Bernardo (Bernie) Joaquin Cantens, CPA, MA (Accounting), MA (Philosophy) and Ph.D. (Philosophy) was born in Miami, Florida. He is a first-generation Cuban American. His parents were exiled to the United States in the 1960’s as political refugees from Cuba. Bernie completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting in 1987, and he also earned his Master of Arts degree in Accounting 1993 from Florida International University. He went on to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and worked in the accounting field for several years.
In 1992, he decided to return to school, and he earned a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, graduating Cum Laude and earning an Academic Achievement Award in Philosophy. He received a full tuition scholarship and an Assistantship at the University of Miami (Florida) for the graduate doctoral program in Philosophy, which he completed in 1999. He is currently a full time professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His scholarly research and teaching focuses on metaphysics, logic, virtue ethics, American pragmatism, and applied ethics in the health sciences (Bioethics, Medical Ethics, Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering, Ethics for the Public's Health, Ethics of Abortion, Virtue Ethics and Nursing, and Law, Regulation and Ethics in Medicine.)
Cantens' research and scholarship has been recognized through a variety of national awards, prizes, grants, and fellowships. In 2004, he received the first American Philosophical Association Award in Latin American Thought for his essay on Fransisco Vitoria's International Law.
He also received the American Philosophical William James Prize in 2005 for his essay on C. S. Peirce's philosophy of religion. His research on American pragmatist C. S. Peirce also earned him a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities in 2005-2006. In 2006, he was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University where he continued his work on Peirce and evolutionary theory.
He was also the recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities scholarship for a Summer Institute in New York University (Buffalo) on Cuban Identity.
His teaching has also been recognized with a two-year (2014-2016) Enduring Questions Grant by the National Endowment of the Humanities. The $32,000 grant was to develop a new course entitled What is Peace? Cantens also participated in an $800,000 online teaching grant with The Council of Independent Colleges funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cantens is a well published scholar with over 30 scholarly peer-reviewed articles and over 60 lectures delivered at scholarly national and international conference. He was the editor of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy from 2008-2013. In addition to the peer-reviewed journal articles, Cantens has several book chapters published in anthologies with the following publishers: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Blackwell Publishing, Acumen Publishing Limited, Cambridge Scholars Press, and Brill Publishing.
He also serves on the editorial board of several journals, and he has served as the chair of several outside departmental evaluation review boards. He was the president of The Society for Philosophy of Religion in 2013.
His essay "Philosophy, Law and Mysticism in Renaissance Spain" was recently published in 2018 in A Companion to Spanish Renaissance by Brill Publishers. His new book A Critical Introduction to the Ethics of Abortion: Understanding the Moral Arguments was published in February 2019 by Bloomsbury Publisher. He delivered his essay "Is Faith in God Necessary for Salvation?" at the Society for Philosophers of Religion in March 2019. He is currently working on a new essay "Pragmatists' Theories of Truth at a Time of Alternative Facts". He has been invited to participate at a special session on the Philosophy of Fransisco Suarez at the American Catholic Philosophical Association in November 2019. He will be presenting an essay called "Suarez on the Various Kinds of Distinctions".
He is currently working on two new manuscripts: Ethics of Abortion: The Potentiality Argument and Religious Pragmatism. He is also working on several essays on the topic of abortion: "A critiques of the identity argument for the impermissibility of abortion," "A Critique of Michael Tooley's Desire Account for the Permissibility of Abortion," "A Critique of Don Marquis's Deprivation Argument," and several other essays. Cantens is also the director of a new Grant funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation on Applied Humanities. The purpose of the project is to create a sustainable model for the integration of the humanities with professional programs.