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Jack Furlong

Professor of Philosophy; Program Director

Haupt Humanities 206
Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

Phone: (859) 233-8160
e-mail Jack Furlong


“I believe I’m of best use to my students when I encourage, provoke, and deepen their own understanding, and push them to take intellectual risks.”

Philosophy professor Jack Furlong readily admits that his discipline is sometimes considered "an elite delicacy to be indulged in only when one has declared a 'real' major."

But that attitude fails to take into account what philosophers are really good for, he says. "Philosophy doesn't solve problems, but it coaxes one to examine why we think the problems we claim to solve are problems in the first place, how we can develop fresher and deeper questions about the problems, and how problems connect to each other in unexpected ways.

"To be quaint and dull, philosophy makes you think critically," Furlong continues. "To be less quaint and dull, it makes you think continually and to always connect."

Furlong's classes are never quaint or dull. His teaching expertise is legendary at Transylvania and among outside organizations that have recognized him with major honors including the Danforth Associates Teaching Award, the 2000 Acorn Award as Kentucky's Teacher of the Year, and the 2002 Kentucky Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Furlong thinks deeply about the philosophy of contemporary political, social, and cultural problems. This has led him to team-teach interdisciplinary classes such as bioethics, cognitive science, and moral psychology. "I believe that faculty should explore beyond their disciplines," he says. "Our program naturally fits the liberal arts mission."


Want to know more about Transylvania's philosophy program?

Academic history

Courses taught

Recent publications

Awards

Areas of research

Academic history

  • Ph.D., philosophy, The Catholic University of America, 1982
  • M.A., philosophy, The Catholic University of America, 1972
  • B.A., philosophy and psychology, Bellarmine University, 1968

Courses taught

  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Ancient Chinese Thought
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Recent Philosophy
  • First-Year Seminar
  • Team-taught courses

Recent publications

  • Scientific Psychology or Hermeneutics? Richard Rortys Philosophy of Mind, anthologized in Richard Rorty, edited by James Tartaglia, Volume Two: Philosophy of Mind, Routledge
  • Reenchanting Confucius, chapter in, Teaching Confucius. Oxford University Press, 2008

Awards

  • 2002: Case Kentucky Professor of the Year
  • 2000: Acorn Award: Kentucky Teacher of the Year
  • 1989: Bingham Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 1981: Danforth Associates Teaching Award

Areas of research

  • Recent continental philosophy
  • Philosophy of cognitive science
  • Moral psychology
  • Bioethics


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