I am originally from Tucson, AZ. After attending the University of Puget Sound, a small liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest, I went to graduate school in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on religion, democracy, and the law under the direction of Diana T. Meyers. I joined the Furman faculty in 2001. In 2007 I received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.

I am married to Lisa Colby, who works as the Director of Operations and Initiatives at the United Way of Greenville. We have two sons, Owen (b. 2001) and Luke (b. 2004), and a plucky Cairn Terrier named Ringo (b. 2010).

Name Title Description

HUM-201

History of Ideas in Context I

Texts and ideas from a variety of disciplines and genres (including the humanities, fine arts, and political philosophy) in both Western and non-Western cultural contexts. Topics will vary.

PHL-101

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to some of the classic problems of philosophy, with emphasis on understanding the nature of philosophical reflection and reasoning. Includes epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and other major branches of philosophy.

PHL-215

Philosophy of Religion

Investigation of the central philosophical issues relating to religious belief and practice. Topics include: arguments for and against the existence of God, the problem of evil, the nature and significance of religious experience, and the relationship between the different world religions.

PHL-506

Senior Honor Thesis I

An independent study course for eligible students who choose to write a senior thesis as a capstone experience. Solely devoted to researching and writing the student's thesis. Typically completed in the senior year in tandem with PHL-507.

It is hard to say anything original about one's teaching philosophy. As philosophers, we are all disciples of Socrates and teach in a conversational, non-authoritarian style designed to awaken the student's own capacity to develop reasonable answers to perennially important questions. It is probably not distinctive to me, but I strive to impress upon students that I too am actively engaged in trying to devise answers to the questions I raise, and that we should see ourselves as co-inquirers in a common pursuit.

  • "A Defense of the 'Sterility Objection' to the New Natural Lawyers' Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (forthcoming 2013);
  • "Religiously Conservative Citizens and the Ideal of Conscientious Engagement: A Comment on Wolterstorff and Eberle," Philosophia (forthcoming 2013);
  • "The Paradox of Public Secularism: A Critical Assessment of Robert Audi's Religious Commitment and Secular Reason," Faith and Philosophy 23 (2), 2006: 137-155;
  • "Public Reason, State Neutrality, and the Recognition of Religious Differences under the Establishment Clause," in Civility and Its Discontents: Essays on Civic Virtue, Toleration, and Cultural Fragmentation, edited by Christine Sistare (University of Kansas Press, 2004);
  • "Group Rights, Autonomy, and the Free Exercise of Religion," in Groups, Rights, and Democracy, edited by Christine Sistare, Larry May, and Leslie Francis (University of Kansas Press, 2001);
  • "State Neutrality, Public Reason, and the Establishment Clause," The American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Law (Fall 2000);
Education
Ph.D.
University of Connecticut
M.A.
University of Connecticut
B.A.
University of Puget Sound

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