Heritage Hall 419
Research and Teaching Interests: Free Will and Moral Responsibility, the Philosophy of Addiction, Ethics, and Metaphysics
Office Hours: By appointment only
- BA, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, History
- BA, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, Philosophy
- MA, Georgia State University, Philosophy
- PhD, University of California-Riverside, Philosophy
My philosophical interests are diverse (it’s a big field!), but my most extensive experience is with the metaphysics of free will and moral responsibility, ethics, and the philosophy of addiction (the topic of my dissertation, "Philosophy, Phenomenology, and Neuroscience: The Groundwork for an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Comprehensive Understanding of Addiction"). For an overview of my (perhaps a tad eclectic) interests please see the “Recent Publications” section where I list not only papers I have published and presented, but several current research projects.
As a student I fell in love (or at least a “heavy like”) with philosophy when I took an introductory course, largely by chance, at the end of my sophomore year (I took a cruise on the “ship of Theseus” and onboard all the passengers could talk about was “The Trolley Problem” . . . please Google those to get some idea of the types of fun theoretical questions you’ll run across if you take intro philosophy). Although I went on to earn a BA in history, with minors in biology and philosophy, I always thought that I might return to philosophy. After almost four years of working in the real world I became convinced that doing things such as trying to prove, disprove, and then reprove the existence of God in the span of a single class was far more congenial to my own long-term feeling of fulfillment than was calling in sales figures and taking quarterly inventories. I returned to UAT, finished a BA in philosophy, went through grad school, and am glad to be back in Alabama for now. (I wasn’t born in Alabama, but I grew up in Tuscaloosa — I have several family members now living in the Mobile area — and consider ‘Bama my home. So, as is the case with many of my fellow Alabamians, you will find me glued to the couch watching TV virtually every Saturday in the fall.)
This summer I was an invited instructor at the “Young Scholars Workshop” at the capstone conference of the John Templeton Foundation funded SPT (science, philosophy, theology) Immortality Project in Riverside, CA. The scholars’ papers and our discussions dealt mainly with the philosophy of death (not as creepy as it might sound) and how our mortality does or doesn’t relate to making our lives meaningful (a topic I have written about and explored while a research assistant during the first year of the above mentioned project).
Follow the linked course names to see sample syllabi which describe course aims, learning objectives, requirements, and schedules. These are samples only. The instructor may make changes to these syllabi in future courses.
- PHL 116: Bioethics
- PHL 120: Practical Reasoning
- PHL 220: Social and Political Philosophy
- PHL 315: Theories of Good and Evil
- "Dueling Interveners: A Challenge to Frankfurt’s Conception of Free Will and Acting Freely,” Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (No. 1, March 2012):56-61.
- “Meet the Schadenfreudes: Schadenfreude as a Family of 5 Distinct Concepts”
- “The Story of Semi-Compatibilism: How an ‘Evolutionary’ Explanation of Guidance Control Can Provide a Justified Belief in Moral Responsibility”
- “Misunderstanding Love: A Conceptual Misinterpretation Addicts Make about their Addiction Related Phenomenology”
- “Two Examples that Don’t Work Well Together: How the ‘Doomsday Scenario’ and the ‘Infertility Scenario’ Can Lead to Different Intuitions about the Importance of a Collective Afterlife”
- “Paths to the Afterlife in the Hindu Faith”
- “Three Questions for Comparing and Contrasting the Afterlife Beliefs of Six Prominent World Religions”
- “Reducing the Energy Transfer Theory of Causation to the Counterfactual Theory,” Georgia State University, Graduate Student Conference
- “Buddhism and the Concept of Evil,” invited presentation given at Rock Valley College; Rockford, IL
- American Philosophical Association
- Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, University of California-Riverside