Michael O’Rourke

Professor of Philosophy

Michigan State University


Michael O’Rourke is Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His research interests include environmental philosophy, the nature of epistemic integration and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He is Director of the Toolbox Project, an NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research. He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design. He has been a co-principal investigator or collaborator on funded projects involving autonomous underwater vehicles, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, and resilience in environmental systems. He co-founded and served as co-director of the Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, an interdisciplinary conference on philosophical themes, and as co-editor of the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series published by MIT Press.

Representative Publications:

Williams, C., O’Rourke, M., Eigenbrode, S. D., O’Loughlin, I., Crowley, S. 2013. “Using bibliometrics to support the facilitation of cross-disciplinary communication.”Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology. In press.

O’Rourke, M. “Philosophy as a Theoretical Foundation for I2S.” 2013. In G. Bammer, Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems, Canberra: ANU E Press.

O’Rourke, M., Crowley, S. 2012. “Philosophical intervention and cross-disciplinary science: The story of the Toolbox Project.” Synthese, doi: 10.1007/s11229-012-0175-y.

Kabasenche, W., O’Rourke, M., Slater, M. eds. 2012. The Environment: Philosophy, Science, and Ethics, Topics in Contemporary Philosophy Vol. 9. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Eigenbrode, S., M. O’Rourke, J. D. Wulfhorst, D. M. Althoff, C. S. Goldberg, K. Merrill, W. Morse, M. Nielsen-Pincus, J. Stephens, L. Winowiecki, N. A. Bosque-Pérez. 2007. “Employing Philosophical Dialogue in Collaborative Science,” BioScience, 57, 2007, pp. 55-64.