portrait of Dr. James Okapal

Dr. James Okapal, chair of the Department of Philosophy & Religion and the Department of History & Geography, was recently interviewed on the philosophy and pop culture podcast “I Think Therefore I Fan.”

On the Sept. 18 episode, “Fantastic Friends and Where to Find Them,” Dr. Okapal talks with hosts Dr. Rachel Robison-Greene and Dr. Richard Greene about Aristotle, friendship, science fiction, and fantasy. He elaborates on some of the ideas he developed in his essay “’In Search of …’ Friendship: What We Can Learn from Androids and Vulcans” (in The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates edited by Kevin S. Decker and Jason T. Eberl).

It was Dr. Okapal’s second appearance on the podcast. On the May 21 episode, “The Purple Replicant of Cairo,” he was one of four “prominent scholars of philosophy and pop culture” interviewed at the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association.

Dr. Okapal’s research has focused on the intersection of ethics and literature, especially science fiction and fantasy. He has been at Missouri Western since 2005. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the Ohio State University, a master’s degree at Bowling Green State University and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu