In the post-pandemic era, where students are experiencing (or recovering from) traumatic circumstances, such as disease, loss of income, unequal healthcare treatment, or racism, listening is very important when teaching. Listening supports students by providing a space where they can be safely vulnerable; listening can be directive by giving space for students to cultivate inner strength, self-awareness, and wisdom. Listening is also very important for philosophical reflection.
I encourage students be both analytical and open-hearted, so that students can feel safe to test out arguments, critically analyze faults in their reasoning, ultimately to cultivate openness to well-informed ideas. I bring my unique skill set of listening into my classroom, which provides students a space where they are met and adjustments for each students’ needs are made accordingly.
Recent and Upcoming Courses
University of California, Irvine (2022-2023)
Medical Humanities 1. Health, Wellness, and Conception of the Body
Medical humanities has a critical stake in the interdisciplinary study of health and wellness, illuminating how people are not merely objects of biomedicine, but active agents shaping their own conceptions of health, healing, and the body. Using historical and contemporary case studies, this introductory course explores social and cultural dimensions of biomedical and clinical experiences. We will examine some of these questions: What is considered a “healthy” or “sick” body? How and why did Western biomedicine establish certain bodies as “normal” and others as non-normative, and what are the consequences for doing so? We will also consider where stories of illness begin—and end? How do experiences of disease or disability shape one’s sense of self? How do patient narratives engage with, respond to, and/or critique medical discourses? In this course, we will examine autobiographical illness narratives in a variety of media—print, graphic, and digital—in order to analyze how patient-writers narrate their experiences of illness and construct themselves as subjects within their wider social and cultural contexts.
Contemporary Moral Problems
This course will connect disputed moral issues with moral theories. There are many such disputed issues, but this semester we shall concentrate on the following: Sexual Morality, Abortion, Cloning and Genetic Enhancement, Economic Justice. We begin the course with a very brief introduction to the philosophical study of moral issues, including what is called moral (or ethical) theory. As we shall see, philosophers often approach specific moral issues by making use of a particular moral theory and applying the theory to the problem. (That’s why what we will be studying is sometimes called applied ethics.) So, as we proceed, not only will we be learning about the philosophical controversies surrounding the above-mentioned issues, we will also be learning about moral theory. Indeed, moral viewpoints are often situated in a moral theory with certain moral assumptions. Students will analytically examine the assumptions and arguments in both the moral issues and theories covered in class. We will also examine arguments for and against controversial issues, doing our best to understand both sides with open minds. In the end, students should have a better understanding of the nature of these disputes.
Puzzles and Paradoxes
This course is an introduction to philosophy by way of some famous paradoxes that have challenged our understanding of reality throughout history. Understanding the paradoxes will require development of the formal tools needed to think systematically, and to comprehend and evaluate arguments and theories. By the same token, analyzing paradoxes will give way to fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of space, time, knowledge, the infinite, truth, and the mind. Hence, this class is an excellent way both to be introduced to the proprietary subject-matters that have occupied philosophers and to practice the transferable skills that an education in philosophy offers. In this class, you will get to know what it feels like to analyze arguments and become more confident in your ability to evaluate and participate in theoretical reasoning, to communicate clearly, and to think deeply. We’ll consider problems regarding the nature of space-and-time, the infinite, truth (the Liar’s paradox “This claim is false”), mind and brain (Cartesian dualism), and more recent puzzles that have arisen in decision theory and statistics.
Writing 60, Argument and Research, is the second of UCI’s two required writing courses that together fulfill the Lower Division Writing Requirement. Like WR 50, WR 60 focuses on critical reading and rhetoric, and it extends beyond it by teaching you strategies for identifying, understanding, and using various genres and by offering instruction in information literacy and research techniques.
With its focus on social justice advocacy, the WR 60 curriculum motivates analysis of current and pressing societal issues. The themes you’ll address and the readings you’ll encounter will put before you opportunities to study the rhetorical and argumentative strategies of scholars, public intellectuals, policymakers, and social justice advocates engaged in thinking through political and cultural problems of importance to us today. In so doing, we’ll evaluate both our personal perspectives and the broad values that define our engagement with social justice advocacy.
Previous Courses Taught
University of California, Irvine
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.
Graduate Academic Writing
This course teaches skills for developing academic writing practice and technique. It will cover a variety of topics about the academic writing process including planning, designing a research project, abstracts, and sentence level editing.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
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.
Los Angeles City College
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.
California State University, Los Angeles
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.