Kevin Zanelotti, Ph.D.

Photo of Kevin Zanelotti, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

Office: Carnegie Hall 212

Phone: (618) 537-6896


Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Kentucky (2003)

Philosophy & Neuroscience, University of Toronto (1997-1998)

M.A., Philosophy, University of Kentucky (1997)

B.A., Philosophy, Goucher College (1995) degree with distinction

Personal Quote

“Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (1787)

Teaching Interest

The history of philosophy, the intersection of philosophy and other disciplines (especially neuroscience, biology, and the cognitive sciences), logic, and applied ethics.

Research Interests

My research focuses on (a) 19th century German philosophy (Kant and Fichte, especially), (b) philosophical pedagogy (the teaching of philosophy); and applied ethics (especially concerning how science and technology impact our lives and public policy).


“Judaism, Where are You? A Philosophical Investigation of Faith and the Ethics of Laughter,” in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philosophy, ed. Mark Ralkowsk (Open Court Press, forthcoming in 2013).

“Enhancing Student Learning through Web-Based Assignments,” in Teaching Philosophy 34, no, 4 (2011): 373-391.

"How Not To Read Fichte's Anweisung zum seligen Leben: Against the Mystical Reading," in Tom Rockmore and Daniel Breazeale, eds., After Jena: New Essays on Fichte’s Later Philosophy (Northwestern University Press, 2008).

“Taking Motivation Seriously: Proposals for Overcoming Student Resistance to Critical Thinking Courses,” in Teaching Philosophy 29, no. 3 (2006): 245-263.


“The Ethics and Politics of Licensing Parents” (Washington University, October 2012)

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Web 2.0: Enhancing Student Learning through Web-Based Assignments,” presented at the Focus on Teaching Conference at the University of Missouri—St. Louis (November 11, 2011)

"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”).

Teaching Philosophy

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. While not every philosophy student will pursue graduate studies in philosophy, the skills I strive to nurture (reasoning, argument, questioning assumptions, etc.) are crucial for any endeavor a student might undertake.

Committees & Memberships

Chair, Faculty Grievance Committee (McKendree University)

Faculty Evaluation Committee (McKendree University)

Undergraduate Council (McKendree University)

American Philosophical Association

Central States Philosophical Association

Southwest Philosophical Association

North American Kant Society

North American Fichte Society