Teaching Philosophy

Samuel Johnson argued that the point of literature is both to "adorn a tale" and to "point a moral." I suspect that my own readings gravitate more towards the moral; indeed I feel a kind of moral urgency as I urge students to reflect critically upon the various narratives, fables, and metaphors we use when we try to explain ourselves to ourselves. But I believe as well in an ethics of pleasure, and I sometimes remind myself to allow adequate time in class to consider how these tales are adorned. I hope my students will discover that literature can both delight and instruct.