PhD (University of Western Australia)
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive # 0119
La Jolla, CA 92093-0119
I am an assistant teaching professor in the philosophy department at the University of California, San Diego. This site provides information about my teaching and research, which generally focus on applied ethics, political philosophy and ethics.
In fall 2017 I am teaching the following classes:
Phil 28 (Ethics and Society II). This offering of the class will be organized around the topic of global warming. Our assigned texts will be a collection of readings, available in the fall, as well as Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy After Catastrophe, by Tim Mulgan. Mulgan’s book asks us to consider a future world in which catastrophic climate change has already occurred. How would people in such a world judge those of us living in the present time of environmental degradation? After examining Mulgan’s future world our focus will return to the present. Likely topics to be examined include the ethics of geoengineering, de-extinction, climate refugees and the role of agriculture in contributing to climate change.
Phil 177 (Philosophy and Literature). We will read a small number of philosophy articles and three contemporary novels: The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), by Margaret Atwood (recently adapted into a TV show on Hulu), The White Bone (1999), by Barbara Gowdy, and The Orenda (2013), by Joseph Boyden.
Phil 87 (Reacting to the Past). This class takes the form of a role-playing game. Students acting in character make speeches, hatch plots and form alliances to achieve shared goals such as passing a bill in a simulated assembly. Our setting is 1791 Paris. The role-playing method we will use is Reacting to the Past. Further information about Reacting games is available at reacting.barnard.edu. The particular game we will play is Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France 1791.
In 2011 I published a book about refugees. It incorporates political philosophy alongside historical and interview material to present a new framework for enforcing the rights of refugees. Hannah Arendt and other critics have often taken the situation of refugees to show that human rights are inevitably undermined by national sovereignty. Against this view, and despite the disappointing refugee record of most states, I try to show how asylum-seekers could make enforceable rights-claims against sovereign states.
My most recent paper appears in Social Theory and Practice and concerns the ethics of immigration control. All of my papers are available for download at my Social Science Research Network page. Currently I am working on a book about the moral status of animals.