Welcome


During the fall semester, I can be found in Morton Hall 334 between the hours of 12:30-2:15 on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have no official office hours on Tuesdays and Thursday, but I will be available for appointments. If my door is open, you are welcome to come in.

The most reliable and quickest way to contact me is email at heikesd [at] uah [dot] edu, but if you must phone, my number is 824-2335.

About me

July 2014

I have been at UAH since 1998, and I am starting my first semester as Chair of the Philosophy Department. Before that, I received my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my M.A. from Baylor University, and my B.A. from the University of Kansas. I also spent some time at the University of Houston, during which time my primary studies were in art and not philosophy.

Research

My research focuses around problems with rationality and objectivity. I am a defender of both. I am fond of saying things like, “that’s just wrong” or “one ought to think this.” These statements are not necessarily absolutist (there can be grey area in both ethics and epistemology), but I’m not ready to give into relativism just yet. So, I toil away at trying to argue for a conception of objectivity that can allow for subjectivity and to argue for a conception of rationality that can be substantively normative and allow for a great deal of flexibility in empirical content. I have just finished two books on the nature of reason. I also have some papers that do things such as taking philosophical lessons from the empirical sciences of anthropology and psychology and that argue for a virtue conception of rationality as a feminist theory of rationality. I'm now working on a project that develops the idea of rationality as a virtue concept by tracing our understanding of rationality through the pre-modern, modern, and post-modern periods. Ultimately, I supsect that much of post-modern philosophy (widely defined) has a great deal of affinity with pre-modern ideas. This work should be finished Spring 2015, so stay tuned. In addition I sometimes work on a paper that argues for a certain hermetic "leftover" in Kant's theoretical philosophy that probably trickles down from the work of Leibniz and Newton. Someday I might actually finish it.

 

Teaching

If you are interested in taking any of my courses, please check out the class links on the side of the page. I try to post syllabi and other information that students may find helpful in signing up for classes. Keep in mind that while I try to keep the syllabi accurate and updated, none of the syllabi posted on this site are official. Official syllabi are those handed out during the first day of class.