Welcome to this site! Dr. Michael Giles is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. He studies political philosophy and American politics. Mike earned a Ph.D. at Michigan State (2020, M.A. 2016), and a B.A. in Political Economy from Hillsdale College (2012).
Mike is fascinated by the relationship between faith and politics in the history of political thought. In his dissertation, he examines St. Augustine’s account of the Fall of humankind. He puts forward Augustine’s philosophical defense of that event as the key to understanding Augustine’s political philosophy, but also as an under-appreciated source of wisdom for contemporary political life. With Augustine, he traces the effects of the Fall on our most dominant political concerns, such as work (is work good?), human sociability (are humans social?), political ambition, sexual desire and the fear of death.
His work has also centered on describing the posture of modern political thought toward religious faith: he has written on the political utility of religion in the thought of Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. His other interests include American government, ethics (both its grounding and its contemporary application), as well as the interplay of economics and political philosophy.
Mike is a dedicated teacher who aspires to be a truly great educator. His ideal course is one in which students are caught up in the excitement of an intellectual adventure. Always comfortable in front of an audience, Mike can lead discussion as well as present lectures. In addition to teaching at MSU, he also developed a political thought course for seniors in his community during the spring of 2018.
In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time in the great outdoors (skiing, biking, camping) with his family. He also loves, to an inordinate degree, collegiate sports,Wodehouse, and Tolkien.