Phillip Ricks

PR
Visiting Assistant Professor
Office: 
252 English Philosophy Building
Phone: 
Office Hours: 
Monday and Wednesday 2:30-4:15
Research Interests: 

AOS: Social and Political Philosophy, Wittgenstein, Environmental Ethics. AOC: Ethics, Critical Thinking, Symbolic Logic

PhD Dissertation Title: “A Theory of Resistance.” Supervisors: Asha Bhandary and David Stern. Examination committee members: Jovana Davidovic, Gregory Landini, Carrie Swanson.

Dissertation Abstract: The dissertation attempts to answer the question of how to theorize resistance from within the philosophy of social science. To answer this question we must consider more than just the philosophy of social science; we also must look to political and moral philosophy. Resistance to the social norms of one’s community is possible to theorize from within the philosophy of social science once we develop a sufficiently nuanced account of social and moral communities (which involves identifying political and moral elements in community formation, reformation, and transformation), according to which membership in a community is not defined by sharing judgments, conceptual frameworks, or comprehensive worldviews, but by sharing terms of discourse so that discussion about judgments, conceptual frameworks, and comprehensive worldviews is possible. Understanding the structure of one’s moral community is not the same as to endorsing that structure. This suggests that contestation is already present within communities about what ‘we’ do, up to and including who ‘we’—as a ‘community’—are. Challenging communitarian understandings of what makes a community a community (usually construed as ‘cultures’, understood somewhat monolithically), I argue that communities are best understood as forming around common concerns or perceptions of problems (sometimes veridical, sometimes not). This contestation plays a major role in determining the identities of communities, and these identities are constantly shifting.

Education

2017 (August/December). PhD, Philosophy. Graduate College, University of Iowa.
Thesis defended successfully August 14, 2017. Degree to be awarded December 2017.

2015. Master of Arts, Philosophy. Graduate College, University of Iowa.
Examination Committee: Asha Bhandary, Jovana Davidovic, Gregory Landini, David G. Stern, Carrie Swanson.

2012. Certificate in German Translation. Metropolitan State University of Denver. Supervisor: Gudrun Clay.

2010. Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy. Metropolitan State University of Denver. Thesis Title: “Does Kant Think It Possible to Create the Kingdom of Ends in ‘This’ World?” Supervisor: Adam Graves.

Digital Humanities Work

The University of Iowa Tractatus Map. Edited by David Stern, Phillip Ricks and Landon Elkind. 2016. The first Tractatus website to map the book’s overall structure, and the only one to provide parallel access to earlier versions of that text in the Prototractatus. <http://tractatus.lib.uiowa.edu/>

Teaching Experience

2017 Fall Term. Introduction to Ethics. Course Supervisor: Richard Fumerton. I serve as a discussion section leader for discussion sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2017 Fall Term. Meaning of Life. Course Supervisor: David Cunning. I serve as a discussion section leader for discussion sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2017 Summer Term. Principles of Reasoning. Primary Instructor. In my role as Primary Instructor for this course, I was responsible for writing the course syllabus, choosing the text, arranging the lectures, and the creation of assignments and assessments.

2015 Spring Term. Principles of Reasoning. Course Superviror: David Stern. I served as the primary instructor for my sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2014 Fall Term. Principles of Reasoning. Course Supervisor: Gregory Landini. I served as the primary instructor for my sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2014 Spring Term. Philosophy and the Just Society. Course Supervisor: Richard Fumerton. I served as a discussion section leader for discussion sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2013 Fall Term. Meaning of Life. Course Supervisor: David Cunning. I served as a discussion section leader for discussion sections, using a syllabus created by the course supervisor.

2011-2012. Community College of Denver. Developer and leader, college preparation workshops, including preparation for entrance examinations.

2010-2012. College Drive Test Prep. Tutor, ACT, SAT, Study Skills.

2010-2012. Community College of Denver. Tutor in reading, mathematics, philosophy, grammar, and composition.

2007-2010. Metropolitan State University. Tutor in mathematics and philosophy.

Presentations

2016 November. Invited Talk: “Presenting the University of Iowa Tractatus Map.” Share Your Scholarship Series. University of Iowa Librararies, University of Iowa.

2016 November. Invited Keynote Address: “Nonviolent Resistance in the Context of Theories of Social Practice.” Distinguished Graduate Speaker. The University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Annual Conference.

2016 September. Invited Talk: “How Was the Tractatus Meant to Be Read? Mapping the Paths of the Tractatus.” Philosophy Speaker Series. McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Co-Hosted by the Department of Philosophy and the Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship at McMaster University.

2016 June. Refereed Conference Talk: “How Was the Tractatus Meant to Be Read? Walking the Paths of the Tractatus.” Society for the Study of the History of Analytic Philosophy (SSHAP) Annual Conference. Hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver. Denver, Colorado.

2016 June. Invited Talk: “Common Justifications of Civil Disobedience.” The Iowa Lyceum, a week-long philosophy summer school for high school students that takes place at The University of Iowa.

2014 March. Refereed Conference Talk: “Questions in Environmental Ethics.” The 16th Annual James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. Presented by the Graduate College of the University of Iowa.

2013 November. Non-Refereed Conference Talk: “Questions in Environmental Ethics.” University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Annual Fall Conference.

2012 December. Non-Refereed Conference Talk: “‘Is It Even Any Use To Observe Myself?’ Wittgenstein and William James on Introspection.” University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Annual Fall Conference.

2011 April. Refereed Conference Talk: “Does Kant Think It Possible to Create the Kingdom of Ends in ‘This’ World?” Second Annual Philosophy Conference, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Self and Communty: Global and Multicultural Perspectives.

2008 April. Invited panelist, “What Is Meaning?” Metro State Honors Conference. Metropolitan State University of Denver. Denver, Colorado.

Fellowships, Grants and Prizes

2016-2017 Academic Year. Presidential Seashore and Ballard Dissertation Fellowship. $20,000 spread out over one academic year. This fellowship is administered by the Graduate College of the University of Iowa.

2016 November. Distinguished Graduate Speaker. (Peer recognition for best presentation in the graduate student salon series at the University of Iowa Department of Philosophy for the 2015-2016 academic year. Recipients are asked to serve as the Graduate Keynote Speaker of the University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Fall Conference.)

Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship. $59,500 spread between two full academic years (at $18,500 each) and four summers (at $5,500 each). This fellowship is administered by the Graduate College of the University of Iowa.

I have also received travel grants from The University of Iowa Graduate and Professional Student Government (in 2017), and the University of Iowa Graduate Student Senate (in 2016).

Academic and editorial activities

2017. University of Iowa. Research Assistant for David G. Stern and Hans Sluga, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

2015. Participant, Obermann Summer Seminar. Wittgenstein’s Lectures, 1930-1933: Text and Context. Faculty Director: Professor David Stern, University of Iowa Department of Philosophy. <https://clas.uiowa.edu/philosophy/resources/summer-seminar-wittgensteins...

Events Organized

2013. University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Annual Fall Conference. I wrote the Call for Papers, arranged the Keynote Address by Sarah Paul, created the conference schedule, and reserved classrooms for the conference.

2011. Self and Community: Global and Multicultural Perspectives (Philosophy Conference). Metropolitan State University of Denver, Second Annual Philosophy Conference. Sponsored by the Metro State Philosophy Club, Institute for Women’s Studies and Services, Iota Iota Iota Alpha Chapter, and Feminist Alliance. I served on the paper review committee, volunteered at the welcome table, and assisted with securing catering and refreshments.

2010. Environmental Ethics (Philosophy Conference). Metropolitan State University of Denver, First Annual Philosophy Conference. Denver, Colorado. I secured funding for the conference, assisted in the selection of and arrangements for the Keynote Speaker Holmes Rolston III, helped write the Call for Papers, served on the review committee, and reserved classrooms for the conference. As a result of this conference and our other activities, the Metro State Philosophy Club received the Roadrunner Spirit Award in 2010 (an award given to outstanding student organizations at Metropolitan State University of Denver).

Services

2015-2016. Graduate Student Senator, representing the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iowa.

2015-2016. Social Event Chair, Campaign to Organize Graduate Students (UE Local 896/COGS).

2014-2015. Vice President, University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society.

2013-2014. President, University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society.

2012-Present. Conference Committee Member, University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Fall and Spring Conferences.

2009-2010. Vice President, Metro State Philosophy Club.

2007-2009. President, Metro State Philosophy Club.

Non-Academic Activities and Services

2017. Co-creator, curator, and organizer, Middle of Nowhere Music Fest. Downtown Iowa City. In my various roles I booked artists and venues, secured marketing materials and marketing agents, worked with various local organizations, including media outlets (radio, television, local newspapers), and was responsible for making accommodations for artists.

2016-2017. Underwriting Director, KRUI 89.7FM. (The University of Iowa’s student-run radio station, under the auspices of Student Broadcasters Incorporated.)

2015-Present. DJ, KRUI 89.7FM. (The University of Iowa’s student-run radio station, under the auspices of Student Broadcasters Incorporated.)