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I take very seriously the idea that instructors ought to meet students where they're at and equip them with the tools to learn in ways that make sense to them. This impacts my pedagogical approach in various ways. In addition to offering course information in a range of modalities, I also like to build incentives for students to experiment with different modalities and approaches right into the course structure (or extra credit opportunities). Here is my favorite way to encourage experimentation with note-taking. Here is an example of the kind of "student-guided" course I've recently been running, in which most class assignments can be completed in a range of formats (written papers, class presentations, individual meetings with me), and students are encouraged to choose the formats that work best for them. I've recently adopted a similar approach to getting my students to thoughtfully reflect on how best to use AI software like ChatGPT, which I am happy to chat about.

My approach to college-level philosophy instruction is informed by the wide range of students and topics I taught before starting grad school. Among other things, I spent time teaching English as a second language to kids and adults in Thailand, Italy, Greece, and the US; tutored incarcerated students hoping to pass the GED; offered creative writing instruction to elementary-, middle-, and high-schoolers; and taught clarinet players in music camps and individual lessons.

Courses taught

330: Feminist Philosophy

This course is cross-listed with Gender & Women's studies.

Here is a recent syllabus & set of course documents.

Analytic feminist philosophy seeks to understand the social implications of sex and gender, as well as critique the accuracy and usefulness of mainstream philosophy when the values of feminism are overlooked. In this class, we critically evaluate what feminism is and what it ought to be, as well as explore the compatibility of different feminist schools of thought. We examine feminist arguments about oppression, knowledge and emotion, gendered labor, and more. Finally, we examine methods of action and resistance to sexism.

220: Philosophy of Happiness

Here is how I integrate meditation exercises into this asychronous course.

In this class we ask what it means to be happy. Do you need to be a good person to be happy, or do you just need pleasant experiences? Does some objective criterion for happiness even exist? Is it possible or rational to be happy in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles like oppression and climate change? The course is structured around the following units: Hedonism; Desire-Fulfillment & Objective-List theories; Eudaimonism; Existentialism & Meaninglessness; Buddhism & Suffering; and Hope & Oppression. The first three units focus on prominent theories of happiness and the latter three work through philosophical responses to three important threats to happiness (namely, meaninglessness, suffering, and oppression).

321: Medical Ethics

This course is cross-listed with Public Administration & Policy.

This class is a survey of ethical issues in medicine. We discuss patient autonomy and paternalism, physician-assisted dying, abortion, disability, mental illness, and the significance of care in healthcare. The course offers critical perspectives on dominant paradigms in medicine and challenge students to form views on difficult ethical questions. We approach questions about these topics – on a policy and individual level – as ethicists, gaining comfort with criticizing and defending arguments about right and wrong.

210: Moral Thinking

This course examines a variety of competing moral theories, beginning with relativism and egoism before moving into consequentialism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics.  Students come to understand the basic moral theories and to think critically about moral matters in light of those theories. The last unit encourages students to critically engage with moral theorizing itself by offering feminist critiques of the three dominant moral theoretic traditions discussed in the course. Students also learn to write like a philosopher and defend an original philosophical thesis.

347: Neuroethics

This course is cross-listed with Family Studies & Human Development.

Advances in psychopharmacology, brain imaging, and genetic selection present us with pressing ethical questions about the human condition and the good life. This course explores issues in responsibility, justice, consent, disability, and authenticity to self presented by emerging technologies. We compare various philosophical positions on these topics and cultivate the tools to propose solutions on the personal and policy levels.

As a TA

110: Logic & Critical Thinking

with Santiago de Jesus Sanchez-Borboa

150: Personal Morality

with Carolina Sarotorio

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