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  Graduate Students

 

Zachary Agoff

Zachary Agoff

I am interested in the history of early modern philosophy, metaphysics, and topics in philosophy of religion. Outside of academics, I enjoy practicing martial arts, getting into the great outdoors, and playing guitar. 

Regarding philosophy for the young: Regarding philosophy for the young: When I was first considering a PhD in philosophy, I was debating whether or not to pursue a career as a history teacher. P4Y is an exciting opportunity for me to get a taste of both worlds by bringing philosophy to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Philosophy helps develop curiosity, it encourages both scrutiny and empathy, and can provide tools for critical thinking. I find that these sorts of characteristics are particularly useful both in and outside of academia. I’m excited to witness them be encouraged and developed by the P4Y program during my time at Penn.

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.

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?

Dylan Manson

Dylan Manson

I’m interested in political philosophy and ethics. Especially tensions between partiality and impartiality in global justice

Regarding philosophy for the young: Philosophy is uniquely placed to provide the tools for thinking through questions that many people find deeply meaningful, and the curiosity of the young is inclined to ask these very questions. One legitimate aim of education is to provide answers, but it’s also important to give the young the respect to think things through for themselves. And personally, it’s nice to get out of the books and engage practically with the broader community.

Paul Musso

Paul Musso

I am interested in how moral philosophy today is different from moral philosophy in the past, and what that means for how we should understand philosophy’s relationship to living a moral life.

Regarding philosophy for the young: I am interested in expanding the philosophical community because of how empowering philosophical tools can be for promoting independent thought.

 

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.

Sara Purinton

Sara Purinton

My philosophical interests are mainly in ethics, broadly construed (especially bioethics). When I’m not reading philosophy, I can be found hiking, biking, and making art.

Regarding philosophy for the young: I think philosophy is done best when it is informed by a wide range of perspectives, and speaks to a wide range of experiences. P4Y is not only a great opportunity to introduce people to philosophy at a young age, but it also gives us graduate and undergraduate students a chance to see how we can learn from those younger students who are involved in these initiatives.

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.