- Special Sections
- Time Out
- Local Guide
Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.âAn associate professor of philosophy is Mississippi Stateâs 2015 Humanities Teacher of the Year.
The selection of J. Robert Thompson is being announced by the universityâs College of Arts and Sciences, along with the Mississippi Humanities Council. As part of the honor, Thompson will present the collegeâs annual humanities lecture.
Titled âThe Humanities and Human Nature,â his address begins at 3 p.m. Monday [Nov. 30] in the Shackouls Honors College Forum Room. Thompson will explore a critical element of what makes people humanâthe ability to understand one anotherâs thoughts and actions.
The event is free to all, as is a reception immediately following in the same fourth-floor Bryce Griffis Residence Hall location in the universityâs Zacharias Village.
Along with formally presenting a topic of his choosing to campus and local communities, Thompson is receiving a $300 honorarium.
A philosophy and religion department faculty member since 2008, Thompson specializes in the history of philosophy (ancient, early modern, 20th century analytic), epistemology, metaphysics, logic and applied ethics.
âMSU has some of the strongest humanities departments in the region, and the faculty in the humanities are impressive across the board. I am grateful both for the existence of an award that shines light upon the excellent work being done in the humanities and for being selected for that award,â Thompson said.
R. Gregory Dunaway, dean of MSUâs College of Arts and Sciences, said Thompson is âmost deserving of this prestigious recognition.â
âHe has been an extraordinary classroom teacher and academic adviser. He has done much to advance the humanities in general, as well as being a pivotal figure in revitalizing and enhancing our undergraduate program in philosophy,â Dunaway said.
Thompsonâs research focuses on the philosophy of mind and language and philosophy of cognitive science, including social cognition and linguistic competence.
Among others, he is the author of two published papers, âMeaning and Mindreadingâ (Mind and Language, 2014) and âSignature Limits in Mindreading Systemsâ (Cognitive Science, 2014). Both papers were among the five percent of submissions accepted by their respective journals.
Political science professor Rick Travis, who also serves as MSUâs associate dean for academic affairs and student services, lauded Thompson âfor his no nonsense, engaging, helpful style of teaching.â
In addition to teaching introductory, intermediate and advanced undergraduate courses, Thompson serves as the undergraduate program coordinator for philosophy. A member of the universityâs Robert Holland Faculty Senate, he also chairs his departmentâs promotion and tenure committee and serves on its curriculum committee.
Thompson is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Philosophical Association, Society for Philosophy and Psychology and Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, in which he currently serves as secretary.
A philosophy doctoral and masterâs graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Thompson previously served as president and vice president of the Mississippi Philosophical Association. A native of Evanston, Illinois, he also holds a bachelorâs of philosophy from Carleton College in Minnesota.
In October 2014, he was selected as the College of Arts and Sciencesâ Researcher of the Month. He also received the universityâs State Pride Award in 2010.
For more on the Monday humanities lecture, contact Whitney Peterson at 662-325-2646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSU is Mississippiâs leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.