Mark Mercer received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1991 and began teaching at Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in September 1999. He has been chair of the philosophy department since 2010. He works mainly in philosophy of mind and ethics.
Dr Mercer’s current interests in the philosophy of mind concern the nature of mental states and the question how beliefs and desires can be causes and effects.
In ethics, one of his projects has to do with the problem why care to promote the good or to do the right thing; another has to do with the claim that while we value some things intrinsically, nothing is intrinsically valuable.
Since arriving at Saint Mary’s, Dr Mercer has developed a passion for ancient Greek philosophy. He likes each year to teach at least one course on the pre-Socratics, Plato, or Hellenistic philosophy.
Dr Mercer is a committed civil libertarian and a champion of liberal education and academic freedom.
The Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS) is a national group of academics and others who support academic freedom and the merit principle in higher education. Dr Mercer became a member of SAFS in 2007 and was elected president in 2015.