Spring 2018

  • Third-Year Undergraduate Course on Social Philosophy: Metaphysics,
    Epistemology, and Ethics in the Social Realm
    • The metaphysics section will focus on social ontology with a focus on 
      social constructionist accounts of gender
    • The epistemology section will look at social epistemology, epistemic
      injustice, and privileged ignorance.
    • The ethics section will explore the ethical and political implications of 
      metaphysical and epistemological views of gender, race, and disability.
      We will also explore obligations we have as philosophers in discussing
      current social/political/legal injustice as well as whether we should be
      ​engaged in ameliorative projects in philosophy, projects with justice as an explicit aim.

Autumn 2017: No Teaching - On Research Leave

Spring 2017

  • Second-Year Undergraduate Course on Philosophy of Race
    • What is the nature of race? Is race a biological kind (akin to
      subspecies)? What are the implications of thinking that race is not a
      biological kind? What does it mean to think that race is a social
      construct? What bearing do answers to these questions have about
      the existence or reality of race? Given the metaphysics of race,
      should we eliminate thinking or talking about race? How does this
      ​square with the claim that our racial identities are important?
    • What is racism and what is the best account of racism? Do we have
      ​good (philosophical or political) reasons for thinking that subtler 
      cases of racism (such as  microagressions) are cases of racism?
    • We also explore psychological research on implicit biases and stereotype threats. What are epistemological and ethical implications of these psychological phenomena? How, for instance, do they affect the justifiability of affirmative action?

Autumn 2016

  • Third-Year Undergraduate Course on Free Will and Action
    • What would it take for an action to be free? Does an exercise of free will  imply that we are morally responsible? Can our actions be free in the relevant sense, whether or not determinism is true?
    • How do actions differ from bodily movements that are not actions?
      Actions are typically done for reasons, but what exactly is the relation
      between the reasons and the actions? Do the reasons cause actions –
      and if they do, can this be the same kind of causation as is involved in
      ​ordinary ‘mechanistic’ causal explanation?
    • What is the connection between intentional or voluntary action and
      ​rational action? In particular, it seems that we sometimes intentionally
      ​and voluntarily do things that we ourselves regard as irrational – but
      ​how is such ‘weakness of will’ possible? 
  • Masters Course on Ethics [co-taught with Zach Hoskins]
    • The first part of the course focused on the Demandingness Objection to ethical theories and what, if any, are the relationships between the demandingness issue and the putative desideratum that ethical theories should be action-guiding as well as whether ought implies can.
    • The second part of the course was on the philosophy of emotions: Are desires or emotions attitudes that are ethically evaluable? What is the role of emotions in morality and our moral practices? How should we understand shame, guilt, and gratitude and when are they justified?

Spring 2016

  • Second-Year Undergraduate Course on Philosophy of Race [See above]

Djúpalónssandur, Iceland

View from my office, Nottingham

Aness Webster

Pier in San Clemente, California