Christopher Bartel

"To be clear-headed rather than confused; lucid rather than obscure; rational rather than otherwise; and to be neither more, nor less, sure of things than is justifiable by argument or evidence. That is worth trying for."

-- Geoffrey Warnock


I am a Professor of Philosophy at Appalachian State University. My research interests primarily lie within aesthetics and ethics. I mainly focus on video games, the philosophy of music, philosophy of technology, and media ethics.  I have additional research interests in perception (especially sound) and methodological issues in experimental philosophy. 

I am the author of Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy: Killing Time (Bloomsbury 2020), which addresses the question: is it ever morally wrong to enjoy fantasizing about immoral things? I am currently writing my second monograph, Aesthetics and Video Games, also for Bloomsbury (expected 2024). 

As an undergraduate, I studied sound engineering at Berklee College of Music and worked as a recording engineer in the Boston area for four years before deciding that I wanted to study philosophy. I then moved to England where I received my MA from the University of Bristol and my PhD from King's College London. In addition to my love of philosophy, I also enjoy cycling, music, and playing games with my daughter. 


Ph. D. (2007) King's College London

M. A. (2000) University of Bristol

B. M. (1997) Berklee College of Music

Courses Taught

  • Aesthetics
  • Ethical Theory
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Metaphilosophy
  • Perception, Color, and Sound
  • Philosophy and Popular Culture
  • Philosophy and Video Games
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Music
  • Philosophy, Society, and Ethics
  • Relativism


Department of Philosophy and Religion
I. G. Greer Hall, Room 114
Boone, NC  28608
Email: bartelcj (AT) appstate (DOT) edu
Follow me on Twitter
View my PhilPeople page
View my Google Scholar page



Articles and Book Chapters

Encyclopedia Articles

  • "Cognitive Science and Aesthetics", in the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, Michael Kelly (ed), Oxford: Oxford University Press (2014): pp. 70-74.

Academic Blog Contributions

Book Reviews

  • Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds, by Mark Silcox (ed.). Journal of the Philosophy of Games (2018).
  • Music and Aesthetic Reality, by Nick Zangwill, Philosophy in Review 36 (1): 42-43.
  • Musical Understandings, by Stephen Davies, Mind, vol. 123 (2014): pp. 1184-1187.
  • Art and Pornography, edited by Hans Maes and Jerrold Levinson, British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 54 (2014): pp. 510-512.
  • How Music Moves Us, by Jeanette Bicknell, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 68 (2010): pp. 317-319.
  • The Performance of Reading, by Peter Kivy, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 60 (2010):  pp. 220-222.
  • Works of Music, by Julian Dodd, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 59 (2009):  pp. 760-762.
  • Listening to Popular Music, by Theodore Gracyk. British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 48 (2008):  pp. 357-359.
  • The Musical Representation, by Charles O. Nussbaum. Philosophy in Review, Vol. 28 (2008):  pp. 212-214.
  • Art and Value, by George Dickie, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 45 (2005):  pp. 94-96.
  • Is Art Good for Us? Beliefs about High Culture in American Life, by Joli Jensen, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 44 (2004):  pp. 93-96.


Click here for a short video on CNN about how I and other professors can tell when an essay is written with ChatGPT.

Click here for an interview with me on the AUXORO Podcast.

Click here for an interview with me on The Neutral Ground podcast.

Click here for an interview with me on the Ethics and Video Games podcast.

Click here for an interview with me on Religion in Life.

Click here for a short piece co-authored by Anna Cremaldi and I on the ethics of fantasy.

Click here for a short piece outlining my account of the ethics of video game violence.

Click here for a BBC article on the use of comic books in philosophy courses. 

Title: Professor of Philosophy
Department: Philosophy and Religion

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7193

Office address
I. G. Greer Hall 115-B