A&S Economics Student Presents at Philosophy Conference

By Loretta Stafford

For one University of Kentucky student in the College of Arts and Sciences, a routine class assignment turned into the opportunity to present at one of the most esteemed undergraduate philosophy symposiums in the Midwest.

Earlier this semester, senior Brandon Flynn traveled north to present at the 2017 Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy (UCiP) hosted by Eastern Michigan University. For the past seven years, UCiP has reviewed submissions from undergraduates across the nation and selected the most thought-provoking and creative theses to be defended at the in-person conference.

In “How Morally Hazardous Circumstances Led to the Great Recession,” Flynn analyzes the morality of Wall Street trading practices leading up to the U.S.'s severe economic downturn in 2008. The essay was an assignment for Eric Weber's Business Ethics course. Weber is an associate professor of philosophy.

Flynn, who is an economics major, never imagined presenting at a philosophy conference.

"Dr. Weber had mentioned that some of his students in the past had submitted works to the conference, but I wasn't really confident in my writing, so I was hesitant."

After persistent encouragement and revision help from his professor, Flynn decided it was worth a shot to submit his work. He was pleasantly surprised when he received an acceptance letter and invitation to present from UCiP in January.

At the conference, Flynn joined 23 students from colleges and universities across the nation in presenting topics ranging from feminism to time travel. Each presentation was followed by an extended question and answer period designed to give the audience a chance to provide beneficial feedback that will help the presenter to improve their work. The conference also featured a graduate student panel and a keynote address from Marquette University Associate Professor of Philosophy Theresa Tobin.

As a presenter at this year's UCiP, Flynn will have his philosophy paper considered for inclusion in Acta Cogitata, Eastern Michigan University's undergraduate journal of philosophy.

"It was a really great experience to go to the conference and one that I would have never considered had Dr. Weber not brought this opportunity to my attention."


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue


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