As a teacher, I aim to not only share knowledge of philosophical subjects, but to build skills that allows students to engage with these subjects on their own. First, I aim to inculcate the skill of engaging with another's views carefully and charitibly. Second, I aim to teach students how to present their ideas as a unified argument that engages with the most powerful arguments from an opposing side.
Scroll down to find my teaching experience, a brief description of some of my favourite recent teaching activities, some sample syllabi, as well as teaching evaluations and endorsements. There's also a section with resources for students and teachers.
Skill and Know-How, Georgia State University, Fall 2020.
Aristotle's Psychology, University of Toronto-Mississauga, Fall 2019
Introduction to Philosophy of Law, Yale University, Summer 2019.
Emotion and Cognition: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (with David Charles), Yale University, Spring 2019.
INDEPENDENT STUDY SUPERVISION
-A project applying Aristotelian virtue ethics to modern politics by senior philosophy major William Nienhuis, University of Toronto, 2019-20.
Here are some of my favourite teaching activities that I have carried out with my students:
Working through samples with a critical eye: In all of my courses I break down complex tasks (like writing a philosophy paper) into smaller sub-tasks (like writing an introduction, or identifying a thesis in a paragraph). More recently, I use exercises that place students in the role of a critic/instructor with respect to these sub-tasks. For instance, to teach students how to make appropriate use of quotation and paraphrase, I gave students a page with three samples that exhibit exaggerated forms of problems I often find in students's papers: (1) an overuse of direct quotation with little discussion in the students's own words; (2) summaries that fail to support a reading with textual references; and (3) lack of exegesis so as to present quick criticisms. We discussed the strengths and weakness of all the samples together as a class, enabling students to strengthen their writing by themselves identifying problems and good features in these samples.
Designing a poster: The aim of a poster is to condense a complex philosophical idea into a single picture. Although posters have become very common in philosophical conferences, they are also great tools for teaching and reward students that think in pictorial terms in ways in which other traditional philosophical exercises don't.
Doing a survey to test an assumption: For instance, in one class we tested whether certain phrases had certain normative connotations (an assumption of a number of authors in the course).The results were posted on a google drive, and our discussion centered on them, but also on the questions about how much such studies can help us answer philosophical questions.
Posting and discussing an interpretation of current events in light of a theory: The students were tasked with finding an event that had a straightforward interpretation and a non-straightforward one in light of a theory studied in the course (e.g. Arendt's theory of propaganda). The results were posted in a drive document, and we discussed them in class.
Skill and Know-How (MA seminar taught Fall 20)
Aristotle's Psychology (300-level course taught Fall 19)
Philsoophy of Law (introductory course taught Summer 19)
Teaching Evaluations and Endorsements
Click here to download my complete set of teaching evaluations since 2015.
Click here to download a copy of some endorsements of my teaching.