After growing up in Springfield, Missouri, I attended Brown University, where I majored in Philosophy and graduated in 1991. I then spent the next two years traveling and teaching English as a Second Language in Seoul, Berlin, and Boston, before going to the University of Michigan, where I wrote my dissertation on the topic of religious liberty. I received my PhD in Philosophy in 2000, and it was my very great fortune to come to Ithaca College in the Fall of 2001, where I have stayed happily put ever since.
I specialize in political philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. Here at Ithaca College, I have created several courses, such as Global Ethics, Philosophical Problems in the Law, Difference and Community (a course on multiculturalism and toleration), as well as the first-year seminars Dilemmas of the Future (on technology ethics), The Nature of the Self, and On Human Rights. My current research interests lie in exploring issues connected with Pascal’s Wager (a pragmatic argument for belief in God, of which I am critical), in exploring moral theories rooted in an ideal of respect for human dignity, and in exploring the relevance for justice of the fact that a person's wealth is generated, not by that person acting alone, but by that person acting in concert with others within a functioning "social order."
When I am not doing philosophy, I can be found spending time with my family and friends, listening to music, hiking and traveling and sampling new cuisines, and playing card games and strategy games.