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David Cerbone



  • 20th Century Continental Philosophy (especially Phenomenology)
  • Wittgenstein

Research Interests

Dr. Cerbone's ongoing research focuses primarily on two areas: (i) the phenomenological tradition, with an emphasis on the work of Martin Heidegger and Edmund Husserl; and (ii) the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, especially his “later” work.  His research in (i) and (ii) overlaps considerably: he looks to both areas for resources for understanding and criticizing traditional philosophical problems (e.g. problems oriented around skepticism, realism, and idealism), as well as currently dominant philosophical views, most notably naturalism in various forms (scientism, physicalism, materialism). Dr. Cerbone's most recent work highlights this overlap, which draws upon the phenomenological and existential traditions’ appeal to notions such as ambiguity and indeterminacy and Wittgenstein’s ideas about what is “complicated” about our human form of life in order to highlight the moral dimensions of the phenomena of meaning and mind.

Dr. Cerbone has published three books,  Understanding Phenomenology (Acumen, 2006; republished by Routledge in 2014), and Heidegger: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2008), and Existentialism:  All That Matters (Hodder-Stoughton, 2015).  He is currently working on a fourth book on Wittgenstein, realism, and idealism as part of the Cambridge Elements series on Wittgenstein’s philosophy.

Dr. Cerbone is a series co-editor (with Søren Overgaard and Komarine Romdenh-Romluc) of the Routledge Research in Phenomenology series, which now has nearly twenty volumes in print.

Dr. Cerbone recently received an ECAS Outstanding Teaching award and was named one of the first three ECAS Woodburn Fellows.

Other Interests

Dr. Cerbone lives out in the wilds of Preston County with his wife, Lena, and his two younger children, Lowell and Margot.  His oldest, Henry, is studying robotics, computer science, and philosophy at Harvard.  They share their rural homestead with two dogs, four cats, a rabbit, and over a dozen chickens.  Although in his 50s, Dr. Cerbone still wants to be a photographer when he grows up.  He spends a great deal of his free time photographing along the Cheat River and its many tributaries.  While well-versed in the latest in digital photography, his real passion is for film, especially with pinhole cameras.  You can read about his interest in pinhole photography here and see his ongoing work here.  Dr. Cerbone’s photography has been featured in a variety of venues including the MountainMade and the Buxton and Landstreet galleries in Thomas, WV; he is a regular at Morgantown’s Arts Walk each Fall.


Dr. Cerbone regularly teaches Philosophy 147 (Philosophy and Film), Philosophy 354 (Themes in Continental Philosophy), and Philosophy 355 (Existentialism). He recently taught the Junior-Senior Seminar on the topic human finitude, the most unfortunate aspect of which is death.