Courses at Florida International University
Existentialism, Fall 2016, Fall 2018
How should I live? How should I face death? How can I be authentic? What does it mean to be free? These questions lie at the heart of existentialist thinking. Existentialism is a movement in philosophy and literature that originated in the nineteenth century writings of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. Although neither Kierkegaard nor Nietzsche referred to himself as an existentialist, their reflections on the meaning of religion and morality laid the ground for twentieth-century works in existentialist philosophy, most notably those of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018
This course will introduce you to the field of philosophy, both one of the oldest intellectual pursuits in human history and a vibrant 21st-century discipline. While the field of philosophy encompasses a rich set of questions, this course will focus one of the most fundamental questions of philosophy: How can I lead a better life? In answering this question, we will address such topics as: What is happiness and how can I achieve it? What is friendship and why have friends? How should I face death? What is knowledge and how can I acquire it? What social and ethical responsibilities do I have? We will build skills in thinking independently, self-reflection, and communication, but most importantly, we will practice using those skills to lead a better life.
Phenomenology, Spring 2017
What are time and space? What is the relation between self and world? What is the relation between mind and body? What is it like to be embodied in a social world? These are some of the questions that lie at the heart of phenomenological reflection. Phenomenology is a movement in twentieth-century German and French philosophy. Our readings will include the works of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, as well as those of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Simone de Beauvoir, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacques Derrida.
Courses at Harvard University
Gender and Race, Fall 2014
Gender and race are social categories that shape our lives on a daily basis. This course will offer an introduction to metaphysical and ethical issues pertaining to gender and race. It will address such topics as: definitions of gender and race (including the sex/gender and color/race distinctions); race eliminativism; differences between the structures of gender and race; definitions of racism and sexism; and the claims of theories of social justice which aim to combat racism and sexism. We will study the classical descriptions of gendered and raced experience found in the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon, as well as the views of contemporary philosophers such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, Sally Haslanger, and Martha Nussbaum.
Aristotle’s Ethics, Spring 2013
One of the most influential ethical treatises ever written, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics offers an account of the highest good for humans: “happiness”, as it's usually translated. In developing this account, Aristotle explores such topics as: the nature of the good person; the relation between virtue and character; the human virtues; agency; self-control; justice; the role of friendship in the good life; and the relation between pleasure and the good. We aim to read the entire work closely, to try to understand the relations between these topics and the nature of the “happiness” Aristotle prizes.
My philosophy of teaching has been influenced by my understanding of philosophy as a way of life. I conceive of teaching as an opportunity to challenge my students intellectually and to invite them to change their lives through philosophy.