Teaching

Below is a list of courses I am teaching or have taught. I have included course descriptions and syllabi for these courses, as well as teaching evaluations for the courses I have already finished teaching. I have also included a summary of my teaching evaluations for all of the courses for which I was a teaching assistant at UC Riverside.


Washington University in St. Louis

Biomedical Ethics, Spring 2019

Environmental Ethics, Fall 2018 (two sections), Spring 2019

This course aims to familiarize students with some of the central issues in environmental ethics. At the same time, more generally, this course will provide some of the necessary tools for thinking critically, being rational, arguing for what one believes, and investigating the question of how to live morally. In the first section of the course, we will investigate ethical issues related to sentient life, including other human beings as well as non-human animals. Next, we will turn to ethical considerations regarding non-sentient life, including plants, landscapes, and ecosystems. Finally, in the third and final part of the course, we will examine our moral obligations—both individually and collectively—with respect to climate change.

Syllabus (coming soon)

Present Moral Problems, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

This course has two parts. In the first part, students will be introduced to several of the ethical theories that have been most popular in the history of philosophy, including utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. Building on this theoretical background, the second part of the course turns to applied ethical issues. Many of these are familiar problems that are widely debated by philosophers and non-philosophers alike, such as the morality of abortion and the death penalty, whereas others are less widely discussed but (arguably) still very important contemporary moral issues, such as the morality of robotic labor and the value of work.

Syllabus (coming soon)


UC Riverside

Introduction to Logic, Summer 2017

This course provides a basic introduction to sentential (i.e., propositional) logic. We begin with the basic notions of argument, validity, and inference. We then learn how to symbolize arguments in natural languages like English by translating them into a formal language, the language of sentential logic. Sentential logic is the logic of truth functions, which serves as the basis of other logics. (Truth functions are also crucial to a number of other fields, especially computer science, linguistics, and mathematics.) The core of the course is learning sentential logic. The system comes in two parts. The first part is truth tables, which give the meanings of the truth functional connectives and can be used to establish a number of logical properties that sentences and sets of sentences have. The second part is the proof theory of sentential logic, where we learn to construct derivations that prove the validity of certain inferences.

Logic is a field of study on its own and the logic of sentential logic is the entry ticket into that field. Moreover, in addition to its centrality to the disciplines already mentioned, the material covered in this course has broader application, as it is key to problem solving in general and being a good critical reasoner. One place where this application is most apparent is with the logical reasoning and logic game questions on the LSAT exam required for entry into most law schools. We will end the course with a discussion of these problems, practicing applying some of the more abstract and formal techniques learned earlier in the course to these problems, and with a discussion of the limits of sentential logic.

Syllabus

UC Riverside, Summer 2017 — Scale out of 5 (Highest)

Teaching Overall

Course Overall

Instructor’s Enthusiasm

My Average

5.00

4.91

5.00

Department Average

4.70

4.64

4.84

Campus Average

4.38

4.33

4.55

Official records: numerical and comments


Mortal Questions, Summer 2015

In this course, we will carefully consider some of the central philosophical questions pertaining to the metaphysics and ethics of mortality. The first half of the course will focus on issues that more directly pertain to death itself—whether we are mortal, whether death can be bad for the one who dies, whether it is rational to fear death—and the second half of the course will focus on (apparently) related issues—whether immortality is desirable, what gives meaning to life, and whether we have free will.

Syllabus

UC Riverside, Summer 2015 — Scale out of 5 (Highest)

Teaching Overall

Course Overall

Instructor’s Enthusiasm

My Average

4.90

4.80

4.90

Department Average

4.50

4.40

4.70

Campus Average

4.40

4.30

4.50

Official records: numerical and comments


Summary of Teaching Assistant Evaluations

UC Riverside, Fall 2014–Spring 2018 (12 Classes Total) — Scale out of 7 (Highest)

Teaching Overall Encourages Participation

Encourages and Respects Diverse Perspectives

My Average

6.62

6.49

6.61

Department Average

6.21

6.16

6.34

Campus Average

6.11

6.04

6.24

Official records: numerical and comments