What was your dissertation title and topic?
‘More than Words: Stances as an Alternative Model for Apologies, Forgiveness and Similar Speech Acts’
On issues surrounding moral repair and speech acts.
What seminar stood out and influenced your thinking?
‘Moral Remedies,’ co-taught by Seana Shiffrin and Barbara Herman in 2007
What, if anything, about the UCLA department’s culture and approach to philosophy has influenced your intellectual approach?
There was an electrifying sense of purpose in the air, as though we’d all be doing exactly this even if there were no professional stake in the matter. I took some of that with me, along with the view that philosophy is big, serious and deeply personal, not to be handled quickly, slickly or easily, and that insight and sensitivity were at least as important as conceptual analysis.
How have your philosophical interests changed since you were at UCLA?
My main interests haven’t changed but I’ve branched out more, particularly into some of the borderlands between ethics and epistemology, and between ethics and tort theory (in philosophy of law).
If your current career is inside of academia, what’s your favorite course to teach right now? Do you have a recent publication you’d like to mention?
My favorite course to teach is Intro to Ethics, though I’m looking forward to teaching Philosophy 1 (general intro for non-majors, roughly 300 students) for the first time next year.
A recent publication is ‘The Apologetic Stance,’ in Philosophy & Public Affairs (2015).