Philosophy and Religious Studies Program

Faculty and Staff

Madeline Muntersbjorn associate professor of Philosophy at The University of Toledo

Madeline M. Muntersbjorn

Associate Professor

Phone: 419.530.4513

Madeline Muntersbjorn is an associate professor of Philosophy. She received her Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Pittsburgh's History and Philosophy of Science Department. Muntersbjorn teaches logic at different levels, including core courses (PHIL1010 Introduction to Logic), major core courses (PHIL3000 Symbolic Logic), and graduate seminars for M.A. students (PHIL6000 Advanced Logic). Muntersbjorn also teaches Science & Society (PHIL3310), Modern Philosophy (PHIL3230), Philosophy of Natural Science (4300/5300), and 20th Century Analytic Philosophy (PHIL4280/5280).

In 1997, she won a course development grant to develop an interdisciplinary class, The Self in Science-Fact and Science-Fiction. Her most recent popular culture seminar, PHIL4900 Feminism & Science Fiction, explores the trope of the sentient female machine. In 2008, Muntersbjorn won a course development grant to develop a new course, “Darwin: Man, Myth and Nature,” taught in Spring 2009 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species. In 2009, she was part of a team of philosophy professors to receive a course transformation grant, “Evidence and Reason,” to develop problem sets in logic and critical thinking for first-year students. Faculty from pharmacy, education, engineering, law, and the sciences contributed case studies and real-world problems. Muntersbjorn continues to develop course content relevant to students from across the University of Toledo.

In her research, Muntersbjorn studies demonstrations from the history of mathematics and monsters from popular culture in an effort to articulate what they teach us about the real world of lived experience. Both “demonstrations” and “monsters” descend from the Latin verb, monstrare, meaning to show or make evident. Muntersbjorn studies the history of science and science-fiction in an effort to show how deliberate fictions, from missing links to mathematical models, make practical truths more evident. Neither traditional Platonist nor strict constructivist, Muntersbjorn think mathematical practices involve real relations among emergent phenomena that come into being over time and, thereby, make modern life possible. On her view, mathematics is neither created nor discovered. Rather, mathematics is cultivated. (See, for example, “Representational Innovation and Mathematical Ontology,” Synthese, 2003.) She studies the influence of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution on the philosophy of Henri Poincaré. Muntersbjorn is inspired by Otto Neurath’s ISOTYPE and Robert P. Moses’ Algebra Project. Recently she published, “Morality and Mathematics” in Mathematical Cultures.  The focus of her work in popular culture studies is on relations between kinds of persons in science fiction television. Recently she published, “Hideous Fictions and Horrific Fates,” in Westworld and Philosophy.

Last Updated: 7/7/23