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 I came to Ithaca College in the Fall of 2001.
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, and Difference and Community (a course on multiculturalism and toleration). My current research interests lie in exploring issues connected with Pascal’s Wager (a pragmatic argument for belief in God), in exploring moral theories rooted in an ideal of respect for human dignity, and in exploring the prospects for extending dignity-based theories of morality to encompass the well-being of non-human animals.
When I am not doing philosophy, I can be found spending time with my wife and two children, listening to music, traveling, hiking and camping, playing cards, and enjoying bread from the Wide Awake Bakery.