Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! 'Have courage to use your own reason!' -- that is the motto of enlightenment.
-Kant, "What is Enlightenment?"
An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
-John William Gardner, "Excellence"
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
Class Information and Documents
In the left-hand margin, you'll see some folders and links. Click to get information on impending or current courses I will be or am conducting, and to download course-related documents. For example, my syllabi are uploaded here, as are various handouts. Please visit my Canvas page, however, if you are enrolled in a course I am conducting. There, you will find more documents specific to your class.
My training is in the History of Western Philosophy. My dissertation centered on Kant’s concept of critique as an epistemologically significant metaphor for transcendental self-consciousness. Although elements of that dissertation are still of great interest to me, years of conducting introductory philosophy courses have broadened my range of inquiry. I am particularly intrigued by the nature of conditionals; the metaphysics of causation; Gettier Cases and moral responsibility; determinism, free will, and moral responsibility; personal identity, consciousness, philosophy of metaphor; philosophy of education; philosophical method; Parmenides and Meno’s Paradox; Parmenides and Spinoza on Being; and philosophy of death.
In addition to my academic interests, I write fiction and non-fiction at what I call the intersection of philosophy and everything else. To that end, I analyze and argue about contemporary topics. Some of my work appears at Van Winkle’s, ScreenPrism, and my own blog, girlzillawrites. I also occasionally serve as an academic consultant for Wisecrack, Inc., an edutainment media company.