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My research interests are in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Biology and Environmental Philosophy. I think a lot about the concepts of nature and human nature: How do the biological sciences help us understand ourselves and our relation to the rest of the natural world? I also think a lot about beliefs: What are we doing when we ascribe beliefs to ourselves and others? What are legitimate ways of forming beliefs? How should people navigate perceived conflicts between their religious beliefs and the consensus of the scientific community? I try to address these abstract issues in a concrete and timely way in some of my classes where we might, e.g., dissect political debates about anthropogenic climate change or childhood vaccinations; explore evolutionary explanations for human behavior; or discuss the role of science and values in economic, environmental and public health policy.
As an Association Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, I enjoy getting to know students and advising them as they carve their unique paths through the University. I also teach in the Department of Philosophy, where I might be found teaching a course on the Philosophy of Language, Biology, or the Environment.