The Art & Science of Living with Water.  It includes contributions from other Saint Michael’s people: Doug Facey (emeritus) and Declan McCabe of the biology faculty and Patrick Standen of philosophy. In November, Trevien spoke to more than 60 students for local Essex High School’s STEM Speaker Series, presenting on watersheds, river restoration, and cultivating an environmental ethic through the wedding of science and art. In December, he arranged for a giant watershed map of the Lake Champlain Basin to come to campus courtesy of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, enabling Saint Michael’s students in the Environmental Studies and Science Departments to interact with it and learn in a fun and unusual way. The Giant Lake Champlain Map Project is a partnership between Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Lake Champlain Basin Program, and Castleton University.”
(pasted February 2022)

Patrick Standen of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty has been as busy as usual. He writes: “Vermont Public Radio picked one of my poems, ‘Questions and Answers in the Mountains,’ for their Between The Lines feature in April to celebrate poetry month; a haiku of mine was chosen and printed on the Vermont State Human Resources Monthly Newsletter; my poem, “Leander and Hero” was published in our Saint Michael’s College literary magazine, the Onion River Review;  was interviewed as an expert in a medical ethics case involving a do not resuscitate (DNR) order in Florida. My comments were highlighted in the Treasure Coast Newspaper; in March, I lead a cross country sit ski clinic for ski instructors from all over the state at the Craftsbury Outdoor Recreation center; I was appointed to the ECHO Center’s Accessibility Leadership Council. I also took a course on virology and started studying Spanish.”
(posted July 2021)

Patrick Standen of the philosophy faculty spoke to faculty and staff in late October on the topic of teaching students with disabilities. As president of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and an instructor of medical ethics at the University of Vermont, Patrick brought years of experience and a philosophical lens to the conversation. Attendees were asked to engage in questions of history, language, and perception, rethinking the concept of disability and how culture come to define what it means to be ‘able.’ He also instructed his audience on the practical application of those ideas, namely tips on etiquette and guidelines on how to equally serve every student’s comfort and success in an educational setting. Professors from a wide spectrum of departments were present, as well as staff from student-centered offices on campus such as Student Life and the Career Education and Alumni Engagement Center.
(posted February 2020)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, again in late May again completed the Vermont City Marathon, his “23rd or 24th” by his count, and is teaching two summer classes at Saint Michael’s. Pat also in recent months: delivered a talk at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe titled “The History of Adaptive Skiing; was an invited essayist and panelist at the Saint Michael’s MLK celebration looking at Collective Liberation (Essay titled “Normalizing a Discourse of Disobedience and Collective Liberation”);  hosted an adaptive Yoga Clinic at RehabGym Colchester in conjunction with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation; delivered a lecture on the Ethics of Research in an Analytical Chemistry Course at Saint Michael’s; was keynote speaker at the Vermont Statehouse for the Annual Disability Awareness Day sponsored by the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights; delivered a talk on the spinal cord injury and the neurological system for the Lake Champlain Waldorf School. Shelburne, VT; delivered a talk for the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival titled “The Life of the Mind in Ireland: How a Small Island Made a Big Splash”; delivered a lecture as part of the Burlington Public Philosophy Week titled, “Difference: Philosophy and Disability”; prepared a Fact sheet on SCI for the Learning Health System for Spinal Cord Injury (LHS-SCI) initiative of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Disability Plan as part of the UVM-based research team with Dr. Rueben Escorpizo. Patrick also participated in a conference and hosting a break-out session based on the INSCI/WHO study at UVM on June 6 and plans to do the Colchester Causeway 15K and Colchester triathlon later this summer.
(posted June 2019)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, delivered a TEDx talk on campus in November, speaking on “enabling discourse.” He focused on disability and discrimination and how we can overcome it, basing his thoughts on the 350-page book that he just completed and sent to Rutgers University Press on November 1.
(posted January 2019)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, delivered a talk on disability and sport at South Burlington High School’s inaugural “Speak Week” on April 19; Pat was invited to speak on Transhumanism at Champlain College, April 13; he delivered a talk for the Saint Michael’s Chemistry Department on CRISPR Technology and the 200th Anniversary of Shelley’s, “Frankenstein” on February 23; and, he was featured with the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department’ Bikepath Accessibility Program. On top of all that, this recent Memorial Day weekend, Pat competed again as a 16-year veteran hand-cycle entrant in the Vermont City Marathon, and was featured on a report by NECN reporter Jack Thurston, as well as being featured in a photo in a Burlington Free Press report from just before the start of the race.
(posted June 2018)

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)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, was a reviewer for Routledge Publishing on selected medical ethics titles.  He also delivered a presentation on Transhumanism at Champlain College in October and a talk at the University of Vermont’s Department on Exercise and Movement Science on the philosophy of adaptive sports. Finally, in September he delivered a lecture to Doctoral candidates at the UVM Medical College on the history of the concept of disability.
(posted December 2017)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, participted in “Burlington Public Philosophy Week” early in April. Professors from the University of Vermont and Middlebury and Patrick’s colleague Crystal L’Hote of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty also gave talks at various public venues in Burlington and in Winooski.
(posted June 2017)

Patrick Standen,(posted June 2017) instructor of philosophy, on Jan. 24, 2016 will be delivering a talk on Ethan Allen and his contributions to American Philosophy at the Ethan Allen Homestead. It is part of their winter lecture series. On January 7, Patrick raced to a 10th place finish at the 2015 NORCAM Continental Cup and U.S. Nationals Adaptive Nordic Championships in Craftsbury, VT.
(posted January 2016)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, has been asked to be a speaker at the University of Vermont’s Disability Awareness Month Celebration, where he will be delivering the talk titled: “Between Two Jakes: Images of Masculinity and Disability in Modernity” at the Davis Student Center on October 16 at 6:30 p.m. Over the summer as part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s innovative “Ideas on Tap” series, Patrick delivered a lecture at Arts Riot called “Epidemics and Ethics” on April 28; and, on May 12 he gave a presentation and talk about philosophy and Zombies along with Steve Wehmeyer of Champlain College, titled: “What’s with our Zombie Obsession?”
(posted September 2015)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, is invited panelist for a roundtable discussion, “The Legacy of World War I: 100 Years After,” moderated by George Dameron, history professor and director of the Humanities Center, with colleagues from other disciplines, on Dec 2 on campus. Patrick also has been asked to become a partner in Fletcher Free Library’s grant proposal to bring a Smithsonian Museum of Natural History exhibition entitled “Exploring Human Origins” to Fletcher. On October 15, he was the chair of a panel featuring visiting scholars and disability rights activists from Tajikistan for the Vermont Council on World Affairs held in the Pomerleau Alumni Building. On October 9, he was an invited speaker in the 2014 Hegenrother Foundation’s Ignite Burlington Speaker Series. On October 7, Patrick was the guest lecturer in a UVM course on Adapting Physical Education and spoke on the philosophy of adaptive education. He also was a guest on VPR’s Vermont Edition in September) talking about recent developments and opportunities in adaptive sports, and has submitted a poetry manuscript for publication.
(posted December 2014)

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, on March 27 delivered a presentation at the Vermont Governor’s Council on Sport and Physical Fitness’s Worksite Wellness Conference called “Moving What Muscles You Can: The Philosophy of Adapting Exercise Programs for Persons with Physical Disabilities.” Patrick also just has been asked to author a monthly column for a national magazine called The Disabled Sportsman.

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, recently was appointed by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger to his Advisory Council on Accessibility and was elected co-chair of that council at its first meeting. Patrick also published a short piece on adaptive Nordic skiing for the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association newsletter and gave a presentation and clinic on Nordic sit-skiing at Middlebury’s Rikert Nordic Center as part of the National Wintertrail’s Day Celebration.

Patrick Standen, instructor of philosophy, on October 20 delivered a presentation, “MS and Adaptive Sports,” at the Greater New England Regional MS Conference in Essex, VT.  On November 14 he will be part of a panel representing medical ethics examining quality in healthcare as part of a University of Vermont Department of Internal Medicine program.