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Teaching the Good Life, Rational Deliberation and How to Understand Time

I teach courses at all levels, from introductory through the PhD. They tend to focus on questions that I also research: time, modality, rationality, value, meaning, and religious faith. I also think teaching is a team sport and often collaborate on courses… especially with folks in our Engaged Philosophy Group.

I’ve developed and teach a large-lecture version of introduction to philosophy–God and the Good Lifewhich immerses students in the great debates about the nature of belief, what kind of life is worth living, and what exactly morality requires of us.  The class pairs large “forum-style” current event debates with a unique and intensive discussion group experience, modeled after the Sustained Dialogue program.  The course also has a significant digital component: interactive texts, interviews, and short films.  It has gotten some press: Chronicle of Higher Ed; Inside Higher Ed; Arts and Letters Online; and Notre Dame Magazine. Since 2016 nearly 1200 students have taken GGL, and we continue to grow.

Spring 2017 Examined Life Class Dinner

In Spring 2017, I launched a new initiative for advanced undergraduates–the GGL Fellows program and Examined Life Seminar. This is an opportunity for students to develop advanced leadership and discussion skills and to be part of an intensive, peer-led philosophy community.  GGL Fellows receive a stipend and lead the dialogue groups for God and the Good Life.  The EPG also sponsors paid undergraduate RAships each semester, with opportunities for independent philosophical research, especially on topics related to human flourishing.

For undergraduates, I also occasionally offer an interdisciplinary sophomore seminar on time and a majors seminar in metaphysics.  For graduate students, I periodically teach our first-year Proseminar, which covers major developments in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology in the 20th century.  And I offer specialized research seminars on topics in time, modality, rationality, and value.  Links to course pages and syllabi are below (updates in progress).

Courses and Syllabi:

(1) First Philosophy Courses:

Our “Socratic” GGL T Shirts
  1. God and the Good Life (Large Lecture)
  2. Introduction to Philosophy (Large Lecture)
  3. Honors Introduction to Philosophy (Seminar)
  4. Current Moral and Social Issues (Seminar – Rutgers)

(2) For Majors and Upperclassmen:

  1. The Examined Life Seminar (Fellows Gateway Seminar)
  2. The Good Class: Exploratory Seminar on Philosophy and Production Behind The Good Place (Team-taught with Chris Becker and Rick Herbst (FTT Dept)).
  3. Experiencing Time (College Seminar)
  4. Metaphysics (Majors Seminar)
  5. Introduction to Symbolic Logic (Lecture – Rutgers)
  6. Modal Logic and Metalogic (Lecture – Rutgers)

(3) Graduate Seminars:

  1. Diachronic Rationality and Personal Persistence
  2. Alternative Theories of Modality (co-taught with Sam Newlands)
  3. Proseminar: 20th Century Logic, Language, Epistemology and Metaphysics
  4. Time in Metaphysics and Logic
  5. The Philosophy Pedagogy Workshop
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