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. Curzer, 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, 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 50 articles including: "When Bad Thoughts Happen To Good People: A Thought Experiment," American Philosophical Quarterly (2013) and "Do Ethics Classes Teach Ethics?" Theory and Research in Education (2014). 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. He blogs for the Huffington Post.
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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Professor Drake is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, where he will complete his Ph.D. this Fall. He specializes in ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of action; but he also has interests in metaphysics, history of philosophy, and philosophy of law. His current research focuses on the nature of reasons, rationality, and explanation, which are the subject of his dissertation and two recent publications. He has also edited, with Paul Woodruff (UT Austin), a volume on philosophy and philanthropy (OUP, forthcoming). In the near future, he hopes to unfold projects concerning the nature of purposes, and ethical issues involving the notion of desert.
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Dr. Joseph Gottlieb, Visiting Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago; B.A., University of Southern California), joined the department in 2016. He specializes in the philosophy of mind with a focus on consciousness, but also has interests in early modern philosophy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science.
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 was formerly a faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. He is currently working on a book about racial epithets.
Dr. Nathan, Associate 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) joined Texas Tech in 2006. Her area of specialization is aesthetics, particularly the philosophies of literature and poetry. She has written the entries on poetry for The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature (2016), The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics (2nd ed., 2014), and The Blackwell Companion to Aesthetics (2nd ed., 2009), as well as several journal articles and book chapters on the philosophy of poetry. She is the editor of The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics (2012, PB 2015, previously Continuum Books), and her monograph, Beautiful Speech: The Nature, Origins, and Powers of Poetry is under contract with Oxford University Press. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the Mellon/Woodrow Wilson Foundations.
Dr. Schaller, Associate Professor (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, Assistant Professor (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. Velasco (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 and Chairman (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.
Dr. Whittle, Assistant Professor (D.Phil., Oxford) works in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics, and Metaphysics. More specifically, much of his work is centered around paradoxes, and logical results that are related to them.
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, Assistant Professor of Linguistics (Ph.D., Rutgers University; BA, Brandeis University), 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, Associate Professor of Linguistics (Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst; MAs, UMass-Amherst, University of Arizona; BA, Chonnam National University) and Director of the Linguistics Programs, joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2005. She specializes in theoretical syntax and its interfaces with morphology, semantics, and pragmatics, and she has secondary interests in language acquisition and grammaticalization. Among the research topics she has explored are Noun Modification, E-type Anaphora, Aspect, Existential Sentences, Free Choice, and Implicature. Her work has appeared in the Journal of English Linguistics, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Natural Language Semantics, Language Research, and the Journal of Cognitive Science, among others. She is currently working on a monograph on the Syntax and the Semantics of Noun Modifiers and the Theory of Universal Grammar.