Sandra Visser

Professor of Philosophy
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Dr. Sandra Visser is a professor of philosophy at Hope College.

She previously served as dean for the arts and humanities as Hope. In that role, she supported faculty and staff development, facilities and other elements of nine of Hope College’s 24 academic departments: art and art history, dance, music, theatre, English, history, world languages and cultures, philosophy and religion. She had the same responsibilities for a number of Hope College institutions and programs including the Kruizenga Art Museum, Van Raalte Institute, Center for Ministry Studies, Mellon Scholars, and interdisciplinary programs in Women’s and Gender Studies and in Asian Studies.

Before Hope, Dr. Visser was associate dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences at Valparaiso University in Indiana, and as a professor of philosophy. During her career there from 1993 through 2017, she chaired the Department of Philosophy and was elected to the Faculty Senate. At Valparaiso she taught courses on metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, epistemology and the philosophy of language. She also has taught at the United States Military Academy (West Point), where she taught military ethics, logic and introduction to philosophy, and at Northern Illinois University, Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh. She was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Language.

Areas of Expertise

Metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of religion are Dr. Visser’s scholarly specialties. A particular focus is the medieval philosopher and theologian Saint Anselm, who was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 until his death in 1109.


  • Ph.D., philosophy, Syracuse University, 1995
  • M.A., philosophy, Northern Illinois University, 1990
  • B.A., philosophy, Wheaton College, 1986

Selected Publications

  • “God’s Knowledge of an Unreal Future,” in Openness, Routledge, forthcoming
  • “Anselm on Free Will,” in Theories of Free Will, Routledge, 2017
  • “Anselmian Contextualism,” proceedings of Anselmo al processo di costruzione della nuova Europa, 2014
  • Anselm, with Thomas Williams, Oxford University Press, 2008
  • “Anselm’s Account of Freedom,” with Thomas Williams, in The Cambridge Companion to Anselm, Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • “The Soldier and Autonomy,” in Textbooks of Military Medicine, Department of the Army, Office of the Surgeon General and Borden Institute, 2003
  • “Anselm’s Account of Freedom,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2001
Profile photo of  Sandra Visser
Sandra Visser

Phone Number616.395.7549

Lubbers Hall Room 215 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423
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