Harper & Schmidt Fellows in the Humanities are Assistant Professors in the College with four-year postdoctoral teaching appointments whose primary teaching is in the Humanities Common Core, sequences of general education courses required of all undergraduates in the College. In addition, they teach at least one undergraduate course in the Department of Philosophy during the course of their appointment and they regularly participate in workshops and graduate seminars, providing significant additional intellectual resources for our philosophical community.
The Department of Philosophy currently has four Harper-Schmidt Fellows:
David Egan was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and has lived and studied in Canada, the US, England, and Germany. He received a DPhil in philosophy from Oxford in 2012. His research falls on both sides of the analytic-continental divide, and he has a particular interest in the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. His doctoral thesis examined the appeal to ordinary language in the work of Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell, while bringing this appeal into dialogue with themes in the work of Heidegger and Derrida, and developing a conception of unregulated play as central to this appeal. He is currently working his doctoral thesis into a book, and has recently published (with Routledge) a co-edited collection of essays on Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Other areas of interest include the philosophy of literature and animal studies. David is also a playwright, with work professionally produced on both sides of the Atlantic.
office: Gates-Blake 412
office hours: Tuesdays 3 - 5
office: Gates-Blake 318
Mark Berger received his PhD from Columbia University in 2015. His research interests focus on the intersection of ethics and political philosophy, most especially concerning questions of value pluralism. His other work deals with issues in practical reason, democratic theory, non-ideal theory, toleration, and distributive justice. He teaches Human Being and Citizen in the College.
office: Gates-Blake 405
Alex Silvermanrr received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 2014. He works primarily on early modern philosophy. His dissertation, entitled “The Union of Thought and Being in Spinoza,” explores Benedict de Spinoza's attempted navigation between materialist and idealist conceptions of nature. The dissertation charts this navigation primarily with respect to Spinoza's theories of the divine attributes and the mind-body relation. In addition to his interest in Spinoza, Alex has also worked on foundational questions in John Locke’s metaphysics and epistemology, especially concerning Locke’s response to radical skepticism. Regarding future projects, he hopes to investigate the practical implications of and interconnections between Spinoza’s and Locke’s systems. In particular, he is fascinated by Spinoza’s and Locke’s pioneering conceptions of religious toleration, and the ways in which their views on toleration are both similar to and different from contemporary perspectives.
office: Gates-Blake 403
office phone: 773-702-7979
office hours: Winter Quarter, Wednesdays: 2:00 - 4:00 pm