Brian Mondy, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Miami, 2011
M.A., Philosophy, Universoty of Miami, 2008
B.A., Philosophy, Bethel College, 2003
“Philosophy is a living discipline in which difficult questions concerning, for instance, the nature of knowledge, the mind, personhood, and morality are dealt with through carefully giving, examining, and evaluating reasons. In taking a philosophy course a student should expect to improve his/her ability to reason and evaluate reasons.”
After starting college as an engineering major, and transferring schools to study theology, I discovered that philosophy was the discipline that studied the questions that most interested me. My interest in studying questions concerning the nature of knowledge, morality, and value led me to the University of Miami where I completed my dissertation, “Answering Questions: The Aims and Value of Inquiry,” in 2011. Before coming to the Center for Learning Innovation I taught as a teaching assistant at the University of Miami from 2006-2010, where I received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2008, as an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College, and as a full-time Visiting Lecturer at Florida International University from 2010-2012.
With my colleagues Cameron Brewer and Aaron Kostko, I teach Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Ethics of Medicine and Sciences, and History and Philosophy of Science. At previous institutions I have also taught Analytic Philosophy, Topics in Epistemology: Social Epistemology, and Topics in Epistemology: The Value of Truth and Knowledge. Philosophy classes provide students with a particularly good opportunity to reflect in a structured and careful way on their own deeply held values and beliefs, and also on the values and beliefs of those who think differently from them. To help students to truly get the most out of this opportunity, I attempt to develop in them the skills that close philosophical study produces: the ability to ask questions precisely, to reason through the consequences of a view, to distinguish concepts, and to articulately express ideas. These are portable skills that students can utilize in their social, civic, and professional lives.
My research generally centers around two questions: (1) What are the goals of inquiry, and how can an account of these goals inform our views concerning the value of reasons, truth, knowledge and understanding? (2) What is the relationship between epistemic, practical, and moral norms? In my dissertation, and in papers currently under review and in progress, I examine the dynamic process of inquiry in order to gain a new perspective on important questions in epistemology and the theory of value. By developing a view of inquiry I suggest that we can gain new insights into the nature and value of knowledge, understanding, justification, and truth, and that we can begin to uncover the relationships among normative domains such as epistemology, practical reason, and morality.
Select Publications and Abstracts
“Balancing the Aims of Inquiry” This paper argues that inquirers must use their practical goals, as opposed to epistemic or moral goals, in order to balance the competing aims of attaining true beliefs while avoiding erroneous beliefs.
“Is Truth a Constitutive Goal of Inquiry?” This paper argues that one argument against epistemic expressivism, the view that judgments of epistemic reasonableness are expressions of preferences, fails.
“The Goal of Inquiry and the Gettier Problem” This paper argues that contrary to the views of Kvanvig, Pritchard, and Williamson, successful inquiry will conclude in satisfying a particular anti-Gettier condition (among other conditions), and that satisfying such a condition is valuable.