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Trudy Govier

Philosopher and Author

Trudy Govier is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Her research interests include trust, forgiveness, reconciliation, argumentation, and practices of conflict resolution. She teaches in the areas of political and social philosophy, peace and conflict studies, ethics, and critical thinking. Govier is widely known for her dynamic, accessible style of speaking and writing, and her passionate advocacy of reasoned responses to conflict.

Govier's reputation as a communicator is firmly founded on her globally successful textbook, A Practical Study of Argument (Wadsworth, six editions). On the Projects page is a full description of Govier's recent work and new projects.

Biography of Trudy Govier

Trudy Govier has a B.A. in History from the University of Alberta, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo (1971). She was formerly Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario and has also taught at Simon Fraser University and the Universities of Amsterdam, Calgary, Lethbridge and Winnipeg. Govier was a co-organizer, with Carol Prager, of the highly successful conference, Dilemmas of Reconciliation, offered under the auspices of Calgary's Institute for the Humanities in June, 1999. Work from this conference, together with additional papers are in print under the title Dilemmas of Reconciliation, edited by Carol A.L. Prager and Trudy Govier (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2003). From 1998 to 2004 she worked extensively with the South African philosopher Wilhelm Verwoerd, exploring themes of apology, forgiveness and reconciliation. In July, 2004, Govier taught a summer course on punishment, forgiveness and reconciliation at the Centre for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. Govier was Esau Distinguished Visiting Professor at Menno Simons College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, during the academic year 2004-2005. This college is a branch of Canadian Mennonite University and offers courses in affiliation with the University of Winnipeg. Since August, 2005, Govier has been a member of the Philosophy Department at the University of Lethbridge.

Trudy Govier is a philosopher whose interests and skills have made her active outside the academic community. She was a founding member of Project Ploughshares, Calgary in 1982 and has served in several executive roles for that organization. Her Project Ploughshares involvement led to her membership on the Canadian Government's Consultative Group for arms control and disarmament, from 1986 - 1990. Govier was one of several key facilitators in the Future Ways initiative undertaken by the Calgary United Way, served for several years as a board member with Healthy Calgary, and was a public spokesperson for Friends of the Herald, a community group formed to support independent journalism in Calgary. She was a regular speaker at Calgary's Apeiron Society for Practical Philosophy and has organized and  facilitated Philosophy Cafés held at Annie's Book Company. She organized two series of Philosophy Cafes at the Penny Coffeehouse in Lethbridge during the winter and fall of 2006 and was co-organizer, with Michael Kubara, of a lecture series "Questions of War and Peace", held at the Lethbridge Public Libary in the fall of 2006.

Govier is often called upon to facilitate sensitive and potentially volatile discussions, particularly in the foreign policy area. She was a featured participant in several round-tables organized by the Law Commission of Canada, and has been a frequent commentator on CBC radio and television. Govier's deep concern for issues of war and peace, stemming from anti-nuclear involvements in the eighties, led her to study conflict resolution and mediation. She served for several years as a volunteer mediator for Calgary's Better Business Bureau.

Visit the Projects page for a fuller description of Govier's recent work and new projects.

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Page last updated: January 2007