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School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences

James William Lincoln, Ph.D.

James William Lincoln

Office: Plummer House 4



  • Ph.D. Philosophy, The University of Kentucky
  • M.A. Philosophy, Boston University
  • M.S. Management, Lasell University
  • B.A. Philosophy, University of Illinois at Springfield
  • B.S. Mathematics, Eastern Connecticut State University


James William Lincoln graduated with his B.S. in Mathematics (2007) from Eastern Connecticut State University’s Honors Program and his B.A. in Philosophy (2011) from the University of Illinois at Springfield. He, then, completed his M.A. in Philosophy at Boston University (2013) where he researched the limits of human reasoning as understood by German philosopher Immanuel Kant using transfinite arithmetic as a critical tool. He also completed his M.S. in Management with a concentration in Project Management at Lasell University (formerly, College) the same year. At Lasell, his research focused on constructive conflict, organizational behavior, and the philosophy of conflict. He received his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Kentucky in 2020. His primary research is in Moral Perception using an interdisciplinary methodology which bridges social critical theory, black feminist philosophy, feminist affect theory, Buddhist (Mahāyānan) philosophy, and contemporary work in ethics and philosophy of perception. His secondary research focuses on community, social justice, conflict, and human understanding in organizational practices, specifically through the lenses of education and community organizing.

Prior to his PhD studies, Professor Lincoln worked in Student Affairs for nine years (three as an RA and six as a Professional Staff Member) from 2004-2013. During his PhD studies, he served as Secretary and President of his department’s philosophy graduate student organization, as Treasurer for the University’s Graduate Student Congress (GSC) where he successfully created (in partnership with UK’s Graduate School) UK’s only graduate student focused philanthropy initiative called the Graduate Student Success Fund, and as President of GSC for the 2018-2019 term, working tirelessly to make the association grow and finally receive financial support from the university’s administration. As Treasurer, he organized a philanthropy program which raised over $10,000 for student research awards and, as President, he led and expanded the organization to a place at the University which warranted a $700,000 institutional investment into the GSC program over the course of four years (2019-2023).

Because of his scholarly work and service as GSC President, Professor Lincoln was offered a staff position titled ‘Graduate Student Community Enhancement Coordinator‘ within the University of Kentucky Office of Graduate Student Professional Enhancement. In this position (2019-2021), he was responsible for providing administrative support and advising to the Graduate Student Congress as well as serving the diverse needs of graduate and professional students, fostering an inclusive community, and empowering graduate and professional students to be active members of the university community. He has also served in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Louisville (2020-present; on leave) as a part-time Senior Instructor teaching classes in Ethics, Asian Philosophy, Social Philosophy, and Business Ethics. Notably, he served in a similar capacity as a part-time instructor of ethics at Lasell University (2021-present; on leave) in their Junior Ethics Program. In 2022-2023, he serves as a Full-Time Lecturer in Ethics and Morals at the United States Coast Guard Academy. In this role, he was primarily responsible for delivering courses in moral theory and ethical reasoning to students/cadets that will one day serve as officers in the US Coast Guard. He also works with the ethics course coordinators to update course curriculum and pedagogical objectives to make them more accessible to every learner and more inclusive of traditions outside the western philosophical canon.

As the Nancy Lawson Donahue ’49 Professor of Ethics, Professor Lincoln is a full member of the Humanities Program. He collaborates with various faculty stakeholders and with the Dean of Curricular Integration to cultivate an interdisciplinary and socially critical core curriculum experience that follows best pedagogical practices. He also, informally, offer services as a philosophical and ethical consultant ashe is able. In this role, he serves on the Core Curriculum Steering Committee.

As the Coordinator of the Junior Ethics Program, he provides leadership to the Junior Ethics Experience Program. The Junior Ethics Experience is grounded primarily in a course (PHIL302 – Ethical Reasoning), which familiarizes students with ethical theories and engages them in ethical praxis using an integrated ethical reasoning curriculum. The experience also encourages students to apply ethical reasoning not only to their daily lives and careers but also to broader questions of social justice and community. This cohort experience is designed to engage third-year students deeply with the following aspects of life-long learning embedded in the areas of Civic & Community Engagement, Intercultural Knowledge & Competency, and Diversity, Equity, and Intersectional thinking. In this capacity, he collaborates with the Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, Justice and Social Sciences and the Registrar to develop the schedule and teaching assignments for the Ethics Experience which includes hiring and providing faculty development/training. Other duties include cooperating actively with the Donahue Institute for Equity & Social Justice to organize co-curricular activities,

As an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, he continues his research on Moral Perception and making the philosophy classroom an accessible and welcoming space.