Our People

 

Clarissa Busch

Clarissa Busch

I am primarily interested in philosophy of science with a focus on the social sciences, as well as social epistemology.

Regarding philosophy for the young: My own interest in philosophy was sparked when I was a child, and so childhood curiosity seems like a natural starting point for doing philosophy. I believe that philosophical thinking can be a great tool to help young people make sense of the world around them.

Allauren Forbes

Allauren Forbes

My research focuses on transformative relations like friendship, marriage, and education and how they underwrite one’s intellectual and political capacities in early modern philosophy. How do social forces like custom shape the ways in which people are able to think about themselves and others? Can certain relations – especially those traditionally thought to be oppressive or unavailable to women – promote freedom and virtue?

Regarding philosophy for the young: I think philosophy, when it goes well, is transformative and intellectually/affectively engaging. Getting younger folks interested in and excited about philosophy is good for their overall education, but so too is it good for philosophy to expand and accommodate new practitioners and perspectives. Plus, philosophy with the young is a tonne of fun!

Mike Gadomski

Mike Gadomski

Mike is interested in ethics and political philosophy, particularly issues in global justice.

Regarding philosophy for the young: I think philosophy can help people enjoy and make sense of their lives, so why not start young?

Ian Peebles

Ian Peebles

I’m interested in ethics (broadly construed), especially bioethics, and its intersection with philosophy of race and religion. Currently, my research is directed at two topics: (1) the ethics of moral bioenhancements, and (2) the ethical and social implications of race-talk given the advancement of genetic interventions.

Regarding philosophy for the young: Working with younger students keeps me tethered to reality and reminds me that philosophy can be accessible and interesting to everyone (not just academics). P4Y also allows me to create a space for students to engage in conversations they find interesting, but haven’t had an opportunity to delve into. My hope is that our work would nurture the curiosity and critical thinking the students already possess, while also exciting them about where such curiosity can take them.

Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian works primarily in ancient philosophy.

Regarding philosophy for the young: Ancient philosophers championed the idea that all human beings are endowed with a capacity to reason, and they believed that one of the central aims of a philosophical education is to develop this capacity. Part of what makes P4Y such a wonderful program is that it folds philosophical training into an already well-established educational framework. By making what is often thought to be an esoteric discipline accessible and engaging, students are able to discover for themselves the joy of philosophizing.

Michael Vazquez

Michael Vazquez

My primary area of research is Ancient Greek and Roman ethics, with a particular focus on Stoicism.

Regarding philosophy for the young: Part and parcel of my academic research is the idea that philosophy ought to be a public practice, so I strive to create spaces for philosophical thinking for non-specialists and folks from all walks of life. P4Y is a great opportunity to teach young philosophers in our community how to reason carefully and how to engage in substantive conversation with others about perennial questions. I also think that in doing this work we stand to learn a great deal about the contours of our own academic discipline of philosophy.

Dustin Webster

Dustin Webster

I am a PhD student in Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. I received an M.A. in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of San Diego. My research interests are concerned with how ideas like liberalism, multiculturalism, toleration, and citizenship are conceptualized, and then communicated in the K-12 classroom. This is driven by a broader interest in the role that education serves in society, particularly in a liberal democracy. I am is also interested in exploring the non-cognitive aspects of civics education, and how they relate to and overlap with character education.

Regarding philosophy for the young: I have long been interested in engaging in philosophy with children and pre-college level students. For many years I worked in K-12 education serving in a variety of roles, including in after school programs, teaching English in South Korea, and teaching 5th grade at a school for children with learning disabilities. During those times, I brought philosophy into my classroom whenever possible. I am always amazed at the power these activities and discussions have had not only for my students, but also for me. I have been trained by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children in the Lipman-Sharp Community of Inquiry method of philosophy for children. I have also been involved with the National High School Ethics Bowl since 2015.

Yosef Washington

Yosef Washington

My main field of interests is Social Ontology or Social Metaphysics, which for me, concerns how groups form concepts and what are the various metaphysical considerations involved what we call “social construction”.

Regarding philosophy for the young: Philosophy is an activity that asks people to contribute to knowledge production by observing the world around them, while providing critical analysis of tools they use to observe the world. I feel this is an important activity for younger folks to engage in because it provides them agency to be knowledge contributors, rather than just simply knowledge consumers.

Stephanie Wesson

Stephanie Wesson

I am interested in ethics, the philosophy of language, and their history.

Regarding philosophy for the young: I think that young people and philosophy are especially good for each other. Philosophy deals with ordinary questions that we all ask, and gives us ways of living with them honestly. And I think young people have insights into these questions that philosophy needs.

Youngbin Yoon

Youngbin Yoon

Originally from Ridgewood, New Jersey, Youngbin enjoys thinking about topics like love, friendship, pride, and forgiveness. His main areas of interests are normative ethics, metaethics, and political philosophy.

Regarding philosophy for the young: Despite what his name suggests, Youngbin is no longer young enough to know everything. He deeply appreciates learning from those who are.

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