Brian G. Henning, Ph.D.

ChairsProfessor of Philosophy
Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies
Director, Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment
Gonzaga University

Welcome to my homepage. I am Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I am also the Founding Director of the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment and Founder and Executive Editor fo the Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead.

I was born in Twin Falls, Idaho and was raised in Boise, Idaho, where I graduated from Boise High School. I received my B.A. summa cum laude from Seattle University and my M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University in New York City. After teaching for five years at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD, I joined the faculty at Gonzaga University in 2008. (Why I left the Mount.)

My service to the Gonzaga community focuses primarily on environmental issues through my work with the Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability (2008-2015), which I helped found in 2008. From 2015-2020 I have served as Gonzaga's Inaugural Faculty Fellow for Sustainability, focusing on the creation of a sustainability across the curriculum initiative called the Cataldo Project. Since 2021 I have served as the Founding Director of the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment. Since 2015 I have served as the faculty mentor to the student-led campaign for fossil fuel divestment at Gonzaga University. In 2017 I helped to found 350 Spokane, a local branch of the international grassroots climate action group 350.org and served as Co-Chair from 2017-2020.

Philosophically, I am interested in the intersection of metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics. At this rich crossroad I find inspiration from the 20th century's most important systematic philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947). I work to advance the study of his philosophy of organism as Director of Research & Publication for the Whitehead Research Project, Founding Executive Editor of the Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead, and Founding Co-Editor of Contemporary Whitehead Studies book series. 

I have authored or edited 10 books and more than 35 articles, including the award winning book The Ethics of Creativity: Beauty, Morality, and Nature in a Processive Cosmos. I have had the pleasure of delivering more than 150 talks to both general and academic audiences in North America, Europe, and Asia. During my next sabbatical I will be completing a new monograph exploring the metaphysical foundations of environmental ethics. 

See my curriculum vitae for a complete list of my scholarly adventures. You can find more about my books and articles here