Teaching Philosophy

What is the basis for the legitimacy of the state? What are the limits to state power? How can we distinguish between the public and private spheres? These are traditionally some of the most fundamental questions of political philosophy. And they are also good examples of how philosophical material can be very abstract, and seem far removed from our ordinary lives. This can pose a unique challenge to many students, since pedagogical research finds that we learn best by “anchoring” new knowledge to old knowledge, or knowledge we already have. And so the key for teaching these classic questions of political philosophy, I think, is to make them more intuitive. My approach is to start by presenting concrete questions that students have clearer intuitions about, then building on these intuitions while developing more abstract principles, and encouraging students to critically develop their own points of view.

 

As an instructor, I am especially keen on developing strategies to promote active learning because a growing body of research suggests that while it benefits all student populations, it disproportionately benefits women, black, low-income, and first-generation students, members of which groups remain underrepresented in philosophy at every level. In the hopes that philosophy as a discipline might become more diverse and inclusive, I am interested in developing pedagogical strategies that encourage students from a diverse range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds to study philosophy.

Recently, I was appointed by the College of Liberal Arts, after having successfully submitted a proposal, to develop a new General Education course as part of Temple's initiative to produce new, innovative courses in topics lacking representation in the current catalog, including the history and contemporary reality of Asian Americans and anti-Asian sentiment. My colleague Sean Yom (Political Science) and I are proud to have worked together to produce a new course, Asians, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders in the United States: Race, Diversity, and Identity, which we are now shepherding through the approval process.

 

Courses Taught

Police and Police Brutality (upper division)

Ethics of War and Peace (upper division)

Sex and the Political (upper division)

History of Greek Philosophy (upper division, UCLA)

Aristotle's Metaphysics (upper division, UCLA)

Corporate Responsibility and Ethics (Wharton)

Introduction to Feminist Philosophy: Sex Discrimination and Workplace Sexual Harassment (lower division)

Political Violence (graduate seminar)

Solidarity (graduate seminar)