Jeremy Kirby

Jeremy Kirby, associate professor of philosophy, Albion College


Associate Professor of Philosophy

B.A., 2000, University of Utah; M.A., 2003, University of Utah; Ph.D., 2005, Florida State University.

E-mail:
Office: Vulgamore Hall, Room 216
Phone: 517/629-0353

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Jeremy Kirby has teaching and research interests primarily in the history of philosophy and also in Metaphysics and Philosophical Logic. He enjoys reading Greek and Latin literature. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association (APA).

Publications and Presentations

He has published articles on Aristotle and supervenience physicalism, contextuality and confusability and Socratic Virtues in journals such as the Southwest Philosophical Review and Florida Philosophical Review. He is the author of Aristotle's Metaphysics: Form, Matter, and Identity (Continuum Press, 2008).

He has also presented his research findings at several national conferences such as the annual meetings of the American Philosophical Association, the Southwestern Philosophical Society, the annual meeting of the History of Science Society, and the annual meetings of the Florida Philosophical Association as well at international conferences such as the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology in Austria.

Courses Taught

PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Textual Analysis

Description:
In this course we will survey several fundamental philosophical questions. We will begin with a brief introduction to basic philosophical concepts and the structure of arguments. We will then examine important questions and survey historical and contemporary responses by philosophers to these questions. Some questions to be discussed are: What can I know? Does God exist? Are my actions free? What makes an action morally right or wrong? This course will develop your analytic skills and improve your ability to think and write clearly. It will also allow you to appreciate important historical and contemporary philosophical texts and form your own responses to the fundamental questions mentioned above.

Evaluation:
Sectional examinations, midterm paper and a final paper.

Texts:
Meditations on First Philosophy, by René Descartes. Translated by Donald A. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1998. On the Free Choice of the Will, by St. Augustine. Translated by Thomas Williams, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1993. Readings on the Ultimate Questions. Edited by Nils Rauhut and Reneé Smith. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. A few readings will be obtained online.

PHIL 211 Ancient Philosophy

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Description:
In this course we will evaluate the arguments of the first Socratic, the first Platonist, and the first Aristotelian. We will also take a look at the views of their predecessors. The course will survey the conceptual landscape for Hellenic philosophers in terms of ethics, psychology, politics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Some of the questions that we will concern ourselves with include the following. How is change possible? What is the good life? How is weakness of the will possible? And what conditions need to obtain in order to have knowledge?

PHIL 212 Modern Philosophy

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Description:
In the seventeenth century, philosophers began to loosen the grip that Aristotelian philosophy, theretofore, had exerted upon the sciences. With this philosophical revolution came new proposals for old philosophic difficulties -- issues such as the nature of epistemic warrant, the existence of God, and the nature of the mind. These thinkers, who were following and reacting to the revolutionary ideas of René Descartes, helped shape and influence the way we formulate and grapple with philosophical problems today. And so, herein, we examine the proposals and arguments of those philosophers with whom the labels of Rationalist and Empiricist are primarily associated.

PHIL 214 Twentieth Century Philosophy

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Description:
In this course we will visit and critically assess the views and arguments of Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Logical Positivists, Willard Quine, Donald Davidson, Saul Kripke, and Hillary Putnam. Some of the focal issues to be treated include the nature of meaning and essence, the nature of truth, radical translation and interpretation, and the relationship between science and philosophy.

PHIL 305 History and Philosophy of Science

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Description:
We undertake the project of gaining a better understanding of the nature of science and scientific explanation. Some of the questions we will pursue include the following: What is science? What is scientific explanation? What are the ontological commitments of a scientist? to what extent does the culture of a scientific community affect the scientific results of that community?

PHIL 315 Epistemology

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Description:
A critical examination of work in the theory of knowledge, i.e., classical and contemporary argumentation on skepticism, knowledge, and the justification of belief.

PHIL 380 Aristotle: A Western Foundation

(1 unit)
Humanities Core Credit
Historical & Cultural Analysis

Aristotle may have exercised more influence on our Western intellectual tradition than any other individual. It is simply a fact that, while his predecessors had made use of logic, Aristotle discovered the syllogism. Immanuel Kant could say, in his era, that our understanding of logic had not significantly improved since the time of Aristotle. But it is not for historical reasons, simply, that Aristotle is interesting. Aristotle's philosophy continues to exercise influence today, especially concerning controversies over the nature of existence, identity, the soul, and the way one should live. In this course, we will attempt to understand and evaluate what Aristotle has to say on these matters.