For me, teaching philosophy begins with recognizing we are all already philosophers.

Of course, we haven’t all read texts of “Philosophy,” like Plato’s Republic, Confucius’ Analects, etc. But, I take it, we all have had experiences that lead us to question why things are the way they are. Those moments–when we ask why things happened, or happened a certain way; what we should do; whether something is true and how we know–I see as integral to philosophical inquiry.

What that means for me as a teacher is finding and using texts to help us think through those questions. Sometimes those texts start with a basic area or issue; sometimes they start with abstract questions about human experience. I do not believe there is one, singular way in which these questions arise and become meaningful.

Philosophy (dense, difficult, and abstract as it can be) speaks to and about these very basic, fundamental ideas, and I see it as my job as an instructor to expand and nuance our abilities to both address (if not necessarily answer) and deepen these aspects of our questions, thinking, and experience.