Teaching

Late one evening in the fall of 2016, several days after my last tutorial on Book I of Plato’s Republic, two students eagerly approached me at an eating club. They confessed that since
working through Thrasymachus’ arguments designed to debunk justice in our tutorial, they no
longer knew why it was important to respect the demands of morality. We had a lively
discussion for some time, and they eventually overcame their newfound cynicism and affirmed
the importance of treating others fairly because, they now thought, it is impossible to cultivate
the sorts of meaningful and satisfying relationships that make life worthwhile without treating
others as genuinely valuable and worthy of respect. I left the conversation feeling very relieved
– both because I knew I was not going to be held responsible for any T
hrasymachus-inspired
vandalism and also because it was clear to me that I had succeeded in getting those two students
to engage with a philosophical text at such a deep level that it challenged and even changed
the way they thought about their relationship with the world.


That experience convinced me that helping students realize the transformative effects of
studying philosophy is a vital part of being a successful teacher. I now strive not only for the
modest (though certainly important) goals of ensuring that students learn the material covered
in class and develop the technical skills required to thrive in their future academic career and
beyond; I now also aim to get my students – or at least as many of them as can be reasonably
hoped for – to engage with philosophy at a personal level.

Me and John.webp

Below are some examples of classes that I have developed

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An example of one of my online classes!