Kristopher G. Phillips, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
I joined the philosophy faculty at Eastern Michigan University in the fall of 2023 after having taught at Southern Utah University for nine years. Having studied at Central and Western Michigan, and having taught at Northern Michigan, I'm excited to have completed my "affiliation-tour" of directional-Michigan universities by coming to EMU.
I am an avid fan of all things Detroit - it's one of the best cities in the world - no question. I enjoy baking, cooking, cycling, listening to records, making and drinking coffee, literature, tattoos, and especially burritos.
I am trained as an early-modernist in European philosophy (17th and 18th century) with an emphasis on Descartes. Currently my research interests lie at the intersection of metaphilosophy, the philosophy of education, and early modern philosophy. I'm developing a book manuscript that draws from figures such as Margaret Cavendish, Rene Descartes, Adam Smith, David Hume, Mary Wollstonecraft, and a few other early modern European figures in order to make a case for the importance of a well-rounded, philosophically-grounded education as a public good.
I am also working on projects in virtue education, metaphilosophy, Rene Descartes' connection to late-medieval mystical traditions, and Mary Shepherd's philosophy of time.
I am the Editor-in-Chief of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice; an open-access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing high-quality interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of public-facing issues and philosophical education (which we take to be a form of public-philosophy).
Click the button below for helpful resources, information on the classes I'm teaching this term, student hours, and more on my approach to philosophy pedagogy.
Grounded in a view of philosophy that sees the discipline as intrinsically dialogical in nature, and understanding education to be aimed principally at the cultivation of more virtuous people (along intellectual, moral, and civic lines), I seek to create a classroom environment that is collaborative, rigorous, mutually supportive. As students progress through a philosophy program, it makes sense to offer them more autonomy in their approach to the courses. All of my courses involve some interactive lecture – students don’t know what they don’t know. As they progress through the program and develop the skills necessary to think and write philosophically, I offer them more control over the direction of the course, over how they are assessed in terms of their learning and understanding, and even over course content. Encouraging students to take control of see their education as more than a means to a career is my ultimate goal, and I believe philosophy is uniquely suited to help them do exactly that.