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Karen C. Chan, PhD

Academic Dean / Associate Professor of Philosophy






B.A. (English Literature) - University of San Francisco

B.A. (Philosophy) - University of San Francisco

M.A. (Philosophy) - University of Notre Dame

Ph.D. (Philosophy) – University of Notre Dame

Dissertation: “The Conclusion to the Practical Syllogism: A Comparison of the Aristotelian-Thomistic and Contemporary Analytic Traditions”

Academic Interests

Thomistic Philosophy (especially Ethics and Metaphysics), Medical Ethics

Download Curriculum Vitae

Born and raised in nearby Cupertino, Dr. Chan has been nourished by the local Church: she received the sacraments of initiation in the Diocese of San Jose, married in the Diocese of Monterey, and her children were baptized in the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Dr. Chan attended the University of San Francisco, where she enrolled in the Ignatius Institute and double-majored in English Literature and Philosophy.  She then completed her doctoral studies in Philosophy (and watched a lot of football) at the University of Notre Dame.  She joined the STPSU faculty in January 2013 and is blessed to participate in the formation of priests who will help pass on the Roman Catholic tradition to the next generation of Catholics.

Conference/Workshop Presentations

"Having a Child: Intentional, or Game of Chance?"  University Faculty for Life 28th Annual Conference, University of Dallas, June 8-9, 2018.

“Catholic Anthropology: Philosophical Foundations,” a workshop presentation for high school teachers of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, August 28, 2015.

“Motherhood: Sacrifice or Perfection of Women?,” California Natural Family Planning Association "Male and Female He Created Them” Conference, San Francisco, August 21-22, 2015.

“Mothers, Children, and Their Common Good,” 2015 American Maritain Association “Maritain Engagé” Conference, University of San Francisco, February 26-28, 2015.

Commentator for “Intrinsic Aptness and the Embodied Self” by Christopher Toner at “Virtue, Medicine, and Modern Moral Philosophy: A Conference in Honor of David Solomon”, held at the University of Notre Dame, May 26-29, 2014.

Selected Publications

“Fetus as Child: A Suggestion for Pro-Life Vocabulary”, Life and Learning XXIII: Proccedings of the Twenty-Third University Faculty for Life Conference.

“Mothers, Children, and Their Common Good”, Engaging the Times: The Witness of Thomism, ed. Joshua Schulz (American Maritain Association: 2017).

“Challenges to Culturally-Sensitive Care for Elderly Chinese Patients: A First-Generation Chinese-American Perspective”, Journal of Clinical Ethics (Winter 2013), pp. 343-52.

“The Common Good and the Virtuous Political Leader,” The Common Good: Chinese and American Perspectives, eds. David Solomon and P.C. Lo (Springer: 2014), pp. 221-242.