I was recently interviewed, 10 questions in 10 minutesfor the UFV’s weekly Career Chat Series. The goal is to inspire students about the endless possibilities and opportunities that can lead from a BA degree.

INTERVIEWER: Dr. Linda Pardy, Associate Dean of Students, College of Arts
MODERATOR: Elise Goertz, Practicum and Internship Coordinator, College of Arts

One of my most rewarding moments as a teacher is when I see a student gain the confidence to raise their hand to ask a question for the first time.

For some students this happens on the first day of class, but for most, it takes time to find their voice and believe in the importance of their questions. It is for these moments—an awakening of philosophical inquiry and critical reflection—that I teach philosophy.

Both my teaching and research revolve around a consideration of voice and community, and how we are able to hear each other in and out of the classroom. My dissertation raises this question as it pertains to settler Canadians’ ability and willingness to hear testimonies of structural settler colonial violence, and my teaching prioritizes the development of students’ critical voice.

For most of my students, mine is one of their first philosophy classes, and so the first day of class is an opportunity to articulate what we do in a philosophy class and what kind of environment engenders productive philosophical conversations. I believe that the central aims of philosophical education are clarity of both verbal and written expression, rigour in argument, intellectual generosity and curiosity.

My task is to incite students to question themselves and to think critically, all while cultivating the willingness and ability to grasp another’s arguments and respond to them. I advise my students that philosophy classes are about understanding problems, rather than aiming to find ready-made solutions. While this can be a destabilizing experience, I affirm that it can be a profoundly enriching one.


  • PHIL 100: Reasoning: An Introduction to Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 110: Morality and Politics
  • PHIL 210: Contemporary Issues in Politics and Morality
    (Multiculturalism and Recognition)
  • PHIL 309: Feminist Philosophy*
  • PHIL 312: Contemporary Political Philosophy: Recognition and Resurgence*
  • PHIL 315: Contemporary Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 318: Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 365: Teaching Children Philosophy*
  • PHIL 483J: Selected Topics in Philosophy: Topics in Feminism

* New courses developed by Anna Cook


  • PHIL 103: Critical Reasoning
  • PHIL 170: Philosophy of Love and Sex
  • PHIL 120: Ethics of Enterprise and Exchange
  • PHIL 216: Philosophy and Cultural Diversity
  • PHIL 325: Logic, Inquiry, and Argumentation
  • PHIL 399: Teaching Children Philosophy
    (co-taught with Paul Bodin, Education)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This