Greetings! I am a visiting lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University and an instructor for the Clemente Course in the Humanities. Prior to coming to Northeastern University, I was a teaching post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Stonehill College. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from Boston University in 2019. Before that, I was awarded a M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University in 2012 and a B.A. in history from Winona State University in 2009.
I specialize in early modern philosophy, with an emphasis on topics in ethics. To date, I have published on the work of David Hume, Damaris Masham, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, Adam Smith, and John Gay; I have recently turned to the writings of Sophie de Grouchy as well. My research in early modern philosophy centers on two questions: How do we come to see ourselves as accountable to others? And, given our accountability to others, how should we regard ourselves? Call these the accountability question and the practical attitude question. While the bulk of my work is dedicated to investigating these questions as they arise in context of 17th and 18th century ethical discussions, I am also interested in tackling these questions on their own terms.
I argue that the key to tackling the accountability question lies in understanding the proper role of love in morality, and have argued for such a view, drawing on the insights of Damaris Masham (there are a number of aspects of the view I aim to spell out in future papers). When it comes to the practical attitude question, what is called for is a more general theory of self-regarding attitudes and virtues. In service of this end I have begun working a theory of self-love, along with an account of what Joseph Butler refers to as “the government of the tongue,” or how we should properly speak about others to others.
When it comes to teaching, I primarily offer courses in the history of philosophy – Ancient and Modern – and ethics – including courses on Disability Ethics, Environmental Ethics, and Happiness. I’m passionate about introducing students to philosophy through sources and traditions that have often gone unrepresented in the discipline. Whether it’s getting students to recognize that philosophy has long been done by women and bipoc, to think about their relation to nature by reading indigenous authors or to grapple with questions of well-being, happiness, and justice by considering the lives and work of disabled peoples.
Outside of philosophy, I spend most of my time listening to and writing about music, attending concerts (pre-COVID-19), baking, watching movies, and reconnecting with family and friends. I’m a proud Minnesota native and, while I cannot go to bat for us having the best traditional cuisine in the world, we have a great state fair, lots of fresh water, and will clean the snow off your car simply out of habit. So not the worst friends to have.