Molly Brown

Previous Education

BA, Philosophy, Calvin College, 2014


Epistemology, Social and Feminist Philosophy

Papers Presented

“J.S. Mill on Inductive Skepticism and Social Categories,” Women in Philosophy Chicago Area Spring Conference, Northwestern University, May 2018

“Mill’s Feminist Epistemology," Women in Philosophy: Past, Present, and Future (the 6th Annual Conference and General Meeting of Society for Women in Philosophy), University College Dublin, May 2018

Recent Courses

PHIL 29200-01/29300-01 Junior/Senior Tutorial

Topic: Generics: Language, Social Reality, and Social Knowledge

Generic statements—such as ‘tigers are striped’, ’basketball players are tall’, or, more controversially, ‘vaccines cause autism’ and ‘trans women are women’—are notoriously some of the most pervasive and puzzling statements that we make. In this course, we will take a philosophically oriented approach to the topic of generics. We will be particularly interested in what a normative theory of generics might look like. Should we use generics? Which ones? What principles might we adopt in identifying acceptable generics? What is their rightful role in our reasoning? Answers to these sorts of questions are interesting on their own. But they take on particular significance in social contexts, where generics seem so often to encode our biases, appear in hotly contested cultural debates, or are deployed in offensive and inflammatory ways. We will, throughout the course, pay special attention to issues surrounding our knowledge of generics and the complicated ways in which such knowledge is entangled with social reality and social perspectives. Authors to be discussed include Mill, Thompson, Leslie, Camp, Hacking, Haslanger, and Langton.  

Meets with Jr/Sr section. Prerequisite: Open only to philosophy majors. Intensive-Track Majors should reach out to the instructor to be enrolled manually. No more than two tutorials may be used to meet program requirements.

2019-2020 Spring