Department of Philosophy
Issue 1- Summer 2003
Meet the New Faculty:
I grew up as a faculty brat in Ann Arbor, where my father was in the math department, and where I live now. I went away for college, to Yale, where I discovered political philosophy which saved me from being a film major. After college I worked in New York City as an editor of a computer games magazine. I eventually got tired of trying to live in the city on $13K/year and went back to Michigan for graduate school. As luck would have it, a childhood friend of mine, Justin D'Arms, came to the U-M department, and we formed an ethics reading group with some other graduate students, including Dave Sobel. Inspired by a discussion in the reading group, Justin and I wrote our first collaborative paper together; we've now published 4 co-authored papers and are working on a book.
We also co-wrote a screenplay in Ann Arbor, a psychological thriller that was only superficially psychological and even less thrilling. But I caught the bug anyway, and wrote two more screenplays over the next few years, before realizing that I needed to focus on writing philosophy if I was ever going to get a job. After (literally) six jobs, visiting or tenure-track, in the eight years since getting my Ph.D., here I am back in the midwest. I'm really happy to be in a department that focuses on ethics and political philosophy, and to be so close to Justin and Dave--when he's not in Australia. It's also great to work with graduate students.
My current research projects are in sentimentalist metaethics, which is the subject of the collaborative book project; a series of papers offering an idiosyncratic reading of Mill's moral philosophy (I contend, flouting paradox, that he is a utilitarian but not a consequentialist); and a project in aesthetics, in which I argue for an anti-theoretical view of the relation between the moral and aesthetic values of narrative and dramatic art. Anyone interested is welcome to reprints of a representative paper from any of these three projects.
I still love film and spend most of my free time at the movies or watching my home theater, reading politics on the web, or hiking with my dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Molliver (Molly for short). I also play tennis and softball, and love powder skiing more than life itself.
And here's a picture of me and Molly.
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