University News

SUU Philosophy Professor Presents at International Workshop

Published: August 27, 2018 | Author: Parker Rawlins | Category: Academics

new york university philosophy conference suu professorThis summer, Dr. Kris Phillips, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southern Utah University, was invited to participate in two incredible academic opportunities. These experiences enhance Phillips’ approach to teaching and he’s able to integrate several concepts and theories into the classroom.

In June he participated in a "Master Class" at New York University on Lady Mary Shepherd, a prominent Scottish philosopher from the early 19th century. The class was sponsored by the Journal of the History of Philosophy and NYU, and was led by Dr. Don Garrett, the Silver Professor of Philosophy at NYU. Phillips was one of six junior scholars (pre-tenure) selected to participate in the course. They met for five days, and examined Shepherd's works in great detail and depth.

“It was an amazing opportunity, and I learned a tremendous amount about Shepherd,” said Phillips. “I am planning to focus on her work in my upcoming Senior Seminar course next spring semester.”

Immediately following his week at NYU, Phillips flew out to Northern Italy for a workshop dedicated to expanding the canon in medieval and early modern philosophy. This international workshop featured 21 scholars from around the world sponsored by the University of Konstanz and the German Research Foundation. They met for a week in Schloss Neuhaus, a medieval castle located in South Tirol.

Phillips had two presentations at this workshop; co-facilitating a roundtable discussion and presenting a paper that he co-authored with Dr. Seth Jones (Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks). Their paper, "Early Modern Philosophy as Humanities: Margaret Cavendish and the Role of Reason in Enlightenment Thought" focused on the development of philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the classroom, Phillips teaches through lectures and discussions. He enjoys telling jokes, usually at his own expense, and incorporates out-of-date hip hop and pop culture references to make class fun and accessible. He also uses film clips to ground some of the more abstract concepts and help students realize where they’ve seen those concepts before.

In response to the assumption many people make that philosophy is an “impractical” degree, Phillips said this: “I think philosophy is the most practical field there is. Done well, philosophy is a discipline aimed at helping us live well. I'm not certain that I have very many of the answers to the philosophical questions I study, but I get to think about them and talk to people about them just about every day. And I get to help students consider these questions as well, which is just great.”

Phillips earned his bachelor of science at Central Michigan University and his master of art at Western Michigan University, both in philosophy. He then joined the Southern Utah University faculty in 2014 shortly after earning his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Iowa.

For more information about SUU’s Philosophy program, click here.


Contact Dr. Phillips


Contact Information:

Nikki Koontz, executive director of marketing and communications
435-586-5487
nikkikoontz@suu.edu