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Recent Stories

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.
Portrait of Jessica Gordon-Roth and Roy T. Cook

Cutting-Edge Scholarship: Feminist Philosophy and Formal Logic

With Jessica Gordon-Roth's specialization in feminist philosophy and Roy T. Cook's attention on mathematical logic, semantic paradoxes, and the aesthetics of Lego sculptures, they might seem like an unlikely pair of collaborators. But the two philosophy professors have found overlap in a topic that they argue is in desperate need of philosophical reflection: feminist philosophy and formal logic.
Professor McNulty of the philosophy department

Philosophy, Sports, and the Public Sphere

If there is anything that philosophy has nothing to say about, one might think it’s sports. But in Spring 2017, philosophy professor Bennett McNulty showed otherwise, teaching a course entitled Sports, Reason, and Society. Highlighting the moral problems that arise in professional sports, McNulty shows how philosophy is especially suited to foster a sense of social, civic, and ethical engagement.
Side by side portraits: Roy Cook and Chris Nagel

Graffiti, DJs, and Comic Books

Both Chris Nagel and Roy T. Cook spend a lot of time thinking about underappreciated art forms. Nagel argues that street art challenges popular notions of what art is, and holds that DJ sets are no less musical works than is Beethoven’s Fifth. Cook explores the philosophical implications of popular art, including comic books, designer toys, and LEGO sculptures.
Maddy Gluek from philosophy headshot

The Practical Side of Philosophy

Maddy Glueck finds her studies in sociology and philosophy to be complementary. Her research assistantship over the summer gave her the opportunity to apply the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills she developed in both disciplines towards a positive end. Though unsure of her future plans, her studies have provided her with a readiness that is, as she puts it, “good for life in general,” wherever it might lead her.
Image of Melanie Bowman from the Department of Philosophy

Knowledge and Wild Rice Research

Philosophers have long grappled with the question: What is knowledge? But Melanie Bowman considers a different question: How does knowledge belong? Rooting disagreement and misunderstanding between wild rice researchers and the Anishinaabe people in differing attitudes towards knowledge, Bowman highlights the role that one’s conception of knowledge plays in one’s worldview.
Photograph of professor Naomi Scheman

Naomi Scheman: The Study of Trust

What is trust and what is considered trustworthy? Naomi Scheman develops the concept of trust based on philosophical theories and practice. At the University, Scheman evaluates how various University communities experience and create trust. Her passion and commitment are shown through her work with individuals who merge academia and activism.