New PhD Students


  • Colby Clark: Before arriving at the University of Kentucky, I earned my B.A. from Wittenberg University and my M.A. from Kent State University (both in philosophy). My interests are primarily tied to the history of philosophy (with an emphasis on metaphysics and ontology). In particular, I spend a great deal of time reading Plato and the pre-Socratics with a somewhat refined, yet still quite broad, ambition to better understand what it means for something to be kata phusin (“according to nature”). In my spare time, I go jogging and practice/read Greek.
  • Tyler DeMunbrun: Originally from Massachusetts, I earned my BA in philosophy from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I was trained in the history of philosophy, and my main interests are ancient and German philosophy. With regards to ancient, I am mostly committed to Plato, but I also greatly admire pre-Socratic and Stoic thought. My interest in German philosophy is focused on Nietzsche and his relevant influences (Kant, Schopenhauer). My other interests include modern philosophers like Spinoza and Hume, and American philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James. I tend to focus on philosophers who take up questions and topics in ethics and political philosophy, philosophy of religion (especially the role of myth in philosophy), and aesthetics. Outside of philosophy I enjoy exercise, reading great literature, and listening to classical music.
  • Clayton Houdeshell: Born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio, I earned my BS as a double major in philosophy and political science from Heidelberg University. I then earned my MA in Private Interests and Public Good at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. My interests include political philosophy and ancient philosophy, especially the works of Plato. I am also intrigued by the work of Alexis de Tocqueville. Outside of philosophy, I enjoy nature and the peace it brings, as well as drawing.
  • John Roso: I'm from Murray, Kentucky and I recently received both my BA (2017) and MA (2018) in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. My interests include Phenomenology, the study of human experience, specifically the works of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty and the study of 19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy more broadly. Environmental Philosophy and emerging digital technologies such as the internet and new media are also areas of philosophical inquiry that I pursue. When not reading or writing philosophical texts, I enjoy cycling, video gaming, and playing chess.
  • Kristian Sheeley: I'm originally from a town in rural Pennsylvania named Greencastle. I completed my B.A. degree in 2017 at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA), where I double-majored in philosophy and English literature. Regarding my research interests in philosophy, I focus on ancient Greek philosophy. Plato is my favorite philosopher. I particularly enjoy his discussions touching on ethics, epistemology, pedagogy, and mysticism, and I explore similar topics via other ancient thinkers such as Aristotle, Plotinus, Seneca, and Augustine. Outside of ancient philosophy, I am drawn to nineteenth century thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. My favorite hobbies include listening to music, reading great literature (especially Shakespeare), skiing, and playing the drums. 


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