Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Student Essay Contest


All students of Sociology, Anthropology, or Philosophy (majors, minors, and focus) are invited to submit a paper for the 2016 Departmental Essay Contest. The authors of the selected papers will each be awarded a $200-$400 prize (depending on the number of entries); the winning authors will be expected to submit their papers to one of the Kentucky professional societies for the discipline (e.g., KPA, KAS, or ASK, see descriptions below). Students who attend professional meetings may receive up to an additional $200 to support conference attendance and fees for the 2016-2017 meetings.

Paper Guidelines:

Submissions on any philosophical, sociological or anthropological topic are welcome. Students can submit up to two papers for consideration. Papers should be written for a multi-disciplinary audience and will be evaluated by faculty in all three disciplines in the Department. Papers should not exceed 3,000 words, they should be formatted according to discipline standards (e.g., ASA, MLA, AAA), and should be prepared for blind review. Include the following information as a cover page in a file separate from the paper. Name the cover file as ³Cover_LastName_Discipline.² Name the paper the same as the title:

1) Title of paper

2) 150-word abstract

3) Author¹s name

4) Author¹s major

5) Author¹s email address and a phone contact

Papers should be emailed as two attachments‹cover page and paper‹in Word to Dr. Sharyn Jones ( on or before April 15th with Departmental Essay Contest in the subject line.

Examples of specifics for different KY professional societies, see the following websites:

**If you find another conference you would like to present at (that is not listed below), please have it approved by the Department Chair or the Program Coordinator.

Kentucky Philosophical Association (KPA):

--Papers for the annual meeting are generally due late Jan.-early February.

Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS):

--The annual meeting is mid- November.

Anthropologists & Sociologists of Kentucky (ASK):

--The next annual meeting is April 23, 2016and abstract submissions are due March 1, 2016.

*The SAP Department Award Banquet will be held on April 27, 2016 5pm, and awards will be presented.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ned Block on consciousness

Daniel Tippens interviews philosopher Ned Block about his work on the relationship between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness.
So the one that I’m most interested in is what I call phenomenal consciousness, which some people cash out as the redness of red, what it’s like to see or smell or hear, that internal experience that you get when you have a sensation or images in your mind. That’s what I call phenomenal consciousness. Now, I think that’s something we share with animals — certainly other mammals. And you know I believe that it does not require language or much in the way of cognition — maybe nothing in the way of cognition.

Another sense of conscious and consciousness is the one in which we are conscious of things. We are conscious of our own thoughts. We can be conscious of our pains, of our perceptions. That involves some notion of monitoring, some feedback and maybe some awareness of yourself. So that is another notion. That’s called monitoring consciousness or self-consciousness.

Another idea is what I call access consciousness. And that’s when you have an episode of phenomenal consciousness and it is available to your cognitive systems. So you can think about it. You can reason about it. So you smell a certain smell — smoke. And that fact of your smelling smoke can be used by you to think about calling the fire department, or to think about investigating the source of the smoke. That’s what I call access consciousness.
Ned Block on phenomenal consciousness, part I | Scientia Salon

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Reviving the Female Canon

Émilie Du Châtelet is just one of many important historically important female philosophers.
In his first work, published in 1747, Immanuel Kant cites the ideas of another philosopher: a scholar of Newton, religion, science, and mathematics. The philosopher, whose work had been translated into several languages, is Émilie Du Châtelet. Yet despite her powerhouse accomplishments—and the shout-out from no less a luminary than Kant—her work won’t be found in the 1,000-plus pages of the new edition of The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. In the anthology, which claims to trace 2,400 years of philosophy, the first female philosopher doesn’t appear until the section on writing from the mid-20th century. Or in any of the other leading anthologies used in university classrooms, scholars say.
Reviving the Female Canon - The Atlantic

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Congratulations 2015 SAP Student Award Winners!

SAP Departmental Student Awards


Brittany High


Helena Sizemore


Helena Sizemore


Aaron Jacobson


Nicholas Thaxton


Kaitlyn Ragland


Lauren James        Caitlin Harrah


David Perez


Rachel Ellison


Caitlin Harrah


Mark Kennedy


Jim Fletcher


Jenni Cattran        Nicollette Carmack


Jonathan Cordova


Cory Clark        Ashley Poe

Student Award Winners for 2015 SAP Photo Essay Contest:

Zachary Nothstine
Kaitlyn Ragland
Lindsey Meador
Jack Lowe
Andrea Carter

Student Award Winners for 2015 SAP Undergraduate Photo Essay Project:

Tara Pennington
Stefan Kienzle
Kaitlyn Ragland
Nicole Crawford

Congratulations to all of the winners and to all graduates this year!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations to all our philosophy and religious studies students who are graduating this semester.

  • Nicollette Carmack, Philosophy Major, Academic Excellence in Philosophy Award, Phi Sigma Tau
  • Jonathan Cordova, Philosophy Major, Accomplished Student In Philosophy Award
  • Jim Fletcher, Philosophy Major, Religious Studies Minor, Outstanding Student in Religious Studies Award
  • Jared Laughlin, Philosophy Major
  • Maxwell Spangler, Philosophy Major
  • Samuel McMillin, Philosophy Minor
  • Alex Deters, Religious Studies Minor

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nigel Warburton –Cosmopolitanism

It’s not just me, you and everyone we know. Citizens of the world have moral obligations to a wider circle of humanity.
Nigel Warburton –Cosmopolitanism

You can read more about Cosmopolitanism at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. See also this interview with Kwame Anthony Appiah at Mother Jones.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations.

Test your moral intuitions against these variations of the famous Trolley Problem. Here's one:
There’s an out of control trolley speeding towards Immanuel Kant. You have the ability to pull a lever and change the trolley’s path so it hits Jeremy Bentham instead. Jeremy Bentham clutches the only existing copy of Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. Kant holds the only existing copy of Bentham’s The Principles of Morals and Legislation. Both of them are shouting at you that they have recently started to reconsider their ethical stances.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Lesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations.

You can find yet another variation here.