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I am currently on leave from teaching while I pursue research in relation to the Salient Solutions project. Below are some of the courses that I have taught prior to this leave. Send me an email if you'd like to see reading lists for any of these courses. I also include a link to an online resource that I have developed in connection to my current research project, and that is freely available to anyone who would like to incorporate it into their teaching.​

Online Resource: Attention, Ethics, and the Digital World

This online teaching resource (www.attentionethics.comintroduces students to some of the central ethical issues related to new digital technologies and attention. Topics include ethical issues in the attention economy, ethical issues surrounding online algorithms, and justice and agenda-setting online. (Also available in Norwegian as “Etikk, oppmerksomhet og den digitale verden” and developed with a focus on Norwegian high school students). 

Ethics and Public Policy: Contemporary Debates

(Advanced undergraduate/MA Seminar. Last taught Spring 2022 at the University of Bamberg)

In this course we take up contemporary debates at the intersection of ethics and public policy. Of chief interest are two areas of pressing concern: (1) the ethics of vaccination, where we consider questions including whether vaccination (against, for example, COVID-19) should ever be mandatory and the ethical permissibility of various methods to improve vaccination coverage and (2) issues emerging from the so-called “Attention Economy.” Here we take up questions surrounding the deliberate shaping of our attention by state and commercial actors, including (among others) whether the commodification of attention is ethically permissible.

Social and Political Philosophy

(2nd year course for students with a background in philosophy. Last taught Fall 2020 at Langara College)

This course provides an introduction to some of the central theories and topics in the social tradition. Social contract theories have been developed along a number of lines, but the common feature they share is the high priority they place on the notion of agreement. The basic idea is that moral and political and obligations originate from and find their legitimacy in an agreement between individuals. Theories diverge when it comes to articulating who the parties to the agreement are, and under what conditions the agreement is made. In this course we examine how these differences become articulated in classical and contemporary versions of the theory.  We also examine some associated topics, including human nature, fairness, collective action, cooperation and rationality, and practical applications, including climate change, animal rights, famine relief, and organ donation.

Introduction to Ethics

(1st year course designed for students new to philosophy. Last taught summer 2022 at Langara summer 2021)

This course provides a an introduction to some of the central questions in ethics. We begin with questions concerning the nature of morality: what do we mean when we say that actions are right or wrong? Does morality depend on culture? Is the rightness or wrongness of actions just a matter of taste or opinion? What (if any) role does religion play in morality? We then consider some of the main moral theories, which aim to tell us what makes actions right or wrong: utilitarianism, deontology, egoism, social contract theory, and virtue ethics. We test these theories by applying them to a range of moral problems.

Biomedical Ethics

(1st year course, core curriculum for Nursing students. Last taught Fall 2020 at Langara College)

This course provides an introduction to some of the central topics in bioethics.  Topics include: patient autonomy and informed consent, professional ethics, research involving humans and animals, death and end-of-life decision-making, physician-assisted death, abortion and genetic testing, commercial surrogacy, and access to healthcare.  We draw from readings in bioethics and important legal cases. Special attention will be given to the Canadian context.

Knowledge and Reality

(1st year course designed for students new to philosophy. Last taught summer 2021 at Langara College)

This course provides an introduction to some of the central problems in epistemology and metaphysics. The first half of the course primarily covers topics in epistemology, which is the study of knowledge. Topics include: (1) Skepticism, knowledge, and belief, where we will consider what knowledge is, and under what conditions (if any) we can say to know certain things, and (2) What can we know? where we will consider the scope of our knowledge: Can we have knowledge about the external world? That future events will resemble past ones?


The second half of the course primarily covers topics in metaphysics, which is the study of reality. Topics will include: (1) The existence of God: what considerations count in favour of the existence of God? Against? (2) The mind-body problem, where we ask what the relationship is between the mind and body: Is the mind distinct from the physical body? Identical? Related in some other way? (3) Free will: If we live in a deterministic world, can we act freely? If we do not have free will, can we still hold persons responsible for their actions?

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