Irie Browning

Irie Browning

Irie Browning is an undergraduate at Eastern Washington University pursuing a major in Philosophy and a minor in English Literature. Though she finds nearly every aspect of philosophy fascinating, her areas of special interest are literary ethics, action theory, American pragmatism, and ancient Greek philosophy (particularly the works of Aristotle). She is a past president and current active member of EWU’s Philosophy Club and works as an Academic Coach with the Program Leading to University Success. Her most recent presentations have been “Democracy & Dragons: Deliberation and Inquiry through Collaborative Storytelling in Dungeons & Dragons,” a Capstone research project presented in different forms at EWU’s Philosophy Club in May 2023 and the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Summer Salon in June 2023, and “The Telos of a Table: An Aristotelean Reflection on the Meaning of Crafted Objects,” presented at EWU’s 2023 Student Research and Creative Works Symposium.

Irie’s first McNair Summer Research Internship, under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher C. Kirby, examined John Dewey’s Pattern of Inquiry and how it could be applied to inspire a greater passion for learning in college freshmen. In Summer 2023, she will be once more working with Dr. Kirby, this time in virtue ethics as it applies to friendship. Her project proposes a philosophy of hope and love as a path forward in our hyper-individualized modern culture.

When she is not reading and writing philosophy, Irie enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading and writing stories and poetry, and having conversations around the dining table with her friends.

2022 EWU Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Christopher Kirby

Research Title: To Inspire Inquiry: A Deweyan Response to Neoliberalism in Higher Education

Research Presentation

Abstract: Neoliberal structures in the modern university encourage competition and economic ends as the sole purpose of higher education. This is a structural problem which no one person can fix; however, a pragmatic view sees addressing conflict in trial and error as the process of democratic growth. Incorporating John Dewey’s method of inquiry and the means-ends continuum into a first-year experience course is one actionable method for improving the college experience towards a lifelong view of experience and education as opposed to the neoliberal model.