Skip to main content


Photo: Dr. Kayla Bohannon (PhD 2022)

In 1929, the UK Department of Philosophy consisted of a single Professor, Dr. John Kuiper. In 1946, it became a two-person department, and by 1969 the it had a faculty of seven. The department continued to expand over the years, such that by the early 1990's it consisted of fifteen full time faculty - roughly about as many as there are at present day.

Although the University of Kentucky had been awarding B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy since the 1930's, it did not grant its first Ph.D. until 1986. This reflected a decision on the part of the University in the late 1960's to begin a serious and systematic upgrade of the Philosophy faculty, with the explicit goal of eventually instituting a full-fledged Ph.D. program. The first stage of this gradual and deliberate process of expansion began in 1969 with an aggressive new round of faculty hiring.

The department admitted its first Ph.D. student in 1981, and by the mid-1990's the graduate program no longer offered a terminal M.A. - all graduate students are enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

Ours is an exceptionally diverse faculty, with an unusually wide variety of research specialties and teaching interests. This reflects our long-standing, collective commitment to being a genuinely pluralistic department and to exposing our undergraduate and graduate students to a broad range of philosophical traditions, approaches, and areas of concentration.

All of the current members of our faculty are fully engaged in ongoing and productive research programs.  Several of our late- and mid-career faculty members enjoy international reputations in their respective fields and our mid- and early-career faculty includes many exceptionally talented and promising scholars.  At present, our faculty consists of seven Professors, seven Associate Professors, two Assistant Professors, one lecturer, and about 20 funded graduate students.