Education: Ph.D. in philosophy, Syracuse University, 2011
                   A.B. in philosophy, Brown University, 1996

Areas of Specialization:

Metaphysics, Social Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Race)

Other Areas of Competence:

            Philosophy of Religion

            Ethics (theory and applied)
            History of Philosophy (ancient, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, early modern)

Dissertation: “A Realist Metaphysics of Race: A Context-Sensitive, Short-Term Retentionist, Long-Term Revisionist Approach”

Committee: Linda Martín Alcoff, Mark Heller, André Gallois, Ben Bradley, Kris McDaniel

Dissertation Abstract:          

    There are three main metaphysical positions on race. Anti-realists deny that there are races. Natural-kind positions find sub-groups of homo sapiens with scientific importance and call them races. Social-kind views consider races to exist because of contingent social practices. I argue for a view closest to the third camp. Chapter 1 makes room for racial natural kinds, provided a minimal-enough sense of a natural kind. However, the groups we arrive at by non-arbitrary scientific means are not the socially-important groups that we ordinarily call races. Thus the groups we normally call races are not natural kinds. Chapter 2 argues that anti-realist arguments fail by relying on experts rather than ordinary language-users, using historical rather than contemporary data, and making unjustified conclusions from thought experiments and ordinary use. Chapter 3 makes room for a social-kind view, showing (1) the contingency of the categories, (2) the fact that arbitrary socially-determined facts determine the structure of racial classification (3) the instability of racial categories. Racial groups would exist without social constructions, since they are just groups of people, but the social constructions make particular group classifications socially important and allow us to name them as races. Chapter 4 argues for context-sensitivity in racial constructions, with fluidity from one context to another even for the same person. Different factors might be relevant in different settings to change which racial labels might apply. Chapter 5 argues that we should use racial categories to identify problems in how our racial construction is formed, including harmful effects, rather than seeking to eliminate the categories in any direct way, but we should also make efforts to change the conditions that generate those problematic elements, so we can retain only the unproblematic aspects. Some elements of racial identity-formation can be good.

Teaching Experience:

I have taught fifty-eight classes (including two this fall) since I have been teaching on my own, starting in the fall of 2000. During this time I have taught:

PHL 101, Phil. Foundations of Western Thought (ancient-Descartes, Le Moyne College)
PHI 107, Theories of Knowledge and Reality (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, Syracuse University)
PHI 108, Ethics (intro to ethical theory, Onondaga Community College, spring 2012)PHI 191, Ethics and Value Theory (theoretical and applied ethics, Syracuse University)PHL 192, Introduction to Moral Theory (ethical theory, historical and contemporary, Syracuse University; online course)PHI 197, Human Nature (ancient-20th century, Syracuse University)PHL 201, Philosophical Perspectives on the Human Condition (human nature 1650-contemporary, Le Moyne College)PHL 302, Issues in Ethics (applied ethics, Le Moyne College)PHL 303, Great Traditions in Ethics (ethical theory, historical and contemporary, Le Moyne College)PHI 391, History of Ethics (ancient-20th century, Syracuse University)PHI 393, Contemporary Ethics (ethical theory, Syracuse University)PHI 493, Contemporary Ethical Issues (applied ethics, Syracuse University)                                 

Research Interests:

Metaphysics of Racial Classification; Social, Ethical, and Epistemological Implications of Race; Vagueness; Personal Identity; Time and Persistence; Material Constitution; Disability

Awards: Syracuse University Outstanding TA Award, April 2003

            Syracuse University Summer Research Fellowship, June 1999

Book: A Realist Metaphysics of Race: A Context-Sensitive, Short-Term Retentionist, Long-Term Revisionist Approach, contract with Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington for April 2012 submission of completed manuscript

Popular Articles:

-- “The Golden Man” in Philip K. Dick and Philosophy, ed. D.E. Wittkower (Open Court, 2011)

-- “It Doesn’t Matter What We Do: Whatever Happened Happened” in The Ultimate Lost and Philosophy, ed. Sharon Kaye (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series,                 2010)

-- “Destiny in Harry Potter”, in The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles, ed. Greg Bassham (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, 2010)

-- reprinted as “Destiny in the Wizarding World” in Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, from House to Hume, ed. William Irwin and David Kyle Johnson (Wiley/Blackwell, 2010)

-- “Mutants and the Metaphysics of Race”, in The X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the X-Verse, ed. Rebecca Housel and J. Jeremy Wisnewski (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, 2009)

-- reprinted in Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, from House to Hume [see above for “Destiny in the Wizarding World”

Book Reviews:                                                                                  

Gender, Bullying, and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools, Elizabeth J. Meyer, Teachers College Press, 2009, in Men and Masculinities 14:630-632 (Dec 2011)

God and Time: Four Views, ed. Gregory E. Ganssle, InterVarsity Press, 2001, in Faith and Philosophy (October 2003)

Talks and conference presentations:
            “Race and Context-Sensitivity,” American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, April 2012 (accepted)

“Ethics Without God?” MissionU, conference for Christian college students, Providence, RI, February 2004

“Vagueness, Coincident Entities, and Ontology” Syracuse University Internal Speakers series, Fall 2003

Conference Comments:

            Chris Tillman, “Contextualism is False” Syracuse University Grad Student Philosophy Conference, February 2004

Mark Moyer, "Should We Swallow Worms or Worm Slices?" Creighton Club, Philosophical Society of Central New York, Nov 2000

Referee Work: (textbook evaluation) Routledge

                        (journal referee) Pacific Philosophical Quarterly

Work in Progress:

“Contextualism and Racial Classification” (under review for publication)

“A Critique of Glasgow's Racial Revisionism” (under review for publication)

“The Ethics of the Metaphysics of Race” (under review for publication)

 “A Taxonomy of Racial Essentialisms”

“Partially-Perduring and Partially-Enduring Entities”

 “Epistemic Privilege and Privileged Social Location”

“Disability, Normalcy, and Well-Being”

Editorial Work: Edited MS for Laurence Thomas’ portion of Laurence M. Thomas and Michael E. Levin, Sexual Orientation and Human Rights (1999) Rowman & Littlefield.

Other Professional Responsibilities and Service:

Advisory Board, Center for Normative Inquiry, Palm Beach University
            Co-founder, phil. of religion weblog Prosblogion

Academic Employment:

            Adjunct Professor, Le Moyne College, August 2011-present

            Adjunct Instructor, Le Moyne College, August 2003-August 2011
            Adjunct Instructor, Syracuse University, May 2003-August 2011 (both continuing education and Philosophy Dept. classes, incl. online)
            Teaching associate, Syracuse University, August 2000-May 2003
                    Fully responsible for syllabi, lectures, assignments, exams, grading
                    Participation in Syracuse University Future Professoriate Program
            Teaching assistant coordinator, Syracuse University, January 1998-May 2000
                    Led recitation sections, responsible for grading
                    Oversight of team of 5-6 teaching assistants for class of 350-400 students
            Teaching assistant, Fall 1997 Led recitation sections, responsible for grading
            Tutor, summers 2001, 2002, 2004 (led study groups and tutored)
                    Phi 107, Theories of Knowledge and RealitY
                    Phi 171, Critical Thinking
                    Phi 191, Ethics and Value Theory
                    Phi 251, Logic
                    Rel 101, Religions of the World 

Languages: Ancient Greek, Latin

Graduate Courses Taken or Audited:

Metaphysics and Philosophy of Religion:

Persistence and Parthood (Ted Sider)
            Personal Identity (Dean Zimmerman)
            Vagueness (John Hawthorne, Jose Benardete)
            Philosophical Theology (William Alston)
            David Lewis (John Hawthorne) [audited]
            Time and Eternity (Dean Zimmerman) [audited]
            Imagination and Possibility (Tamar Szabo Gendler)
            Topics in Metaphysics (John Hawthorne)    
            Metaphysics (Jose Benardete)
            Philosophy of Mind (Robert Van Gulick)

History of Philosophy:

Topics in Ancient Philosophy: Metaphysics (John Robertson)
            Topics in Ancient Philosophy: Ethics (John Robertson) [audited]
            Hellenistic Philosophy (Bonnie Kent)
            Medieval Philosophy (John Hawthorne)
            Locke (Nicholas Jolley) [audited]
            Locke and Leibniz (Jonathan Bennett, William Alston)
            Malebranche and Leibniz (Nicholas Jolley) [audited]
            Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (Fred Beiser) [audited, first half of semester]
            Frege (Brent Mundy)

Other courses:

Race and Identity (Linda Martín Alcoff)
            Contemporary Epistemology (William Alston)
            Knowledge (John Hawthorne) [audited]
            Philosophy of Language (Ted Sider)
            Philosophy of Mathematics (Jose Benardete)
            Logic and Language (Mark Brown)
            Moral Philosophy (Samuel Gorovitz)
            Structure of Science (Brent Mundy)

Philosophical References:

Linda Martín Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate


Mark Heller, Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University

Ben Bradley, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University (Laurence S.

Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow, Princeton University for 2011-2012)

Kris McDaniel, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University


Teaching References:

Mario Saenz, Professor of Philosophy, Le Moyne College – dept. chair 2010-2013

Thomas McKay, Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University – teaching mentor, 2000-2002

Laurence Thomas, Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, Syracuse University – teaching oversight, 1997-2000