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CIE Researcher of Distinction, October 2014

Miles HentrupMiles Hentrup 2014

Each month, the Center for Inclusive Education showcases the outstanding research being conducted by one of our talented scholars in our Research Cafe series. In addition, we recognize this scholar as a Researcher of Distinction and share the details of their journey to becoming an accomplished scholar. This month's Researcher of Distinction is Miles Hentrup, Ph.D. candidate in the department of Philosophy. Miles presented his talk, "Hegel and Skepticism" on Friday, October 3rd, 2014.

Miles's Path Into Research

Miles Hentrup was born in Los Angeles, California. He moved out of the city with his family when he was young to a small town in rural Oregon. As a high school student in Eugene, Oregon, he took a casual interest in academics. Passing his time with his own writing projects, it wasn’t until the end of his freshman year in college at the University of Oregon that Miles discovered his love of philosophy. It was a class on Ancient Philosophy that first revealed to him the depth of thinking characteristic of the discipline. Inspired further by the lively academic atmosphere of a research institution, Miles went on to develop a strong passion for research, culminating in a Master’s thesis at the University of Oregon on Marxist crisis theory. 

Miles's Current Research

Describe the work you will be presenting for your Research Café.

For the Research Café, I presented a section from the first chapter of my dissertation. This chapter focuses on how two philosophers, Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel, have responded to skepticism’s challenge concerning the possibility of knowledge. As I explain in my dissertation, I find Hegel’s response to this age-old problem of philosophy particularly insightful. While many philosophers today argue that skepticism must be wholly refuted in order for philosophy to proceed, Hegel argues for the need to ground the skeptic’s concerns in an expansive metaphysical system. 

Are there any other projects that you are currently working on?

The dissertation is definitely my focus right now. However, I also have two other side projects right now that both deal with skepticism in the context of Early Modern philosophy – one article that I am writing on Descartes and one article I am co-authoring on Spinoza. 

What was the deciding factor for you to come to Stony Brook for your graduate studies?

Coming from a large research institution for my Master's degree, I recognized that Stony Brook University would offer me the kind of lively intellectual community that I find very inspiring for my work. The philosophy program at Stony Brook is also very well-known and very well regarded by philosophers in the United States and abroad. These factors were very important for me in deciding upon Stony Brook over other programs that had made me offers. 

What are your future goals?

My career goal is to find a teaching position at a place that supports my research where I have friendly, supportive colleagues. More importantly, though, my goal is to lead a virtuous life- one that is fulfilling insofar as it contributes to the betterment of our society.

What do you enjoy most about research?

For me, having time for research means having more time to do what I really love about philosophy. I love to think, and I enjoy reading and writing insofar as they allow me to think more deeply about the questions that first drew me to the discipline.