Teaching

All links on this page take you to a .pdf from Dropbox.

Courses I have Taught:

Epistemology of Doubt and Ignorance (fall 2015)
When are you justified in believing or doubting an idea? What makes belief or doubt in someone’s testimony unfair or unjust? When are we morally responsible for our ignorance?

Philosophy & Science Fiction: Humanity, Identity, and Personhood
(fall 2014, spring 2015, 2016)
What features are central to our “humanity”? What makes an organism a “person”? What is the human self? Do we have a  continuous, unified self?

Introduction to Ethics (spring 2014)
What are philosophical conceptions of virtue and justice? Is lying ever morally okay? Should non-human animals be given rights? Should recreational drugs be de-criminalized? What is the difference between treatment and enhancement? Are differences in ability fair?

Introduction to Philosophy (summer 2011)
What is the self? What is an authentic human life? What knowledge should we trust or doubt? When is it okay to lie? What does it mean to be fair? Is the U.S. prison system unjust?

Existentialism (fall 2010)
Is human life absurd? Does it matter whether or not God exists? Do we regularly try to deceive ourselves about our life? How can one live “authentically”?

Introduction to Gender Studies (spring 2016)
What is gender? How can gender be political, or an axis of oppression? How can gender be institutional?

 

Courses I Can Teach:

Punishment and Justice
What are theoretical justifications for punishment? Is solitary confinement unjust? Is the current U.S. system of mass incarceration unjust? What might the abolition of state-sponsored punishment look like?

Philosophy of Love and Intimacy
What makes for a good friendship? What are the virtues and vices of polyamorous and monogamous romance? What does an ideal family structure look like? What should factor into the decision of whether or not to raise children?

Medical Ethics
What are ethical issues surrounding patient autonomy and informed consent? What is the difference between medical treatment and bio-enhancement? What are issues that arise from our current state of healthcare and (lack of) technology?

Social Epistemology
How much of our knowledge depends on social interactions? When should we trust or doubt someone’s testimony? How should we navigate disagreement with others? What are ways that social institutions and norms structure knowledge and ignorance?

Philosophy of Philosophy
What is philosophy? How have people throughout history envisioned philosophy? How does contemporary university life influence  the structure of philosophy? Why does philosophy have certain kinds of demographic under-representation? What could philosophy look like in the future?

Gender, Race and Science 
What does it mean for race to be scientific concept? What are we picking out when we attribute a “race” to others and ourselves? What under-girds our categories of sex and gender? What are ways in which our ideological commitments to ideas about race and gender can influence our scientific theories? How can we avoid pernicious biases in science?

Philosophy of Science
We will begin by looking at cases of alleged pseudoscience in order to ask, what makes something scientific? From there, we will analyze the ideal of objectivity in science, as well as issues of bias and human values in science. We will end by examining how models and heuristics are used in science, in order to address the question we began with: What is science trying to accomplish? What makes a model or theory a helpful part of science?

Political Philosophy
What role should political institutions play—especially democratic ones? In what ways is governance contractual? In what ways is it a form of domination? What role do rights play? What is the best way to conceive of rights? What should our ideals of justice be if we believe the world to be full of injustice?