Looking for a place to call home in his early 20s, Shane Epting took residence at Temple Dog School, a "farm study" in southern New Mexico, owned by a retired humanities professor from Reed College. They spent their days discussing books, exploring ideas, raising chihuahuas, and watching cacti grow.
It was there that his interests in philosophy and the nonhuman environment developed, eventually landing him at the University of North Texas, where he studied under the founders of environmental ethics: Eugene Hargrove, J. Baird Callicott, and Irene Klaver, along with environmental justice scholar, Robert M. Figueroa, and philosophers working on issues in food and technology such as David M. Kaplan and Adam Briggle (Ph.D. director). Epting developed a passion for examining competing interests between humans, nonhumans, future generations, and urban technologies.
He co-founded the Philosophy of the City Research Group to connect with like-minded philosophers during his graduate studies. He continues to serve as a Codirector alongside the world's leading philosophers of the city. The group is approaching its 10th anniversary, having held conferences in numerous cities across the globe, including New York City, Bogotá, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Detroit, San Fransisco, Helsinki, Portland, OR, and Porto.
Epting has published three research-based monographs and twenty-five journal articles, given several keynote lectures, numerous invited talks, and delivered dozens of presentations worldwide.
While Epting's research addresses issues such as those mentioned, the culmination of his thinking on such affairs led to the development of "moral ordering," a theoretical device for easing tensions between several stakeholder groups. The careful study of this process and one's place in it, coupled with examining its dynamics, can help facilitate "urban enlightenment." His recent book, The Morality of Urban Mobility, unpacks these notions within the context of transportation systems.
He has been a guest on the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, Philosophy Talk - KALW, 91.7 FM, San Francisco, for an episode entitled, "Can Streets Discriminate?" He also was a guest on Dr. Ian Werkheiser's podcast, Thought about Food, for an episode entitled "Philosophy of the City and Food Sovereignty."
Epting is a first-generation college student who is no stranger to challenging work. In the classroom today, he strives to help students discover the knowledge that they seek. His efforts recently earned him the prestigious Miner Alumni Association’s Class of ’42 Excellence in Teaching Award at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.