Department of Philosophy

  • Bioethics Bowl team wins National Championship

    UAB students led their team to victory, bringing home the National Championship title for the third time in eight years.

  • Celebrate Women's History Month with the women who shape UAB

    From traveling to Antarctica to publishing children’s books, from taking biology educational tools to India to planting pollinator gardens on campus, women have been integral to shaping UAB’s reputation its 50-year history. As part of its annual coverage of Women’s History Month, the UAB Reporter has gathered examples of its more recent coverage of women at UAB.

  • Ethics Bowl debate team wins second place at Nationals

    The team competed against 35 other teams at the 23rd National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.

  • Celebrate 23 books authored by Arts and Sciences faculty in 2018

    This past year, CAS faculty wrote books on everything from technology in James Bond fiction to globalism in higher education.

  • Faculty save students $1.1 million on course materials

    By creating online assets in Canvas, using rental textbooks or older editions and seeking out free online resources, 17 UAB faculty, powered by AIM grants, have saved students more than $1.1 million on instructional materials.

  • Ethics Bowl Debate team goes national

    UAB students advance to next level of debates after four-round winning streak at the Southeast Regionals in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Changed by a baby boy: Adoption sets philosopher on path to celebrating a world of differences

    Philosophy’s Brynn Welch turned a real-life experience into practical change — first through scholarly research, then a children’s book and now the classroom.

  • Cultural acceptance spreads through student-led social media campaign, #StrengtheningCulturalConsciousness

    Miss UAB 2018 encourages peers to share stories of their own culture or culture of their peers through social media awareness campaign.

  • Author and New York Times columnist Anthony Appiah will speak at UAB

    Anthony Appiah, Ph.D., will discuss living a moral life in the modern age on March 1.

  • BMEN program at UAB celebrates 10 years

    A peer mentoring group for black male students, BMEN is designed to provide academic and social support to those entering UAB.

  • Blazer Innovation Challenge student winners announced in “Shark Tank”-style competition

    Three students have been awarded funding to pursue innovative ideas.

  • UAB Ethics Bowl team will compete for national title

    The UAB Ethics Bowl debate team beat 16 teams in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl to advance to the national competition.

  • Nine Departments Welcome New Faculty Members

    This fall, new faculty members join the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Department of English, the Department of Music, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Theatre.

    Communication Studies

    Computer Science

    Criminal Justice




    Social Work



    • Dr. Roy Lightner, Assistant Professor

  • Philosophy graduate Amanda Keller creates a place where everyone feels accepted

    Amanda Keller is the director of the Magic City Acceptance Center, an AIDS Outreach program designed to provide a safe and supportive space for LBGTQ youth.

  • Ryan Wong and Yulianna Jimenez win Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition

    Started in 1981, the Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition is one of UAB’s longest-standing Homecoming traditions.

  • UAB breaks ground on new Arts and Sciences Building

    The state-of-the-art $39.5 million building, which will be located on the corner of 10th Avenue South and 14th Street South, is a result of the rapid growth of UAB’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • Faculty Spotlight: Kevin McCain, Associate Professor

    Since he graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester in 2012, Kevin McCain has been on a tear.

    Since he graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester in 2012, Kevin McCain has been on a tear. He has published two books written solely by himself, Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification (Routledge) and The Nature of Scientific Knowledge: An Epistemological Approach (Springer). He has also co-edited an anthology for Oxford University Press, New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. He has two co-authored books under contract: What is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science (Routledge) and Uncertainty: How It Makes Science Advance (Oxford University Press). The latter two books should be out in 2019.

    Kevin has also written 18 essays and book chapters in top-tier journals and presses. A fan of popular culture, he has published essays on Dr. Who, Dungeons and Dragons, and co-edited Red Rising and Philosophy: Break the Chains.

    Kevin has become one of the most popular professors in the Philosophy Department, having taught The Meaning of Life, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy in Film, in addition to Introduction to Philosophy and Capstone Seminars for senior majors.

    For three years, he has also run the Philosophy Club, which meets every other Friday afternoon and engages in lively debates on popular topics.

    This June, UAB promoted Kevin to Associate Professor with tenure.

  • Four UAB students take summer studies abroad through Gilman Scholarship

    Four UAB students are spending the summer studying abroad after being selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

  • Florence High School graduate Allen Mao’s path to medical school

    Chemistry and philosophy classes, a neuro-oncology lab, hospital volunteer work, and the TKE fraternity were all UAB steppingstones for the first-generation American and Florence High School graduate.

  • Undergraduate Neuroscience Program's Outstanding Seniors: Celeste Fong

    Celeste Fong, a senior majoring in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, writes about her experiences in the program and at UAB.

    Celeste Fong, a senior majoring in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, writes about her experiences in the program and at UAB.

    Whether you read any of the other senior spotlights, or saw my picture and noticed I was Asian, it will probably come as no surprise when I say I came to UAB with the hopes of becoming a physician. Choosing my major, I didn’t put too much thought into what I would study. My cousin decided to major in neuroscience and suggested I join her, so I did. I thought, “Courtney is much smarter than me. It must be the right choice!” Neuroscience was different and exciting, but when I met with Dr. Carl McFarland I learned that the UNP was more than just that, and being a part of the neuroscience family would provide me with the best undergraduate experience possible.

    When I came to UAB I realized there were so many opportunities that I had yet to be introduced to, and I wondered if there were fields apart from medicine that I might be better suited for. I stepped away from the conventional route and began to do some exploring. I became involved in Dr. Qin Wang’s neurobiology lab where I researched the interaction of a2A adrenergic G-protein coupled receptors during the formation of Ab plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. This was my first foray into the field of neuroscience, and I was blown away! I had never comprehended how complex and mysterious the brain truly was, and I was fascinated by the information I learned in both the lab and my neuroscience classes.

    I am glad that the UNP and University Honors Program provided a curriculum that encouraged me to explore other avenues. I was able to take art studio electives and receive minors in chemistry, Chinese, and philosophy. Outside of classes, I had the chance to be an international mentor for many of UAB’s international students, serve as co-chair for UHP’s recruitment committee for two years, and, with the help of Dr. Cristin Gavin, start a fun UNP blog. Outside of the university, I participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s undergraduate internship program, where I worked for two summer semesters at Brookhaven National Lab in New York. There, I interned in the Sustainable Energy Technologies Department, quite a step away from my predominantly biomedical background. I found that I had the skills to learn and succeed in an entirely novel field, and I gained the confidence to pursue different opportunities, even if they were outside of my comfort zone.

    Despite my love for science, we could never be exclusive. The University Honors Program was my chance to take a break from science, do a one-eighty, and incorporate a liberal arts curriculum into my education. I read War & Peace (talk about a real accomplishment), took nine-hour essay exams, and had a seminar about aliens. I learned to approach my studies from an interdisciplinary perspective, and soon found myself needing more from the strict science classes. Philosophy allowed me to gain the deeper understanding of neuroscience, and science as a whole, that I craved. This has easily become the most impactful experience of my undergraduate career. It taught me to love learning for the sake of learning and inspired me to alter my post-graduate plans.

    My time at UAB has been filled with the most random, meaningful experiences. I can’t thank the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program and University Honors Program enough for their support in my various endeavors. Following my graduation, I will attend Emory University to study for a Master of Arts in Bioethics, and obtaining a neuroscience degree has influenced me to pursue neuroethics as my main research interest. The education I have received has done nothing but scratch the surface of the neuroscience field, yet it has been invaluable. I knew I was right to choose the neuroscience major four years ago! I mean, technically Courtney was right, although I did call it so who’s really the smart one here?