I am a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. I have an MA in Education and an MA in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles.
I’ve taught courses in writing, introduction to philosophy, critical thinking, and ancient philosophy at California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles City College, The Robert F. Kennedy High School in Koreatown, CalState Dominguez Hills, and at the University of Philosophical Research.
Primary Research Interests
My dissertation examines the conflict of evaluating when a belief relies on implicit bias versus a helpful generalization. My project investigates what is involved in choosing some piece of evidence in support of a claim. My theory is that implicit bias often manifests in subtle ways when evaluating evidence. This is of particular consequence in the medical context where grave harm can occur when medical professionals make decisions that have the potential to cause mortal suffering to patients. My aim is to better understand what leads one to favor some piece of evidence over another, as well as to strategize how to bring in diverse perspectives so that different considerations when weighing evidence can be made. Towards the latter concern, I am invested in removing academic barriers for underrepresented minority groups so that more diverse voices can be heard in the medical field.
Interested in my current work?
85 Humanities Instructional Building
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-4555
Rena [dot] B [dot] Goldstein [at] uci [dot] edu
Overview of Courses Taught
This course provides students with an overview of the exciting field of medical epistemology. Based on case-studies drawn from contemporary medical practice, the course will be themed around nine key topics: 1) Testimonial and hermeneutical injustice in the medical context. 2) Expert disagreement in the medical context. 3) Trust and the role of experts in the medical context. 4) Transformative experiences in the medical setting. 5) The significance of vaccine skepticism. 6) The ethics and epistemology of placebos. 7) The value and accuracy of diagnostic tests. 8) The difference between side effects and intended effects. 9) The nature of medical indications.
Foundations of Greek Philosophy
January – June 2019
This is an introduction to Greek Philosophy, dealing with the rise of the original sense of philosophy as “love of wisdom.” The course surveys some of classical philosophy and the evolution of the concepts of consciousness, investigating the pre-Socratic thinkers, as well as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and Proclus.
January – June 2017
In this course, students study fundamental logical rules that apply when making claims to knowledge. Students learn basic logic functions, in their inductive and deductive forms, and those forms relate to the everyday language. The goal is to develop students’ abilities to analyze, criticize, and advocate for their ideas, to reason inductively and deductively, and to reach well-supported conclusions by applying the concepts of critical reasoning.
Introduction to Philosophy
September – December 2016
The objective of this course is to introduce students to philosophical inquiry and discuss major themes in an open and responsive environment. Many issues that we naturally wonder about are topics for philosophic debate, such as: What is the goal of human life? How can I decide morally difficult cases? Does God exist? Do I exist? We will explore these main topics in philosophy through traditional and contemporary debates, as well as become familiar with the conceptual tools available to philosophic inquiry.
June – August 2015
This summer writing class works with incoming students, prior to the first semester of freshmen year, to develop their writing skills. Students are assigned readings. Half of the class time is spent discussing the readings, and then students use the remainder of the class time to work on their essays.