I grew up in one of the suburbs surrounding Salt Lake City, Utah. My mother worked as a piecemeal seamstress; my father drove locomotive and painted military camouflage; and I read a lot of books, tossed a lot of boxes out of trailers, and spent a little time building railroad (I also went to college for a little while). I did undergraduate work in philosophy and history at Westminster College of Salt Lake City; my graduate work in philosophy was then carried out at Colorado State University , Washington University in St Louis, and UNC-Chapel Hill. And after I finished my Ph.D., I did postdoctoral research in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and at the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.
My current research and teaching bear the undeniable mark of this somewhat eclectic history: I am writing on issues that criss-cross the cognitive, biological, and social sciences; and I am teaching courses in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science, with a focus on issues of propaganda and social exclusion, as well as the metaphysics of race and the relationship between metaphysics and ethics. In both cases, I draw inspiration from the work of Benedict de Spinoza, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Herbert Simon, Stokely Carmichael, Paulo Friere, John Haugeland, Dan Dennett, and Kathleen Akins. To say the least, my approach to philosophy is interdisciplinary, and it makes use of tools and techniques drawn from philosophical, scientific, and commonsense domains of discourse. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am committed to treating philosophy as a tool for practical engagement with the world.
If you are interested in reading more about my research or teaching, please see the corresponding pages linked in the menu bar above.