My principal aim in the classroom is to get students excited about the issues, and to use that excitement to encourage their interest in becoming more critical, more reflective, thinkers. If you take a course with me, prepare yourself for an enthusiastic presentation of the material, interactive experience focused on student participation, with the occasional humorous digression. I strive to make my courses collaborative affairs – I care about how my students see the problems and what seems important to solving them.
Here’s a little information on what to expect in the courses I teach.
I regularly teach Bioethics and the Philosophy of Law. In Bioethics, we explore some foundational moral issues pertaining to health care and biomedical sciences. Topics include abortion, euthanasia, organ donation, and the allocation of medical resources. Whether you’re an aspiring physician, biological researcher, or just interested in the ethical dimensions of health care, this course is a great introduction.
In Philosophy of Law, the focus is split between legal doctrine and theoretical issues; that is, we both look at what the law is as well as discuss arguments about what the law should be. The result is that we devote equal time to debating actual cases and Supreme Court decisions as we do looking at theories regarding just punishment and criminalization. It’s a great course for anyone interested in the law or applied ethics.
Lately, I've been enjoying teaching a course I developed: Philosophy & Superheroes. While philosophy is often given short shrift in pop culture, superheroes are positively ubiquitous. This course examines a range of philosophical topics through the lens of superheroes and the worlds they inhabit. We consider the ethical dimensions of reading minds, justifications of vigilantism, and whether greater power entails greater responsibilities.
Apart from those regular offerings, I also teach courses on free will and responsibility, social and political philosophy, and more.
It is a true pleasure to advise majors and supervise students on independent projects. If you’re considering a philosophy major, or just interested in what the major can offer, I invite you to contact me or stop by my office hours. Philosophy is hands down one of the single greatest majors of all-time. You can ask anyone in my department. They’ll tell you the same.