Eric James Morelli, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of Philosophy

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Eric James Morelli pursued a passion for poetry to the Bronx. He soon discovered there at Fordham some of his limits as a poet and a tendency he had to prefer form to content. He had long had an interest in music so he turned his attention there. He wondered what song he should make and how, why certain songs sound good, why anyone should make a song. His passion, he realized, was philosophical; his questions about art, inspired by more fundamental questions about questions, about how we might know we know and how we go about “knowing” in the first place. In Plato, Husserl, and Lonergan, he discerned a kindred commitment to those questions and a potential for answers, and he went to Emory in Atlanta to continue his study of Plato and phenomenology and to broaden and deepen his grasp of philosophy’s history. He met his future wife, PLNU’s Dr. Margarita Pintado, at Emory, taught there and at Morehouse, and successfully defended a dissertation on Plato’s notion of opinion in the Timaeus and Critias, two of Plato’s last and historically most influential dialogues. He moved with his wife to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where they taught at rival universities and welcomed their first child. In 2018, he and his wife returned to southern California, joined the faculty at PLNU, and welcomed their second child. Still pursuing answers to the questions that drove him to philosophize, Dr. Morelli has published and presented numerous articles and talks on Plato, Neoplatonism, phenomenology, and Lonergan’s critical realism and is currently focused on further exposing and exploring the interiority of the Platonic dialogues.


Ph.D., Philosophy, Emory University

M.A., Philosophy, Emory University

B.A., Philosophy, Classics Minor, Fordham University

Courses Taught

Ethics - PHL2011

Introduction to Philosophy - PHL2001

Experience in Field

Ancient Philosophy



The History of Philosophy


Professional and Community Involvement

International Plato Society

Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy

International Society for Neoplatonic Studies

Lonergan Philosophical Society

Awards and Honors

Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Emory University x Morehouse College

Lewis White Beck Traveling Fellowship, Emory University

Woodruff Arts & Sciences Fellowship, Emory University

Archbishop John Hughes Award for General Excellence in Philosophy, Fordham University

Phi Beta Kappa

Eta Sigma Phi

Alpha Sigma Nu

Phi Sigma Tau

Phi Kappa Phi

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications


"Plato's Opinions: Cognition and Reality in the Timaeus and Critias"

Selected Publications:

"From Metaphysics to Methodology: Republic v 477cd and the Ancient Problem of Rational Opinion," Platonic Investigations, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2018): 30-42.

"Plotinus’ Two Interpretations of Timaeus 35a,” Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Winter 2011): 351-61.

“Insight and the Subject,” International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 2 (June 2011): 137-48.

“Pure Reflection and Intentional Process: The Foundation of Sartre’s Phenomenological Ontology,” Sartre Studies International, Vol. 14, No. 1 (2008): 61-77.

Selected Presentations:

"Lonergan's Reading of Plato's Cave," The 34th Annual Fallon Memorial Lonergan Symposium, West Coast Methods Institute, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, April 26, 2019.

"Plato on the Experience of Thinking," The 17th Annual International Society for Neoplatonic Studies Conference, Dominican University College, Ottawa, CA, June 16, 2019.

"An Invitation to Interiority: Plato and the Ancient Problem of Rational Opinion," Plato's Heritage from a Historical View: Intellectual Transformations and New Research Strategies, International Plato Society, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg, Russia, August 30, 2018.