Teaching

Introduction to Philosophy

  (PHIL 1000)

This course introduces students to some of the central questions in philosophy and identifies some potential answers to them. For example, we consider metaphysical questions like whether God exists and what personal identity consists in, epistemological questions like whether we can trust our senses, and what it takes to have justified beliefs, and ethical questions like whether it is morally wrong to play violent video games and whether we are moral obligated to reduce our individual carbon emissions.

 

Introduction to Western Philosophy: Modern

  (PHIL 1020)

This course introduces students to the most influential philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, including Descartes, Princess Elisabeth, Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid, and Kant. Along the way, we consider whether there is an external world and, if so, what it's like and how we acquire knowledge about it.

 

Introduction to Ethics

  (PHIL 1100)

This course introduces students to some ethical questions and identifies some potential answers to them. We consider specific questions like whether we have a moral obligation to donate money to poverty relief and whether we are morally permitted to buy and eat factory-farmed meat, among others. We also consider more general questions like what makes our lives go well, whether there are any moral rules, and, if so, what they are.

 

Philosophy & Society

  (PHIL 1200)

This course introduces students to a number of social, political, and ethical questions and helps students to think more carefully about them. In particular, we discuss whether we are morally obligated to donate money to poverty relief, whether abortion is morally permissible, whether euthanasia is morally wrong, whether there is a duty to die, whether population growth is good or bad, whether parents should be licensed, how we ought to treat animals, and how we should treat the environment.

 

Introductory Logic

  (PHIL 1440)

This course helps students improve their ability to identify and evaluate the arguments they run into every day. After learning the fundamentals of good reasoning, students learn how to identify cases of bad reasoning, specifically formal fallacies, informal fallacies, and cognitive biases.

 

Philosophy & Law

  (PHIL 2220)

This course introduces students to some philosophical questions that arise within the United States legal system and identifies some potential answers to those questions. For example, we investigate the relationship between the law and morality, how to interpret the law, what sorts of speech should be protected, what counts as equal protection, who we should punish, and why we should punish them.