My teaching interests are broad, including philosophy of mind and cognitive science, philosophy of medicine, general philosophy of science, analytical thinking, and social philosophy. I design my courses around transferable skills that can benefit students with diverse interests, such as critical science literacy, and engagement with topics that have theoretical and ethical significance to daily life. I take philosophy education (and humanities education, more generally) to be an indispensable component of a liberal arts education, and the education of informed and critical citizens. I strive to serve that mission in my teaching.
My course designs focus on developing philosophical skills that can be applied to many contexts, and are informed by my knowledge of empirical literature on psychology and education. My general approach is shaped by the slogan: Philosophy is hard, but worth learning to do well. Since it’s hard, I strive to make my expectations as explicit as possible, and give my students opportunities to fail productively and safely before they learn to succeed. But the effort expended by my students and by me is worthwhile because the skills I teach are worth learning. Lately I’ve been experimenting with mastery-based assessment and alternatives to letter grades.