Upcoming Events


Congratulations to Austin Kruse on his Phi Kappa Phi fellowship! Austin will be employing his philosophical skills at beginning this fall. We'll miss his presence at Rationalitea—Northwestern doesn't know how lucky they are (yet)!

Professor Jon Mahoney wins Faculty Development Award

Professor Jon Mahoney has won an Faculty Development Award to support travel to North Macedonia. While there, Jon will deliver a keynote address on "Illiberalism and Religious Freedom" at the First World Conference for Religious Dialogue and Cooperation in October, 2023.

Two major contributions to the Tilghman fund

The Department is pleased to announce two contributions to the Tilghman Fund. The Tilghman fund was established in honor of Ben Tilghman, in 2016 by Patrick McFadden, an alumnus and student of Ben Tilghman’s, and Patrick’s wife, Elaine Frangedakis. The fund supports research by faculty and undergraduates, especially in aesthetics and Wittgensteinian philosophy of language, the fields in which Ben worked. We have just recently received a $10,000 gift from Patrick and Elaine, continuing their decades long support of Philosophy at Kansas State. Ben and his wife Marilyn have, since Ben’s retirement, also generously supported the department and it students. Continuing that tradition, Ben’s family has made a $10,000 gift to the Tilghman fund. Beyond the scholarships, talks and conference presentations underwritten by the Tilghman fund, we were able in 2019 to host an aesthetics conference—Aesthetics on the Prairie—in Ben’s honor. These two contributions will go a long way toward underwriting another such, providing our students a greater exposure to philosophers working at the forefront of those philosophic traditions closest to Ben’s heart. And they will underwrite our continued efforts to keep our financially struggling students enrolled to completion of their philosophy degrees. We are immensely grateful to Partick, Elaine and the Tilghman family for support and good wishes. Thank you one and all!

Ben Tilghman, In Memorium

The Department of Philosophy is deeply saddened to report the passing of Professor Emeritus and former Head, Ben Tilghman.

Ben Tilghman - Photograph Benjamin Ross Tilghman was born in St. Louis, Mo. in 1927. He received his BA degree from Washington University in 1950 and his MA degree in 1954. His Ph.D. is from the University of Washington. He taught at Reed College, Western State College of Colorado, the University of Wyoming, and from 1967 to his retirement in 1994 at Kansas State University. He was department head there from 1967 to 1980, establishing and building the Department’s strong research reputation.

Ben is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marilyn, a son, Ross, a daughter, Carla, and three grandchildren.

Ben’s interest in the philosophy department and its students at Kansas State University was everlasting. He often contributed to a fund for scholarships for students, called the “Tilghman Excellence Fund,” set up in Ben’s name by several former students. And significantly, he was instrumental in helping faculty establish, explore, and excel in their philosophical interests.

While at the University of Washington he was introduced to the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein whose conception of philosophy continued to be the primary influence on this work. His interests were largely in aesthetics and the philosophy of art although he has “dabbled” (his word) in philosophy of religion, humorous philosophical short stories, and translations of works in French literature. Those who knew Ben will miss his keen intellect, curiosity, and wit.

His major publications include But is it Art? (1984), Wittgenstein, Ethics and Aesthetics (1991), An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (1993), The Expression of Emotion in the Visual Arts (2012), and Reflections on Aesthetic Judgment (2017). He was also author of numerous essays exploring Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy and its indirect influence in aesthetics.

Mahoney Offers Seminars at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Mahoney at KNU - image 1Mahoney at KNU - image 2

Professor Jon Mahoney gave seminars on toleration and religious freedom to students and faculty in December 2022 at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. While there Jon met Ph.D. students who he will assist as a foreign faculty mentor. Jon also discussed teaching and research practices in the humanities with faculty and administrators.

CARNAP strikes again!

Graham Leach-Krouse's CARNAP framework for logic and formal language training is in the news again, having just been named one of the best 21 open-source Haskell projects by Serokell. You can read about their review here: https://serokell.io/blog/best-haskell-open-source-projects.

Recurring Events


During the Fall and Spring semesters, we meet (almost) every Thursday at 3:30pm, in the picnic area in front of Dickens, or in Dickens 201 for Rationali-tea. Drink tea, eat cookies, and chat with faculty, staff, and students from the philosophy department. All are welcome!

For the most recent department newsletter, Philosophy Dept Newsletter June 2022.