Below are descriptions of some courses I've taught at Penn. I'm also interested in service learning and in teaching philosophy outside the traditional classroom setting. You can read more about my efforts in those directions here.


Philosophy 001: Introduction to Philosophy

An introduction to philosophy organized around varieties of skepticism: about our knowledge of the external world; about personal identity; about the existence of moral value; about the legitimacy of political authority; about the fairness of capitalism; about the existence of race; and about the meaning of life. Readings from Plato, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Sharon Street, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan Wolf, Michelle Alexander, and David Foster Wallace (among others).

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Philosophy 249: Democracy and Education in Philadelphia 

A Critical Speaking course integrating the study of the philosophy of education with current issues facing the Philadelphia Public Schools. Readings from Plato, John Dewey, Amy Gutmann, Elizabeth Anderson, Paolo Freire,  Jonathan Kozol, Claude Steele, Raj Chetty, and Miranda Fricker (among others), along with relevant Supreme Court cases and policy papers. Formal assignments focused on developing public speaking and oral discussion skills.

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Philosophy 032: Varieties of Meaning

A seminar on theories of meaning in four dimensions: linguistic meaning, natural meaning, cultural meaning, and ethical meaning. Readings from Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Grice, Dretske, Dewey, Ruth Millikan, Brian Skyrms, Roland Barthes, and Susan Wolf (among others). 


Writing 073: The Ethics of Identity

An introductory course in Critical Writing, focused on Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Ethics of Identity. Addresses questions like: How should we understand the nature of social identities like race, gender, religion, and sexuality? What role do they rightly play in our lives, and how should our governments treat us (or not treat us) on their basis? What, exactly, is a culture, and are all cultures really equally deserving of our respect?

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Philosophy 249: Philosophy of Education (ABCS) | co-designed with Karen Detlefsen

An Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) class on the philosophy of education. The course integrated Penn undergraduates with high school students from Philadelphia’s public schools. During the weekly seminar, undergraduates discussed topics in the philosophy of education; on Saturdays, they led lessons with the high school students on the week’s topic. The course concluded with a public conference in which the high school students presented their own original work in the philosophy of education, developed in concert with their undergraduate mentors.