Teaching Fellow in Philosophy
B.S. (Honors), Iowa State University
M.A., University of Notre Dame
Ph.D. (expected Dec. 2012), University of Notre Dame
My research is concentrated in the philosophy of mind, language, and logic, especially that of the later medieval period. My dissertation was on the 14th-century English philosopher William of Ockham and the role his theory of mental language plays in his broader logical and ontological views, as well as the alleged points of similarity between this theory and so-called "computational" models of the mind found in contemporary philosophy and cognitive science.
I have also published work on Thomas Aquinas's philosophy of mind and personal identity, and am working on bringing some largely-forgotten medieval approaches to the mind to bear on open questions in contemporary philosophy of mind.
Though my research focus may at times appear narrow, my philosophical interests are extremely broad. I am interested in all periods of the history of philosophy, including those figures and periods that are often marginalized in the standard canons of the discipline. I am also interested in many areas of contemporary analytic philosophy, including philosophy of mind, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.
These wide ranging interests are reflected in my teaching; in all my courses, I try to convey the continuing relevance of both the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophical debates by including a healthy mix of both classical and contemporary texts. I also explore how philosophy intersects with and informs our broader culture by drawing students' attention to how they have already (often unknowingly!) encountered many long-standing philosophical questions in popular television shows and movies.
PHIL 120 Philosophy of Human Nature