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Aristotle's Notion of Teaching and Its Role in His Theory of Moral Education

Aristotle says that intellectual virtues are “generated and developed mostly by teaching,” yet no substantive work has been done to figure out what, on Aristotle’s view, such ‘teaching’ consists of. My dissertation fills this gap. First, I defend my interpretation: for Aristotle, teaching is the activity of instilling true accounts, grounded in explanatorily basic principles, in students ready to receive them. I then use this reading to argue, against some prevailing views in Aristotle’s ethics, that (1) habituation does not require teaching, and (2) Aristotle’s practically wise person possesses a philosophical conception of the human good. Finally, I use my interpretation to solve a problem for Aristotelian educational theory. I argue that Aristotle's educational program, contrary to what critics have claimed, does not rob students of their autonomy.

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  • (forthcoming, 2023) "Cultivating Moral Agency in a Technology Ethics Course" with Kate Allman in Teaching Ethics.

    • The rapid pace of technological development, accelerated by the pandemic, often outstrips the ability of legislators and regulators to establish proper guardrails. While technological advancement furnishes many new goods and services, it can also produce negative outcomes if left unchecked. A solution is for those who develop, deploy, and use emerging technologies to develop themselves as moral agents. This paper provides a course design overview for a course on technology ethics that aims to educate students for moral agency with respect to emerging technologies. It also shares and discusses a subset of data collected from a mixed-methods study using a pre-post design that examined the effectiveness of the course design in developing students’ moral agency. 

  • (2022) Review of Aristotle on the Concept of Shared Life by Sara Brill, Oxford University Press, 2020 in Polis 39 (2): 422-424.

  • (2019) "Dewey, Aristotle, & Education as Completion" Philosophy of Education 74: 669-682

    • I enlist Dewey’s help to reveal the philosophical conceptions of education that underlie traditionalism and progressivism—the two models of education that have governed pedagogical thinking for nearly a century. Dewey ties traditionalism to education as formation and progressivism to education as development. I argue that Dewey’s division establishes a false dichotomy and that Aristotle’s program of education, which I call education as completion, combines aspects of both models to provide a path for educational theory to avoid the pitfalls of both traditionalism and progressivism. I then defend my interpretation of Aristotle's paradigm against Dewey's objections to education as unfolding—a similar model of education that Dewey criticizes.

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