Tyler Zimmer

Tyler Zimmer
Lecturer, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies
Stuart Hall, Room 202-B
Office Hours: Spring Quarter: by appointment
PhD, Northwestern University, 2015; BA, Vanderbilt University, 2008
Teaching at UChicago since 2019
Research Interests: Political Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Race, Feminist Philosophy

Tyler Zimmer received his BA from Vanderbilt and his PhD from Northwestern. His areas of specialization include political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of race, and feminist philosophy. His current research focuses on topics such as masculinity, the moral justifiability of capital income, and reparations for historical injustice. He also has strong interests in the philosophy of economics.

In his capacity as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, he advises students on course selection, choice of track for the philosophy major, and study abroad as well as grant/fellowship opportunities. Among other things, he aids majors interested in doing a BA thesis and advises students on post-graduation opportunities, internships, and graduate school applications. He also works with the DUS to evaluate undergraduate curriculum and develop new curricular initiatives. Students should feel free to contact him with questions or concerns about anything related to the undergraduate philosophy program.

Publications

“Gentrification” in The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of the City (2019) 

“Gentrification as Injustice: An Egalitarian Approach to Urban Housing Markets,” Public Affairs Quarterly (January 2017)

Recent Courses

PHIL 25405 Feminist Political Philosophy

(GNSE 20108)

This course focuses on three interrelated themes in contemporary feminist political philosophy: objectification; the relation of gender oppression to the economic structure of society; and the problem of “intersectionality,” that is, the problem of how to construct adequate theories of gender injustice given that gender “intersects” with other axes of oppression, e.g. race and class. Authors we’ll read include (but are not limited to) the following: Martha Nussbaum, Sandra Bartky, Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser, Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, Serene Khader and Tithi Bhattacharya. (A)

 

2020-2021 Winter
Category
Feminist Philosophy
Social/Political Philosophy

PHIL 27379 Reparations

(CRES 27379)

This course focuses on growing philosophical literature on reparations, with special emphasis on the legacy of racialized slavery in the United States. As we’ll see, the debate over reparations raises a number of complex philosophical problems: what does it mean today to atone for hundreds of years of slavery, given that those who enslaved other human beings and those who were enslaved are now long dead? Indeed, who today has an obligation to atone for it? What must they do in order to atone for it? And who should have the authority to decide what a successful atonement or rectification would look like? These questions cannot be answered decisively without a precise account of the wrongs intrinsic to the institution of slavery, on the one hand, and its various afterlives, on the other. Some of the authors we’ll read include: Bernard Boxill, Angela Davis, Fredrick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James, Charles Mills, Robert Nozick and Jeremy Waldron. (A)

 

2020-2021 Winter

PHIL 29902 Senior Seminar II

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in the Autumn Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in the Winter Quarter. The Senior Seminar meets for two quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

PHIL 29901 Senior Seminar I

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in the Autumn Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in the Winter Quarter. The Senior Seminar meets for two quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

PHIL 21206 Philosophy of Race and Racism 

(CRES 21206)

The idea that there exist different “races” of human beings is something that many—perhaps even most—people in the United States today take for granted. And yet modern notions of “race” and “racial difference” raise deep philosophical problems: What exactly is race? Is race a natural kind (like water) or a social kind (like citizenship)? If race is a social kind—i.e. something human beings have constructed—are there any good reasons to keep using it? According to many philosophers, these questions cannot be properly analyzed in abstraction from the history of modern racism and the liberation struggles racial oppression has given rise to. Together, we’ll read classic and contemporary texts on these themes by authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Angela Davis, Charles Mills, Naomi Zack, Chike Jeffers, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Lucius Outlaw. (A)

 

2019-2020 Spring
Category
Philosophy of Race

PHIL 29902 Senior Seminar II

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

2019-2020 Spring

PHIL 25404 Gender, Politics and Philosophy

(GNSE 25404)

In this class we’ll read classic and contemporary texts in the philosophy of gender that examine questions such as the following. What exactly is gender? And what is sex? What does it mean to be a man or a woman? Are these natural or social kinds—that is, do these words refer to phenomena that humans have discovered or to ones they’ve created? Should we continue to group all human beings into just two sex/gender categories—or should we instead expand the number of categories we use? Or should we stop classifying humans by sex and gender altogether? And who should have the authority to make these kinds of decisions? We will frequently ask how these conceptual matters bear on how we should live, how we should relate to others, and how we should organize social and political life. Readings will include works by authors such as Simone de Beauvoir, Iris Marion Young, Angela Davis, Nancy Fraser, Sally Haslanger, Sandra Bartky, Patricia Hill Collins, Serene Khader and Katharine Jenkins. (A)

 

2019-2020 Winter
Category
Social/Political Philosophy

PHIL 29901 Senior Seminar I

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

2019-2020 Winter

PHIL 29902 Senior Seminar II

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

2019-2020 Winter

PHIL 27380 The Ethics of Immigration

(HMRT 27380)

In this course we’ll investigate philosophical problems underlying contemporary political controversies about immigration. Together, we’ll discuss questions such as the following: What gives one group of people the right to forcibly exclude other people from coming to reside somewhere? Is there such a right at all? What moral authority do existing borders have? What role should the idea of “the nation” play in our thinking about immigration? Indeed, what exactly are nations? And is there a compelling case for the exclusion of immigrants that depends on a commitment to preserving a national culture? All of these questions touch on fundamental issues in political philosophy: the nature of citizenship and its relationship to culture, the source of legitimate authority, the justifiability of state coercion, the content and ground of human rights.

2019-2020 Autumn
Category
Social/Political Philosophy

PHIL 29901 Senior Seminar I

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

2019-2020 Autumn