About the Author

H. Peter Steeves

H. Peter Steeves, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Emeritus Director of the Humanities Center at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University (1995), and he specializes in phenomenology, ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of science.


Steeves is the author of ten books, including: Founding Community: A Phenomenological-Ethical Inquiry (Kluwer, 1998); The Things Themselves: Phenomenology and the Return to the Everyday (SUNY Press, 2006); Animal Others: On Ethics, Ontology, and Animal Life (editor, SUNY Press, 1999); Beautiful, Bright, and Blinding: Phenomenological Aesthetics and the Life of Art (SUNY P, 2017); Being and Showtime (Sawbuck Books, 2020); and Up From Under the Rulers: The Anarchic Phenomenological Communitarian Manifesto (RPI, 2024).  Steeves is at work on three new books, including one on liberation theology, post-theism, and philosophy of religion; a book on cosmology, astrobiology, and theoretical physics; and a work that takes up the nature of mathematics and the role that probability plays in life and the universe.  He has published more than 140 book chapters and journal articles and has presented more than 200 public and academic professional lectures. 


Steeves has been a Presidential Scholar and recipient of the United States Presidential Medallion from Pres. Ronald Reagan in the White House rose garden (1984), a recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters’ award for literature (Indiana, 1990), a Princeton Historical Center Seminar Fellow (1998), a Senior Fulbright Fellow (Venezuela, 1998-1999), a DePaul Humanities Center Fellow (2001-02), a National Endowment for the Humanities “Enduring Questions” grant recipient (2012-14), a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Latin American Studies (2005), and a recipient of both Indiana University’s and DePaul University’s Excellence in Teaching Award.  He holds the position of permanent Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Zulia (Venezuela) and sits on the editorial board of several academic journals. 


In 2011, Rate My Professor—an on-line professor rating site for students—announced that based on their research culled from more than 1,500,000 professors in their database, Steeves was one of the “Top 15 Best Professors in the United States.” 


Outside the university, Steeves has been involved as a member of and a consultant to various bioethics hospital committees, has worked with international election observers in Latin America, and has been interviewed by and appeared on CNN, the BBC, Australian Radio National, NPR, The Toronto Star, The Daily Herald, The Management Report, The L.A. Times, The Toledo Blade and several other newspapers and media outlets in North and South America. 


Steeves has also held several positions in the arts, including Visiting Installation Artist (Chicago Sculpture Works; 2008-10), Playwright in Residence (DePaul Humanities Center; 2009-10), and staff cartoonist (Oak Leaves newspaper, 1985-89). His installation work has been featured in such venues as The Chicago Cultural Center’s annual juried “Site Unseen” installation art exhibit (2008), Zhou B Café and Gallery, and the DePaul Art Museum (DPAM). For the last several years, he has collaborated with artists Zachary Ostrowski and Greg Scott, performing the part of The Whisper, including performing in a live version of The Wild American Dog’s “Big Tent Revival” at DPAM, the “Und Jetz?” exhibition in Berlin, Germany, and multiple shows at Chicago’s Apparatus Projects Gallery. The DPAM performance was part of Ostrowski/Beverly Fre$h’s April-August 2018 solo exhibition at the museum, “Really Somethin’ Else” for which Steeves also posed for still photos and starred in a short film, “Inside the Call” (4:54, HD video) featured in the exhibition. Steeves continues to produce and perform “lecture-performances”—scholarly lectures that also include performative elements such as live music, dance, theater, magic, general spectacle, and audience participation. His lecture-performances have been commissioned by museums, cities, colleges, and universities worldwide.


Steeves has been a member of an astrobiology research group at NASA Ames Research Center where he specifically focused on pre-biotic chemistry and the possible role that quantum effects might have had in the origin of life event.  His current work especially focuses primarily on cosmology and astrobiology—on the origin events of both the universe and life—and on blowing minds and melting faces with the power of rock.