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Teaching

Spring 2021

I am presently teaching four sections of PHIL 1001, Foundations in Philosophy, at Marquette University as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

My office hours are from 5:00-6:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 3:00-4:00 on Fridays. I am also available by appointment. My office number is Marquette Hall #429.

Teaching Experience

Since 2014, I have taught undergraduate courses in philosophy at Marquette University, as well as teaching several courses at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family during the 2017-2018 academic year. See below for a list, as well as for sample syllabi.

Fall 2014: PHIL 2310-103 and -104, Theory of Ethics
Spring 2015: PHIL 2310-106 and -108, Theory of Ethics
Summer 2015: PHIL 2310-105, Theory of Ethics (6-week summer course)
Fall 2015: PHIL 2310-101 and -108, Theory of Ethics
Spring 2016: PHIL 1001-101 and -111, Human Nature
Fall 2016: PHIL 1001-109 and -111, Human Nature
Spring 2017: PHIL 1001-107 and -111, Human Nature; PHIL 2310-105, Theory of Ethics
Fall 2017: PHIL 1000-101, Logic, and PHIL 1001-118, Human Nature (at Marquette); PHL 110-001, Traditional Logic, and PHL 202-001, Ethics (at Silver Lake)
Spring 2018: PHIL 1001-702, Human Nature (at Marquette); PHL 120-001, Philosophical Anthropology (at Silver Lake)
Fall 2018: PHIL 4336-105, -106, -107, -108, -701, and -702, Applied Ethics in Health Sciences
Spring 2019: PHIL 2310-101 and -103, Theory of Ethics
Fall 2019: PHIL 1001-134, -153, 155, and -704, Foundations in Philosophy
Spring 2020: PHIL 1001-101, -106, -114, and -116, Foundations in Philosophy
Fall 2020: PHIL 1001-119 and -129, Foundations in Philosophy; PHIL 4336-103, -104, -107, -108, -701, and -702, Applied Ethics in Health Sciences
Spring 2021: PHIL 1001-112, -117, -118, and -122, Foundations in Philosophy

Statement on Pedagogy

I firmly believe that philosophical pedagogy must be rooted in an in-depth study of the history of philosophy as a whole. The philosophical questions that we confront today in our systematic investigations have their roots in a long tradition of philosophical speculation, and can only be understood in their fullness in light of that lineage. Accordingly, I hold that it is, at the least, very nearly impossible for the student of philosophy to appreciate the depths of any philosophical position without understanding the evolution of its underlying ideas throughout the history of philosophy. For example: as a phenomenologist, I hold that Edmund Husserl provided many useful insights about consciousness, reality, and so on – but these insights are intelligible only in light of the transcendental turn taken by Immanuel Kant, whose writings, in turn, are comprehensible only in consideration of questions raised by David Hume, etc.

As such, I tend to teach my classes – especially introductory courses – from a primarily historical perspective. I introduce students to a variety of philosophical ideas, and then attempt to demonstrate to them how those ideas have been debated and adapted throughout the history of philosophy. In this way, I believe, students are able to obtain a better, more complete understanding of these ideas than would be possible if they were studied in isolation. The ultimate aim of my courses, naturally, is for students to be able to carry out the systematic work of philosophy on their own and (especially) to be able to apply philosophical insights to their own everyday lives – but this objective is only possible, I maintain, on the basis of a solid understanding of our position as the inheritors of a long and illustrious tradition of philosophical investigation.

Of course, my pedagogical methods must be altered somewhat in the context of other courses. With respect to upper-division courses, as an example, each class naturally has its own peculiar goals and subject matter, a fact that mandates a narrower focus than is appropriate for an introductory course. My intention in these courses, however, remains that of working with students to develop an in-depth understanding of the philosophical issues involved, both on their own terms and with respect to the place of these issues within the philosophical enterprise as a whole. For courses that are tailored more specifically to non-philosophical endeavors, such as business or medical ethics, my emphasis on the historical context of the ideas at stake takes a more muted form that allows the issues specific to these courses to come to the fore. Nevertheless, even in these cases, I continue to highlight the role that the course plays in the “big picture” of human understanding. Philosophy is always a holistic discipline, with far-reaching ramifications for our experiences in general, and I endeavor to emphasize that fact.

Overall, I desire for any course that I teach to achieve three main objectives. First, as mentioned, I endeavor to assist students in coming to a solid, historically-based understanding of the philosophical issues discussed throughout the course. Secondly, I attempt to demonstrate to students the basic relevance that these philosophical questions have for their everyday experiences, whether in terms of the moral decisions that they make, their beliefs about the world around them, etc. Finally, I undertake the task of helping students develop the technical skills – critical thinking, construction of arguments, clear and concise writing, etc. – that will help them succeed, not only in philosophy, but in many other aspects of their education as well.

For a more detailed example of my teaching methods, see the sample syllabi listed above.

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