Moore, Willis | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Willis Moore was a professor in both philosophy and journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1955-1973. He was born on January 1, 1905 in Bates County, Missouri. He graduated from Butler High School as valedictorian in 1924. He attended the University of Missouri from 1924-1931 and the University of California, Berkeley from 1931-1935 where he earned his Ph. D. in 1936.
Prior to his career at SIUC, Moor was a professor at the University of Missouri from 1935-1947, a professor at the University of Tennessee from 1947-1955, and a visiting professor at Columbia University in 1951. He began his tenure at SIUC teaching philosophy from 1955-1973 and later journalism from 1965-1973. Moore guided the development of the philosophy department’s graduate program. His teaching, research, and professional service activities demonstrated a dedication to the teaching of value theory (especially ethics) in nontraditional settings such as high schools, trade schools, and prisons. Much of his work focused on issues relating to academic freedom, and he was a member of the philosophy faculty during the time of the Douglas Allen vs. Leland G. Stauber case. He was also interested in the SIUC student protests against the Vietnam War. One of Moore’s notable experimental courses was “Report on a High School Course in Philosophy” which encouraged similar experiments in using logic and ethics to enrich secondary school curricula.
Moore was a member of the America Philosophical Association, American Association of University Professors, Illinois Philosophy Conference, the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and numerous university committees. After retirement in 1973, Moore was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees and served from 1974-1979.