- Ph.D., Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
- Ecole Normale Supérieure
I teach a variety of classes. Every fall semester I teach PHL 301, Ancient Philosophy. My special area is the history of Western philosophy, particularly ancient and medieval. In addition, I teach upper-level and graduate seminars in ancient philosophy.
On a regular basis, I also teach various introductory courses, such as Theories of Human Nature, which is a popular introduction to philosophy.
What I enjoy most about teaching is the unexpected interaction with students. When they come up with something that I did not think of, this disrupts the lesson plan in a good way, in a way that is really creative and interactive.
Typically I do not follow one pedagogical format but use a combination of approaches. I lecture, then run a class discussion or break the class into groups. Just about every week we do a little bit of each. I believe in variety rather than the same format in every class.
Work In Progress
I have two current projects.
- Understanding the metaphysics of mind: what are we asking when we ask whether someone is thinking? Why does this matter? My answer to these questions has two parts. First, when we say someone is thinking, we are characterizing them as engaging in an activity that can in principle be shared: another can think the same way, can understand them. Second, this matters because characterizing someone as thinking is conceiving of them as someone with whom one can have certain moral relationships.
- Locating Wilfrid Sellars's work in relationship to the history of analytic philosophy, in specific in relationship to the Vienna Circle. On my interpretation, especially early in his career, he is continuing the project of logical empiricism rather than rejecting it. This depends on what logical empiricism is. I argue that it is a project in the ethics of discourse, concerned with facilitating collaboration and communication.
- Plato’s Republic
- Hellenistic Philosophy
- Aristotle’s Metaphysics
- Medieval Philosophy
- Premodern Conceptions of the Soul
- Heidegger’s Being and Time
- Epistemology: The Limits of Thought
- Capstone Seminar
What is Philosophy?
- Ancient Philosophy
- Modern Philosophy
- Problems of Metaphysics and Knowledge
- Theories of Human Nature
- Society and the Individual
My work is primarily focused on Ancient, Medieval, and some contemporary continental philosophy. My current research explores the metaphysical question concerning the distinction between the actual and the potential that was first posited by Aristotle. It explores the ontology of non-actuality, i.e., being insofar as it is not actual and yet is not reducible to non-being simpliciter (pure nothingness). Thus, potentiality, possibility, and virtuality seem to occupy an intermediate space between non-being and actuality.
This question has important ramifications and the scholarly articles I plan on writing during the Assigned Research appointment explore how potentiality plays at the intersection of logic, philosophical psychology, and physics and put them in dialogue with contemporary philosophy. It is my contention that ancient thought is not merely of historical interest but raises questions and explores concepts that are highly relevant today.
- Philosophy of language
- Philosophy of mind
- History of analytic philosophy
- "Sellars's Transcendental Philosophy," International Journal of Philosophical Studies (2022)
- "Singular Mental Abilities" European Journal of Philosophy (2022)
- "Idealism, quietism, conceptual change: Sellars and McDowell on the knowability of the world" Giornale di Metafisica (2022)
- "Sellars and the Task of Philosophy": Synthese (2021)
- "Sellars, Price, and the Myth of the Given" Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (2020)
- "The Presentational Use of Descriptions" Analytic Philosophy (2019)
- "Connotation and Frege's Semantic Dualism" History of Philosophy Quarterly (2019)