PhD, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
I have been a Lecturer in Philosophy at North Dakota State University since 2013. Prior to this, I studied and taught philosophy at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. My primary research focus has been on issues at the intersection of metaphysics and ethics. In particular, I have been interested in exploring the ethics of well-being, happiness, and the good life; and the Metaphysics: personal identity, and the ethical implications of various metaphysical accounts of the composition and persistence of human persons. In the last several years, I’ve transitioned into working on Indian Philosophy of religion, particularly the metaphysics of the Vedanta school(s) of Hinduism.
What made you want to be a professional philosopher?
My path into studying and teaching philosophy began in childhood, with a fascination for religion and science fiction (particularly the work of Frank Herbert and Phillip K. Dick). I was moved both by the question of why world was the way it was, and by fictional accounts of other worlds and how they might be better or worse. Later, in high school, I was involved in my school’s competitive speech and debate program, winning championships in team debate and extemporaneous speaking, both of which introduced me to the practice of argumentation and persuasion (which are central to philosophical work). After leaving high school and working for many years in factory and retail sales jobs, I was eventually invited by my childhood best friend to take a college philosophy course, which sealed my conversion to the philosophical life. Shortly afterward, while attending the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities, I saw the movie Wonder Boys with Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Junior, Frances McDormand, and Michael Douglas, about the life of a fictional Carnegie Mellon English professor and novelist, and the film’s (not entirely accurate) depiction of academic life was something I found quite appealing.
What makes you excited about working with students?
What excites me most is the opportunity to pass along my love for the philosophical life, and for the life of the mind in general. I enjoy working with students to uncover their own received ideas, and to help them learn the skills necessary to evaluate their own beliefs and to think a matter through until they have found their own positions. I also very much enjoy watching our philosophy majors and minors grow as scholars
Classes at NDSU:
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Contemporary Moral Issues
- Business Ethics
- Philosophy of Religion
- Indian Philosophical Tradition
- Modern Philosophy
- Contemporary Philosophy
- Professional Responsibility and Ethics
Dr. Taylor’s complete CV can be found here.