I regularly teach undergraduate courses in the philosophy of language and metaphysics, and graduate courses on topics concerning the nature of truth, facts, action and event individuation, the structure of action, and practical reasoning. My teaching is informed by my areas of research specialisation, and my pedagogical practices are informed by my ongoing collaborative research, 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.
Below the virtual fold is a comprehensive list of courses that I've taught. If you would like a copy of a syllabus from one (or more!) of them, please do not hesitate to email me. Given that I have held fixed term contracts with a number of universities, one might notice that I have taught courses outside my areas of research speciality. This comes with such territory!
(Before I was a university lecturer, I worked a variety of jobs in different industries. Occasionally, I am still asked to consult for large professional firms. A summary of my professional experience is here.)
I am currently taking on new postgraduate and graduate students in several areas of philosophical research. If you have an interest in becoming a graduate student in the Philosophy Programme at the University of Waikato and working with me as a chief supervisor, see here.
Upcoming Paper Offerings in 2021
PHILO204-21A: Wisdom, Language, and Communication
What is wisdom? If it's a matter living a reflective life, then it's at least partly an epistemic notion grounded in language. A wave of recent research has brought together the commitments of epistemology and metaphysics, on one hand, and ethics, on the other hand, and the literature is organised around the following implicit argument:
To be wise is to exercise understanding.
Understanding is a species of knowledge.
Knowledge depends upon the skilful use of language.
Therefore, to be wise is to use language skilfully.
While this paper will begin with an exploration of the topics of wisdom and understanding in connection with knowledge and language at the abstract or theoretical level, our attention will soon thereafter turn to performativity (illocutionary acts), particularly with reference to free speech and political discourse. What we will come to discover is that one's skilful use of language may be employed as a means to achieve honourable or nefarious ends.
The paper will be divided into two parts. Part one will be composed of three sections on theories in the philosophy of language and epistemology: (i) wisdom as understanding, (ii) understanding as knowledge, and (iii) knowledge, language and performativity, and part two will be composed of four sections of how to apply the theories to practical concerns arising in society and politics: (v) Pejoratives, Slurs, Epithets and Attitudes, (vi) LGBTQIA Discourse and Wisdom, (vii) free speech and illocutionary acts, and (viii) political discourse and wisdom. No knowledge of the practice or history of philosophy is presupposed; curiosity is.
PHILO588-21A: Foundations of Philosophical Research: Truth & Politics
Language is the primary tool which humans employ to interact with other humans and, on occasion, with other non-humans, and the most vexing question in contemporary debate is not necessarily whether other humans are capable of language comprehension but whether other humans, as a member of my cohort or tribe, truly appreciate the significance of what I am saying. We are "code-talkers" who constantly process incoming linguistic information and sort that information by friend or foe, comrade or enemy. By this war of words, we engage in linguistic warfare. While some engage fully out in the open, making their meanings known in a clear and well articulated way, others speak in more clandestine fashion, preferring instead to employ guerilla-warfare-like tactics. In this paper, we address the problems of linguistic warfare by criticising those who engage in morally corrupt ways and by praising those who engage openly. Readings will include work by authors such as Lynne Tirrell, Jason Stanley, Cailin O'Connor and James Weatherall, Lee McIntyre, Michael Lynch, Sally Haslanger, Lewis Gordon, and Don Fallis.
Past & Future Courses
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
Focal topic: the nature of truth and facts
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)