Peg O’Connor, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Her training is in moral philosophy, feminist philosophy, and the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Her new book, Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery, is published with Central Recovery Press. She is also the author of Morality and Our Complicated Form of Life: Feminist Wittgensteinian Metaethics (Penn State 2008) and Oppression and Responsibility: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Social Practices and Moral Theory (Penn State 2002). She has co-edited Feminist Interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein with Naomi Scheman (Penn State 2002) and Oppression, Privilege, and Resistance with Lisa Heldke (McGraw Hill 2004).
Peg O’Connor is a recovering alcoholic who maintains that philosophy got and helps her to stay sober. For the last ten years, she has shifted the focus of her work to using some of the great canonical thinkers in western philosophy to illuminate dimensions of addiction. She understands addiction as a meaning of life problem and no discipline is as well suited as philosophy to address meaning of life questions. Some might argue that has been the subject of philosophy for millennia. Thus for her, work on addiction stirs philosophy in good ways by bringing it out of the ivory tower and back to the public realm. But philosophy will never be shaken.