PHIL 130: Philosophy and Persons

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

The title of this course is “Philosophy and Persons.” The and is important, as we will explore the relationship between philosophy (what is philosophy, what questions does it ask, and how does it address these questions) and our understanding of ourselves as persons (what is it to be a person, how do we define “persons,” etc.). For instance, when we ask, “what is a person?” we are asking for the basic criteria that capture the most important and often problematic aspects of our lives. Thus the question “what is a person” already invites us to philosophize on the meaning of our lives and our most basic concerns regarding ourselves. In this way the question of personhood will open upon many of the main questions and concepts discussed in philosophy.

PHIL 181: Ethics

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

This course is a general introduction to ethics or moral philosophy. In this course we will examine the conditions that make ethical relations (with other humans, animals, and the environment) possible at all. We will explore such questions as: what is the nature, possibility, and source of moral values? What is the role of values in the decision-making process? To answer these questions, we will explore a variety of ethical theories (ethical idealism, virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism, existential ethics, care ethics) and then apply these theories to topical ethical issues. We will also reflect on the activity of ethical deliberation and discussion itself. The goal is both to become more familiar with ethical questions and theories as well as more aware of oneself within the activity of thinking and talking about ethical issues with others.

GSSM 501: Teaching Effectiveness Seminar (co-instructor)

Fall 2017-Spring 2018

​This course is a year long seminar in pedagogy for graduate students new to teaching. We will meet eight times throughout the year. Each meeting will center on some aspect of pedagogy (syllabi, classroom management, assessment, leading discussions, professionalization, etc.).