Faculty Directory

Michael Smith

Assistant Professor of the Practice


Michael J. Smith joined the Portico faculty in 2013.  Prior to teaching Portico, he was an instructor in the PULSE program at Boston College, and he has taught a variety of courses in philosophy with a focus on applied ethics and political philosophy.  As a recipient of both the Donald J. White and Coughlin distinguished teaching awards for undergraduate education, Michael is especially excited to introduce students to new ways of considering ethical issues, and to help them think critically and reflectively about their own decisions.  Recently, Michael has helped design and teach an advanced senior seminar on the philosophy of happiness as it relates to commercial life.

Michael received his PhD. in Philosophy from Boston College in 2014, defending a dissertation on the intersection of politics and religion in Spinoza’s thought as part of a more general interest in how philosophy can help improve the welfare of both individuals and communities.  Michael’s more recent research has focused on the ethical challenges and opportunities specific to capitalist political economies, about which he has helped design and teach an advanced senior seminar. He is also interested in strategies for blending liberal arts and business pedagogy and has presented on this topic at several convenings of the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium.