Philosophy Department Faculty
Dr. Averill, Professor Emeritus (Ph.D., M.S., University of California at Santa Barbara; B.A. Harvard), has been at Texas Tech since 1980. His areas of specialization are philosophical psychology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. Professor Averill's publications include: "The Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction," Philosophical Review (1982), "Color and the Anthropocentric Problem," Journal of Philosophy (1985), "The Relational Nature of Color," Philosophical Review (1992), and "Towards a Projectivist Account of Color," Journal of Philosophy (2005).
Dr. Boylan works primarily philosophy of language, epistemology and philosophical logic, where he has written on the relationship between modality and time, the language of ability and related practical notions, and the epistemological commitments of epistemic vocabulary. He is also interested in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. His work has appeared in Mind, Nous, the Journal of Philosophy and the Philosophical Review. He was previously an Andrew W Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University.
Dr. Curzer, President's Excellence in Research Professor (Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin; M.A., B.A. in Mathematics, Wesleyan University), came to Texas Tech in 1985. His current areas of interest are ancient philosophy, contemporary virtue ethics, existentialism, and Confucian philosophy. His publications include a book entitled, Aristotle and the Virtues (Oxford University Press, 2012), a textbook/anthology entitled, Ethical Theory and Moral Problems (Wadsworth Press, 1999), and 60 articles. He is a co-recipient of an NSF grant to study and teach wildlife research ethics, a recipient of an NEH grant to study and teach Confucian virtue ethics, and a co-editor of a special issue of the ILAR Journal (2013), a journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
Francesca di Poppa
Dr. di Poppa, Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh; B.A., University of Pisa), is mainly interested in history of modern philosophy, in particular the causation debate and the development of modern notions of man and the world. She is also interested in ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle), Scholasticism and history of science. She is currently working on the notion of causation in Descartes and Spinoza.
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Dr. Flowerree, Assistant Professor (PhD, Northwestern University) specializes in epistemology and metaethics. Her research focuses on the intersection of epistemology, ethics and metaethics. The central question of her research is to understand the significance of epistemic requirements for agents. She is also currently working on a project in applied epistemology, the phenomenon of fake news. She was previously a wissenschaftlicher mitarbeiterin at the Center for Contemporary Epistemology and the Kantian Tradition (CONCEPT) at the University of Cologne.
Dr. Gottlieb, Research Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago), specializes in the philosophy of mind, focusing on consciousness and perception. He also has deep interests in longtermism, existential risk, cognitive science, and the history of early modern philosophy.
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Dr. Hom, Associate Professor (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine LPS), primarily works in philosophy of language and metaethics, in particular, issues surrounding racial epithets, expressive meaning, and moral expressivism. He also has interests in philosophy of mind, philosophy of race, and philosophical logic. His work has appeared in such venues as Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, and Noûs. He is a former faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. He is currently working on a book about ideological language.
Dr. Nathan, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago; A.B. (Hons), University of Michigan), writes and teaches in the areas of aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy of law. Among other places, his work has appeared in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Erkenntnis, British Journal of Aesthetics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, and Public Affairs Quarterly. Representative recent papers include: "A Paradox in Intentionalism," British Journal of Aesthetics (2005) and "Art, Meaning, and Artist's Meaning," in Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Art, ed. Kieran (Oxford UK, 2006). Currently, he continues his work on problems of interpretation in law and in the arts, as well as on the nature and grounds of aesthetic value.
Anna Christina Ribeiro
Dr. Ribeiro, Associate Professor (Ph.D., Maryland; M.A., B.Phil., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; B.A. Hunter College, CUNY) specializes in aesthetics, particularly the philosophies of literature and poetry. She has Beautiful Speech: The Nature, Origins, and Powers of Poetry under contract with Oxford University Press, The Philosophy of Poetry and Literature under contract with Routledge, and is the editor of The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics (2012/15). She has been awarded fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Mellon/Woodrow Wilson Foundations, and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. Ribeiro has been a visiting researcher at the University of Barcelona and a visiting professor at the University of Vienna. Her most recent publication is 'Love, Death and Life's Summum Bonum: The Before Trilogy as Memento Mori', in The Philosophy of Richard Linklater's Before Trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, edited by Hans Maes and Katrien Schaubroeck (Routledge 2021). She is on the editorial board of The British Journal of Aesthetics and is a recent trustee of the American Society for Aesthetics.
Dr. Schaller, Associate Professor Emeritus (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. in Political Science, University of California-Berkeley) taught previously at Wheaton (Mass.) College and the University of Kentucky. His primary interests are in political philosophy and ethics. Professor Schaller has published articles on Kant's ethics, utilitarianism, and the relationship between virtues and duties in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Ratio, Dialogue, and History of Philosophy Quarterly. His recent articles include: "Is Liberal Neutrality Insufficiently Egalitarian?," Journal of Philosophy (2004) and "Liberal Neutrality and Liberty of Conscience," Law and Philosophy (2005).
Dr. Schwartz, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies (Ph.D., Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, B.A., University of Chicago) specializes in ethics, metaethics, and Kant. Broadly, Dr. Schwartz works within the Kantian tradition and tries to work out how these thoughts might apply to contemporary debates. Currently, he is working on the semantics of constructivism and expressivism and, separately, issues in Kantian ethics like whether emotions can be cultivated and how we ought to understand the duty of gratitude. His work has appeared in journals such as Nous, Philosophical Studies, European Journal of Philosophy, and the Kantian Review.
Dr. Tosi, Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Arizona) came to Texas Tech in 2018. He taught previously at Georgetown University and the University of Michigan. He specializes in social, political, moral, and legal philosophy, and writes mainly about state legitimacy, special obligations, and social morality. His work has appeared in Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, and other venues. With Brandon Warmke, he is the author of Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk (Oxford University Press, 2020). Also with Warmke, he is currently working on another book under contract with Routledge called Why It's OK to Mind Your Own Business.
Dr. Velasco, Associate Professor and Chair (Ph.D., B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison) specializes in the philosophy of biology as well as more general philosophy of science and epistemology. In particular, he has worked on issues in biological systematics and evolutionary theory as well as the use of probability in scientific reasoning. His work has appeared in a number of places such as Philosophy of Science, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, and Systematic Biology.
Dr. Webb, Professor (Ph.D., Syracuse; M.A., B.A., and M.A. in Classical Humanities, Texas Tech) specializes in epistemology and philosophy of religion. He is currently working in the epistemology of religious experience, especially as it applies to non-Western religious experiences. Professor Webb's articles have appeared in The Journal of Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Religious Studies, The International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and Hypatia, and most recently "An Eliminativist Theory of Religion," in Sophia.
Douglas Westfall received his degrees from Texas Tech (M.A. in Philosophy and B.A. in Literature/Philosophy). His areas of interest are Ethics, Aesthetics, and Literature. His current research interest is in the discourse between philosophy and literature as it relates to social reform.
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Affiliated Faculty in other departments
Dr. Braver, Associate Professor of Linguistics (Ph.D., Rutgers University; BA, Brandeis University) and Director of the Linguistics Programs, joined Texas Tech in 2013. He specializes in phonetics, phonology, and their interface, with an emphasis on non-contrastive distinctions. His research investigates the ways in which speech sounds are organized, produced, perceived, and manipulated by our linguistic system. Much of this work takes place in the laboratory, with both speech production and speech perception experiments. He has worked on many linguistic phenomena, including incomplete neutralization, flapping, vowel lengthening, emphatic lengthening, and DP-internal ellipsis in English, Japanese, and Spanish, among other languages.
Dr. Kim, Professor of Linguistics (Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst; MAs, UMass Amherst, University of Arizona; BA, Chonnam National University, South Korea), specializes in theoretical syntax, semantics, and their interface, with secondary expertise in pragmatics, language acquisition, and grammaticalization. She has worked on various linguistic phenomena including (in)definiteness, noun modification, E-type anaphora, copular sentences, free choice, demonstratives, aspect, and evidentiality. She has published four books including The Syntax and Semantics of Noun Modifiers and the Theory of Universal Grammar (Springer, 2019), and her work has appeared in journals like Linguistic Inquiry, Studies in Language, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Natural Language Semantics, and the Journal of English Linguistics as well. She is 2nd Place Recipient of 2020-2021 President's Faculty Book Award at Texas Tech University and Associate Editor for the high-impact Open Access journal Glossa: a journal of general linguistics.