When asked how I came to be a philosopher, I usually say philosophy chose me: I couldn’t help it. Before going to college, I was advised to read Plato’s Apology, and although I didn’t know it at the time, in retrospect I can say that it hooked me. I went to Gustavus Adolphus College and drank up the liberal arts for four years. I played the piano. I memorized poetry. When I graduated from Gustavus, I tried to combine my interests in math and philosophy by trotting off to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where I did several things: studied logic and the philosophy of mathematics, earning an M.S.; learned by living away how deep my roots in Minnesota are; and realized how much I love humanistic education. Studying a technical discipline showed me how much of a liberal arts junkie I really am, because I missed thinking about life. So I transferred to the University of Michigan to concentrate on ethics. The work I did there (and continue to do) centers around self-creation and the reasons for action that stem from who we are: in short, the ethics of identity. I’m most interested in love and caring, and the relationships, projects and things that make us who we are in a biographical sense. My most recent project is an essay exploring what defines motherhood of multiples, because in July 2013 my husband Aaron and I welcomed twin daughters, who joined their older brother to make us a family of five.
Teaching & Research Interests:
Ethics of identity: self-creation, love and caring, virtue, and personhood; moral philosophy; applied ethics (especially business ethics); philosophy of human nature; logic