Dr. Kirby joined the Philosophy Program in the fall of 2008. The general focus of his teaching and scholarship is in the history of philosophy and comparative thought. Kirby (as his students call him) teaches upper division courses on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, the philosophy of religion, Chinese Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics, as well as several introductory philosophy courses, including the recent offering... Zombies and Philosophy! In his research, he is most interested in thinkers who draw insight from exploring nature - such as Aristotle and the Daoist sage Zhuangzi - as well as more recent thinkers who combine those sorts of insights with scientific and/or aesthetic modes of thought, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Arne Naess, E.O. Wilson... and especially John Dewey.
Kirby also sponsors several clubs on campus: The Transcendental Apathetic (EWU's philosophy club), the Environmental Club, and the Mandarin Chinese Conversation Group. Contact him if you'd like more information on any of these organizations.
Current and Recent Activity:
In 2014, Dr. Kirby published an edited volume of essays with Bloomsbury Press called Dewey and the Ancients: Hellenic and Hellenistic Themes in the Philosophy of John Dewey. He is currently developing an essay on service learning in environmental ethics courses and will be on leave during the fall quarter to draft the first few chapters of a book-length project that traces the philosophical history of the concept of impulse (hormé in Greek, conatus in Latin).
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