Besides introductory philosophy courses, I regularly teach undergraduate courses in the philosophy of language and metaphysics, and graduate courses on topics concerning the nature and value of truth, facts, action and events.
My pedagogical practices are informed by my ongoing collaborative research projects on scaffolded learning with Rob Colter (Wyoming), in the scholarship of teaching and learning. He and I have devised a Socratic Model of Scaffolded Learning that moves students from a relative state of ignorance to well developed autonomous thinkers. Rob and I's The Socratic Classroom should be available soon.
Upcoming Offerings in 2021
PHILO588-21A: Foundations of Philosophical Research: Truth & Politics (syllabus)
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that societies should permit the free expression of opinion. Even the most offensive or false opinions should be tolerated because truths will win out over falsehoods following the free exchange of such opinions in the marketplace of ideas. Mill, however, never had an internet connection.
The internet has increased the volume and the transmission of ideas. Some true, but many false. People freely consume these ideas, either deliberately or in passing through the use of a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter. If Mill had been correct, then misinformation and disinformation should be drowned out by facts and expert opinion; instead, they’re praised and multiplied in the form of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, and bald-face lies.
Nowhere else is this assault on truth more apparent than in contemporary politics. This course aims to examine the challenges democracy faces in light of the propagation of misinformation; it aims to question whether democracies have an interest in the promotion of true beliefs; and, it seeks to reconcile the threat that technology poses to truth and the value of truth.
PHILO204-21A: Wisdom, Language, and Communication (syllabus)
Despite the cliché: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," expressions have the capacity to harm. This course introduces students to the political, social, and moral dimensions of what people say and the extent to which people harm others through what they say or what may be inferred from what they say. Through the discussion and critical analysis of academic papers and nonacademic material, we explore how speech is connected with moral wrongness, harm, liberty, resistance, and social justice. We consider some contemporary topics in social epistemology and philosophy of language such as lying, bullshitting, dogwhistling, grandstanding, misleading, and silencing.
Here are some questions we will consider:
How do we discriminate against others through what we say?
How do we use language to demean, derogate, offend, and hurt other people based on their gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity?
What is the meaning of expressions that are conventionally used to offend others because of their gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic identification?
Does the representation of gender and ethnicity in language influence our thinking?
How ought we interpret cloaked language as a form of discrimination?
Students are required to read the assigned readings thoroughly and come to class prepared to discuss the reading(s). The more students engage with the materials, the more productive the course will be. No knowledge of the practice or history of philosophy is presupposed; curiosity is.
Past & Future Courses
PHILO304-22A: Meaning, Truth, and Understanding (co-taught with Jeremy Wyatt)
PHILO355-22A: The Fundamental Structure of the World
PHILO150-22B: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
PHILO204-22B: Wisdom, Language and Communication
B Semester - study leave
PHILO204-21A: Wisdom, Language and Communication
PHIL588-21A: Foundations of Philosophical Research Focal topic: Truth and politics
A Semester - Centenary Fellow, University of Aberdeen
A Semester - Future of Truth Residential Fellow, University of Connecticut
B Semester - Future of Truth Residential Fellow, University of Connecticut
PHIL588-19A: Foundations of Philosophical Research Focal topic: the nature of truth and facts
PHIL 350-18B: Recent Analytical Philosophy Focal topic: Metametaphysics
Metropolitan State University of Denver (2015)
PHIL 3360: Business Ethics
University of Texas at El Paso (2013-2015)
PHIL 1301: Introduction to Philosophy (4 sections)
PHIL 4352: Ethics for Security Professionals
PHIL 4311: Epistemology
PHIL 4352: Death and the Meaning of Life
PHIL 3317: Modern Philosophy
PHIL 4302: Metaphysics
PHIL 3311: Philosophy of Science
PHIL 4352/5352: Graduate Seminar: The Nature of Truth
University of Wyoming (2012-2013; 2008-2009)
PHIL 3000-04: The Meaning of Life
PHIL 2345-01: Natural Resource Ethics
PHIL 4440/5440-01: Graduate Seminar: Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 3140-01: Philosophy of Science
PHIL 3000-04: Metaphysics of Race
PHIL 3000-06: Moral Psychology & Neuroethics
PHIL 1000-01: Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 4000/5000-01: Graduate Seminar: Experimental Philosophy
PHIL 1200-01: Intellectual Community in Philosophy
University of Mississippi (2011-2012)
PHIL 101-05: Introduction to Philosophy (3 sections)
PHIL 611-01: Graduate Seminar: Metaphysics
PHIL 103-01: Symbolic Logic
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2009-2011)
PHIL 499-01: Brandom's Making It Explicit
PHIL 330-01: Computers and Culture
HON 102H-1001: Honours: Critical Reasoning (4 sections)
PHIL 102-003: Critical Reasoning (3 sections)
PHIL 499-001: Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein
Weber State University (2006-2008)
PHIL 1000: Introduction to Philosophy (9 sections)
PHIL 1250: Critical Reasoning (4 sections)
PHIL 3550: Philosophy of Eastern Religion
PHIL 3150: Existentialism
PHIL 3500: Philosophy of Western Religion
Methodist College (Summers 2003-2005)
PHIL 411-21: Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Ethical Problems
PHI 212-01: Symbolic Logic (3 sections)
PHI 211-01: Introduction to Philosophy (3 sections)