- Career Highlights
- Winner of the 1999 Michael Harrington Book Award — Author of Self-Construction and the Formation of Human Values: Truth, Language, and Desire
- Ph.D., Kent State University
In Their Own Words
"I think the artistic temperament is a special kind of temperament. It's a treasure for me to equip musicians with a grounding in ethics, aesthetics, and epistemology (the theory of knowledge), which are the dimensions of the kind of philosophy that I teach, the kind of philosophy about which I've been writing for 30 years.
"I make [my classes] relate to music philosophically. There is a course, for example, called Philosophy of Education, which is directly related to education in music, with a philosophical dimension added to it. Philosophy provides a purpose, a meaning, and an appreciation for thinking that musicians need to be aware of.
"To musicians who are writers, the kind of practices that we do in the classroom—writing philosophical essays and short stories—emphasize the importance of literacy in writing, and this directly relates itself to musicians, particularly those who write music. And so the students themselves become literate writers. They appreciate literature, they understand it, they can analyze it, can take positions against it and on its behalf, and they, more importantly, may want to write about their own music for newspapers, magazines, websites, and many other venues.
"I try to argue that they can become better musicians if they become philosophically trained. They will become sensitive to aesthetics in their lives, to the role that art plays in their lives. They will become sensitive to ethics, which means that they will have to make conscious, vigilant, and careful analysis of why they do music. Do they do it merely because they could generate money, or do they do it to train the public? The courses that they take from me add purpose and value."