I teach courses at all levels, from introductory philosophy through the PhD. My courses tend to focus on questions that I also research: time, modality, rationality, value, meaning, and religious faith. I also approach teaching as a team sport; I often collaborate on courses here at ND, and I work with colleagues at other universities to share research on pedagogy.
One of my two main teaching focuses is the best practice for general education philosophy instruction. I direct the God and the Good Life program, and I typically teach one supersection of the GGL course every year. Our Engaged Philosophy Group collaborates with a large network of other faculty interested in developing high-impact, general education humanities courses. Everyone in EPG and the NDIAS mentors undergraduate research assistants.
In Fall 2019 I teamed up with faculty in the FTT department to teach an interdisciplinary seminar on the philosophy and production behind NBC’s The Good Place (with guest speakers from different parts of the show’s production process, including showrunner Mike Schur). Mark McKenna (Law School/ND TEC) and I are leading an interdsiciplinary seminar with author Ted Chiang on technology ethics in Fall 2020. In the past, I’ve also taught our GGL Fellows course (The Examined Life), offered interdisciplinary sophomore seminars on time, and offered a majors seminar in metaphysics.
My second main teaching focus involves best practice for integrating PhD students into cross-disciplinary research communities. I am currently working with Paul Blaschko and the Graduate School to offer a PhD seminar and fellowship connected with new programs in the NDIAS, which launched in Fall 2020. An overview can be found here. The focus of the NDIAS seminar changes with the Institute’s theme. In Fall 2020 it is The Nature of Trust.
In previous years, I’ve taught our department’s PhD Proseminar, which covers major developments in philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, and epistemology in the 20th century. Every year or so, I lead directed readings groups for PhD students, typically on either modal metaphysics or contemporary ethical theory. And I occasionally offer specialized research seminars on topics in time, modality, rationality, and value. From 2016-2019 I organized PhD pedagogy training for the department. Links to course pages and syllabi are below (updates in progress).
Courses and Syllabi:
(1) First Philosophy Courses:
- God and the Good Life (Large Lecture)
- Introduction to Philosophy (Large Lecture)
- Honors Introduction to Philosophy (Seminar)
- Current Moral and Social Issues (Seminar – Rutgers)
(2) For Majors and Upperclassmen:
- Technology, Ethics and Imagination: The Ted Chiang Seminar (w Mark McKenna (Law School) and Ted Chiang)
- The Examined Life Seminar (Fellows Gateway Seminar)
- The Good Class: Exploratory Seminar on Philosophy and Production Behind The Good Place (Team-taught with Chris Becker and Rick Herbst (FTT Dept)).
- Experiencing Time (College Seminar)
- Metaphysics (Majors Seminar)
- Introduction to Symbolic Logic (Lecture – Rutgers)
- Modal Logic and Metalogic (Lecture – Rutgers)
(3) Graduate Seminars:
- The NDIAS Seminar
- Diachronic Rationality and Personal Persistence
- Alternative Theories of Modality (co-taught with Sam Newlands)
- Proseminar: 20th Century Logic, Language, Epistemology and Metaphysics
- Time in Metaphysics and Logic
- The Philosophy Pedagogy Workshop
(4) Directed Readings (for PhD Students):
- Love and Normative Theory (Fall 2019)
- Necessitism, Permanentism and the Metaphysics of Modal Logic (Fall 2018)