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Philosophy

Recent Stories

Portrait of Tamara Fakhoury

Meet Tamara Fakhoury: Philosopher, Artist, Educator

“How do I know if what I see is real?” “What makes an action good?” Big questions like these inspired new Department of Philosophy Assistant Professor Tamara Fakhoury to pursue a career in philosophy from her home in Lebanon to classrooms at the University of Minnesota. Fakhoury discusses how she came into philosophy, the nature of her research, and how philosophy fits into all aspects of her life.
Portrait of Heather Johnson.

Conway and Locke on Personhood

Philosophers John Locke and Anne Finch Conway don’t exactly agree on the answers to some essential philosophical questions: What is a person? How do persons remain the same over time? PhD candidate Heather Johnson investigates these questions and more by studying the similarities and differences in these thinkers’ ideas.
Portrait: Alan Love

Philosophy of Science and the Crisis of Reproducibility

While biologists and psychologists might seek to replicate an experiment, mathematicians might seek to reproduce a proof. Alan Love contends that reproducibility failures should not be taken to undermine the reliability or trustworthiness of science: “We should be confident precisely because scientists sometimes get it wrong, since they know how to process their errors and take advantage of situations when they fail.”
Portrait of Immanuel Kant.

Kant: A Polymath of Modern Thought

Academics have said that all philosophy created in the last 200 years is a response to Immanuel Kant. The influence of his work, however, has spread much further than the realm of philosophy. Today, chemists and politicians alike grapple with the ideas of this poor Prussian boy and how his century-old writings are still shaping modern thought.
Portrait of Matthias Rothe.

The Politics of Kant’s Failures

Philosopher Immanuel Kant’s work delves deep into the concept of freedom in both his moral and political philosophies—so what does a Kant scholar do when these treatments of freedom don’t quite seem to line up? Professor Matthias Rothe explains how inconsistencies in Kant’s work must be understood in a broader historical, social, and political context.
Portrait of Geoffrey Hellman.

Gunky Continua and Mathematical Structures

What is mathematics? Are the lines, planes, and intervals of mathematics composed of points, or are there other ways of thinking about these objects? According to Professor Geoffrey Hellman, questions like these have always posed problems for the discipline of mathematics. In two new books, co-authored with Stewart Shapiro of The Ohio State University, Hellman takes on these and other questions, seeking to clarify what is at stake in the various answers one might offer to them.
Prof. Samuel C. Fletcher outside in spring, brown leather jacket, glasses

Philosophy of Physics in High School Classrooms

Do scientific theories fully describe the world? Do electrons and electromagnetic fields really exist? What sets science apart from other kinds of inquiry? Philosophers of science like Professor Samuel C. Fletcher grapple with these complicated questions daily. Fletcher recently introduced this way of thinking to a group of bright high school students in the Honors Mentor Connection class at Wayzata High School.