Dr. Kevin Zanelotti
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Office: CAR 105
Phone: (618) 537-6896
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Kentucky (2003)
M.A., Philosophy, University of Kentucky (1997)
B.A., Philosophy, Goucher College (1995) degree with distinction
"The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find…that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never traveled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect. “ (Bertrand Russell, The Value of Philosophy)
The history of philosophy, the intersection of philosophy and other disciplines (especially psychology, biology, and the cognitive sciences), and logic.
My research focuses on (a) 19th century German philosophy, (b) investigations regarding the nature of consciousness, and (c) applied philosophy (such as biomedical ethics and professional ethics)
"How Not To Read Fichte's Anweisung zum seligen Leben: Against the Mystical Reading," in Tom Rockmore and Daniel Breazeale, eds., New Essays on Fichte's Later Wissenschaftslehre (Forthcoming from Northwestern University Press, 2007).
“Taking Motivation Seriously: Proposals for Overcoming Student Resistance to Critical Thinking Courses,” in Teaching Philosophy 29, no. 3 (2006: 245-263).
"Spinoza and the Antinomy of Promissory Obligation," in Southwest Philosophy Review 17, no. 1 (2001): 69-77.
"Kant, Systematic Unity, and the interests of Reason," presented at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (December 30, 2003; Washington, D.C.).
"On the 'Idea' of Kant's System of Philosophy," presented at the Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (April 24-27, 2002; Chicago, Illinois). Awarded an APA Graduate Student Travel Stipend (for a paper of “outstanding merit”).
Philosophy is more than an academic discipline - it is an essential element of living a self-reflective life. As such, I strive to share my enthusiasm for the philosophical way of life with my students and to provide them with the skills and tools necessary to make that way of life as fruitful, creative, and rigorous as possible.
Committees and Memberships
General Education Committee
American Philosophical Association
Central States Philosophical Association
Southwest Philosophical Association
North American Kant Society
North American Fichte Society
Reviewer for Longman Publisher
Editorial work on the Newsletter of the North American Fichte Society