Joshua Kissel

Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, Complement House Counselor, Instructional Squash Coach

My goal as a teacher of philosophy is the development of my students as critical thinkers, and so my focus is helping them hone their argumentative skills through careful attention to how the best philosophers read, write, and think in rigorous and critical but also charitable ways. I am motivated by this aim because I believe the reasoning skills constitutive of good philosophical argument enable students to become better moral actors—an especially important skill as our globalizing world puts us in contact with an ever-increasing number of people from diverse backgrounds with often distinct ways of life. Moreover, because I regard these skills as so important for all of us, I am committed to doing my part to ensure that philosophy is an inclusive discipline whose benefits are shared widely such that we can achieve the collaborative discourse necessary for the very best philosophy. After all, philosophy helps students critically evaluate—in terms of both validity and soundness—their own beliefs and values and those of their peers with both competence and charity. I earned my BA in Philosophy and History at the University of Wisconsin - Madison before earning my PhD in Philosophy at Northwestern University.

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