Political philosophy

NYU Paris, Fall semester
Tuesday and Thursday 3-4:30pm

A survey of important issues in contemporary political philosophy, with a particular focus on the questions of social justice and political legitimacy. How should a just society be organized? Does justice require citizens and governments to follow some procedures, and/or does it involve reaching particular outcomes – for example particular patterns of wealth distribution? How should important social and political decisions be taken for them to be (and not just appear) legitimate? Is the majority always right? Should we elect representatives or practice a more direct form of democracy? What are the rights of minorities? Is there a right to civil disobedience when you disagree with a legitimately reached political decision? How should states interact with cultural minorities and particular identity groups?

2017 schedule and requirements

History of French Philosophy

NYU Paris, Spring semester
Tuesday and Thursday 3-4:30pm

An overview of important developments in French philosophy from the 16th century to the 1950s. In 2018 we'll pay particular attention to issues related to the self and others. We'll read from Descartes, Condillac, Diderot, Rousseau, Bergson, Sartre and Beauvoir.

2018 schedule and requirements

Past teaching

Introduction à la philosophie de l'esprit

PSL Research University, Licence 2, Printemps 2016 et 2017
avec Michael Murez

Une introduction à la philosophie contemporaine de l'esprit, en lien avec les développements en science cognitive. Les thèmes abordés incluent la théorie représentationnelle de l'esprit, le language de la pensée, le connectionisme, la cognition située, les représentations mentales, la conscience, l'inné et l'acquis, et la modularité de l'esprit.

Minds & Machines

NYU (Washington square), Summers 2013 and 2014

An introduction to recent philosophy of mind and cognitive science. How do our minds, our thoughts, and our experiences, fit into the world described by physics, chemistry, and biology? Could a machine, a physical device, whether made of silicon or neurons, think? Could it reason, represent its environment, enjoy conscious experiences? Drawing on readings in recent philosophy and cognitive science, we will explore different proposals to answer these questions, and to flesh out and critically examine the idea that our brains and nervous systems give rise to our mental lives. Topics will include the computer model of the mind, neural nets, the relationship between thinking and the body or the environment at large, how mental states may represent the world, the relationship between thought and consciousness, and the relationship between the science of the mind and our everyday picture of it.

Logic

NYU (Washington square), Summer 2012

An introduction to the study of artificial formal languages, especially propositional and predicate logic, and to their relevance to everyday reasoning and argumentation. The practical applications of formal languages range from mathematics to computer science and artificial intelligence. Their philosophical interest lies in how they help us formulate possible answers to questions such as: What distinguishes good from bad arguments? What are the different forms arguments may take? What does it mean for one statement to logically follow from another? What does it mean for a statement to be a logical truth? In the last part of the course, we will also begin to see how and why logicians and philosophers engage in metalogical reasoning about formal languages themselves.

Textbook: David Barker-Plummer, Jon Barwise & John Etchemendy, Language, Proof and Logic, CSLI, 2nd ed., 2011.

Teaching assistant

I T.A.-ed for the following courses during my PhD: