I have designed and taught a variety of philosophy and logic courses at the undergraduate level including: Models in Science, Business & Morality, Introduction to Ethics, and Elementary Logic.
Aristotle in the Anthropocene
Epistemology of Climate Science Through History
We will start by exploring how the meaning of these basic epistemic concepts have changed in the past from Ancient Greece through the Scientific Revolution of 17th century Europe. Since the 1970s, the study of climate change has been pursued largely using computer simulations. Through philosophical work, fiction, poetry, and film we will see how historical and technological advancements have had corresponding changes on our understanding of scientific prediction and knowledge. We will consider questions like:
How did people historically understand and relate to the weather or climate as a manifestation of nature?
How did the historical emergence of new ways of measuring climate, new technologies like the thermometer or barometer, change the relation of human to nature?
What did human’s relation to nature imply for the definition of scientific knowledge, prediction and control?
These are some of the questions we will explore and consider as we try to understand the complex and fascinating ways in which the history of developing technologies and the human experience of the environment and climate dynamically interact with our most basic ideas about knowledge, prediction and control.
Click here for syllabus.
Models in Science
Scientific modeling is guiding our response to critical issues from COVID-19 to climate change. But what are scientific models? How do scientists use computer models to investigate real-world systems? How do we know that model predictions are reliable for decision-making? This is a philosophy seminar introducing scientific models. We will cover how models transform the scientific method, how ethics impact model development, and when to trust models in decision making. Examples include epidemiological and climate simulations.
Business and Morality: Ethics in Context
In this course, we will explore the ethical dimension of decision making in the context of contemporary business practices. We will explore classical ethical theories including deontology, virtue ethics, and utilitarianism. We will then use these theories to assess solutions to some of the ethical dilemmas that arise in business as employers, employees, co-workers, and consumers.
Principles of Reasoning
Logic is the study and evaluation of the relationships between the types of reasons we have and the types of conclusions we hold on the basis of those reasons.
In this course, students will learn to evaluate arguments. More specifically, you will learn how to:
(1) analyze and evaluate types of reason-giving arguments,
(2) structure reasons into sound and valid arguments,
(3) distinguish reason-giving arguments from opinions or logical fallacies, and
(4) identify and evaluate different types of arguments and fallacies in diverse forms of media.
Climate Ethics: An Introduction to Applied Ethics
This course is an introduction to the practice of ethical deliberation concerning climate change.
We will explore the following ethical questions pertaining to global climate change:
What ethical challenges does anthropogenic climate change raise?
What makes for an ethical climate change policy? How does technological risk and uncertainty undermine our ability to develop an ethical policy?
Who is to blame for climate change? What would it mean for there to be individual or collective responsibility for climate change?
What are we required to do about climate change? What are the ethical concerns people have about geo-engineering?