Travis Anderson

Travis Anderson

Associate Professor, Philosophy

4086-A JFSB



PHIL 150-003:
MWF 3:00-3:50 p.m.
4082 JFSB
PHIL 449-001:
Th 11:00-11:50 a.m.
PHIL 490-001:
T 12:00-12:50 p.m.
4082 JFSB
Office Hours:
TW 4:00-5:00 p.m. and by appointment
Commonly Taught Courses

HONORS 100 (Illustrated Journaling) HONORS 290R (Introduction to Film Artistry, Theory, and Criticism) PHIL 150 (Freshman Writing) PHIL 213 (Introduction to Ethics) PHIL 214 (Introduction to Philosophy of Art) PHIL 300 (Advanced Philosophical Writing) PHIL 340R (Nietzsche) PHIL 350R (Heidegger) PHIL 350R (Levinas) PHIL 350R (Derrida) PHIL 350R (Phenomenology) PHIL 350R (Philosophy of Psychology) PHIL 414R (Philosophy of Architecture) PHIL 414R (Philosophy of Film)


Link to Vita


Travis Anderson grew up in the foothills of San Jose, California, and spent every waking hour outside of school climbing trees, fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking far and wide–always with his dog running alongside. Summers were spent picking apricots and cherries, pouring cement, and delivering newspapers from bags hung over the banana-seat of a high-handlebar bicycle. High school added science projects, cross-country running, and pole-vaulting to the list of priorities (and a trip to the public library one summer introduced him to Plato). Missionary service in the wilds of coastal and central Mexico interrupted an undergraduate education at BYU, where he began his studies as a pre-med student before coming to his senses and changing his major to studio art, later adding philosophy as a second major. He worked his way toward a summa cum laude graduation with honors by operating heavy equipment, building bridges, and framing houses–and attending a few classes. But he always managed to find time for the really important things in life: hiking, fishing, skiing, windsurfing, and motorbiking. His dog found it harder to keep up with a Yamaha Virago than a banana-seat bike, alas. Graduate school in Chicago made it hard to do anything other than study, but great minds always find a way. Countless hours in the Art Institute, as well as foreign films at Facets Theater, the Fine Arts Theater, and the Musicbox Theater kept hope alive every year until summer came back around. It was during graduate school that he discovered the pleasures of teaching philosophy–first, at BYU during a summer away from Chicago, and later at Loyola when he qualified for a teaching fellowship. With a PhD and a lovely wife (Diane Hixson) in hand, he traded in his footloose life for a job, a house, and a minivan (but some really great kids came with the van).

Outside his office, Dr. Anderson spends his free time gardening, skiing, hiking, and painting landscapes of Southern Utah. Inside his office (when he’s not preparing to teach marvelous BYU students), he spends his time wishing he were outside his office–gardening, hiking, painting. . .

Dr. Anderson’s secret to happiness: Never ski a double-diamond without one of Wagner’s orchestral works playing on your iPod.

Dr. Andeson’s tip for the day: Don’t get caught riding a motorbike during a hailstorm if you’re not wearing a helmet.

Dr. Anderson’s advice for choosing a major: Reflect on all the directions life could take you, then choose Philosophy–you’ll never regret the company it affords you.

Dr. Anderson’s favorite philosophy text: Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time.

Below: Dr. Anderson’s avatar gazing out the window of his ideal BYU office–which proves philosophy makes good things possible.


BA, Brigham Young University, 1985
BFA, Brigham Young University, 1985
MA, Loyola University of Chicago, 1989
PhD, Loyola University of Chicago, 1991


“A Philosophical Gardener.” 2012 BYU Radio Interview with Dean Duncan on “This’ll Take a While”
“Illuminating Your Life: Illustrated Journaling.” 2012 Video short for BYU College of Humanities
“Iranian and Mormon Film.” 2010 BYU Radio interview with Marcus Vincent on “Thinking Aloud”