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Visiting Assistant Professor &
Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) Fellow
 
Muhlenberg College, Department of Philosophy

Specialization:

  • Social & Political Philosophy

  • Ethics

  • Philosophy of Race

Competency:

  • 19th & 20th Century Continental Philosophy

  • Environmental & Biomedical Ethics

Ph.D. Philosophy
Purdue University
M.A. Philosophy
Purdue University
B.A. Philosophy
University of New Mexico
B.A. English: Creative Writing
University of New Mexico

Why Philosophy?

I have an insatiable curiosity about the world, I am fascinated by the way humans interact, by the ways that they find meaning, and how they express (aesthetically) and assert (politically) their humanity. Like the rest of our species, I am also traversing through this wondrous fog of existence, reflecting on different interpretations of "the good life", finding meaning and my place in nature and the cosmos, and trying to remain loyal to my ethical commitments. As a good philosopher should, I spend a lot of time reciting a succession of "whys". 

 

Philosophers play an important role in constructing the foundational theories for all the other fields of study. We are interested the furthest edges & limits of human inquiry, recognizing that not every question concerns the empirical study of phenomena. It is not knowledge alone that we philosophers seek, but the wisdom to discern the purpose, function, and use of this knowledge. There will always be a theory of values (implicitly or explicitly) at the base of every science. The 'philo' (love) of 'sophia' (wisdom) is our raison d'etre.

It is my belief that philosophers have a great responsibility as teachers. Ideas are powerful. As one of my students put it, "So basically Socrates was woke AF *, and he tried to get everyone else on his level, and because of that they killed him." (I wish I was able to summarize the Trial of Socrates to "Gen. Z" as succinctly as she did - I am always learning from students). So we, professors, must continually ask ourselves: how is our pedagogy contributing to the reinforcement of oppressive power structures vs. serving as an instrument for liberation and Truth. 

My approach to philosophy is dialectical, that is, necessitating destruction and creation. It is futile to talk about “the good life” or an ideal “life worth living” if we can’t all access such a life. So, part of my work involves identifying the avoidable barriers that prevent us from flourishing (i.e. poverty, racism, poor health, and environmental devastation) and “destroying”/critiquing the ideas, habits, and social structures that perpetuate such barriers. But creation is just as important as destruction, so along with critiquing existing barriers, I also write about what another world could look like. I approach normative political theory by making connections. I call this a ‘methodology of solidarity’ or a ‘rhizomatic method’. It is the recognition that true liberation and “the good life” can only be achieved when we “connect the dots” – when we see, for instance, how issues of public health relate to racism, how racism is influenced by the political economy, how inequality arose from capitalism & colonialism, how colonial logics contribute to environmental degradation, etc. Causation and explanations occur rhizomatically (to invoke Deleuze and Guattari) in a horizontal field of multiplicity, where any point can connect to any other, so our understanding of an ethical or political problem is most effective when it is approached with an understanding of the systems, and network of relations, that the problem is embedded in.

*Woke AF (adj., slang.) : The superlative of "woke"; enlightened, socially conscious, awareness of injustices.