Meet Prof. Kyle Bromhall (Philosophy)

Kyle Bromhall joined FHASS as Professor of Philosophy in Fall 2019, shortly before the world ended. Prior to that, he taught extensively at the University of Guelph, the same institution from which he earned his PhD in 2015.

Prof. Kyle Bromhall

Kyle’s scholarship and approach to teaching both stem from the same fascination with the complex relationship between the individual and the community. Just as individuals are defined by the communities in which they inhabit, and communities are defined by the individuals who inhabit them, learners can only excel if they are part of a complex community of inquiry, but a community of inquiry is only possible if learners are committed to learning. Shared goals, clearly-defined boundaries, and mutual compassion are thus the foundation of the classroom as much as they are the foundation of society.

Kyle is also committed to advancing the practical applicability of philosophy, perhaps as a reflex to everyone asking him, “Oh, you’re in philosophy. What are you going to do with that?” Philosophical problems are practical problems in disguise, and the central practical problems we face are problems we have always faced. One of Kyle’s greatest joys in teaching comes from having students connect with some philosophical work that reshapes how they view themselves and their place in the world.

Kyle lives in Kitchener with his wife and two children. His hobbies include strength training, long-distance running, playing on his Xbox, cheering for the San Francisco Giants, and boosting the Chicago Manual of Style.

Kyle Bromhall answers Alchemy’s Proust Questionnaire:

Favourite virtue: Kindheartedness.

Most overrated virtue: Ambition. While still a virtue, it too often leads to vicious behaviour if not careful.

Most important lesson I’ve learned this year: Don’t ever wish for a few extra days at home. Sorry, everyone.

My favourite qualities in a teacher: Magnanimity, flexibility, and transparency.

My idea of complete misery: *glances at pile of ungraded assignments*

In my opinion the secret to success is: Cultivating meaningful relationships, since that simply is success.

My favourite word: “Indubitably,” because it’s so fun to say.

My least favourite word: “Stan,” because its origins are…highly problematic. Honourable mentions: “gonna” and “wanna.

The word/phrase/expression I overuse in the classroom: “Well, that depends on what you mean by…”

If I weren’t a teacher I’d be: A chef.

Language I’d love to be able to speak: I’ve been learning Irish Gaelic through Duolingo for a couple of years now, but I have no opportunity to speak it. Regardless, the next time I need to tell someone that “The fox drinks water before the man eats the apple” in an obscure language, I’m ready

My favourite historical, literary, or cinematic character(s): The main characters of The Good Place, collectively and not severally.

My favourite food/meal and drink: Authentic Mexican (especially tinga de pollo and tortilla soup) and Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry, respectively. Coffee works as a replacement for either (or both), though.

The most embarrassing song in my music collection: There’s an alarming number of EDM remixes creeping into my collection.

My guilty TV/film/gaming pleasure: Most of our aesthetic reactions are beyond our control, so feeling guilty about what brings us pleasure is absurd. Am I rationalizing away my longtime-enjoyment of The Sims? Yes. Yes, I am.