I have been a passionate student of philosophy for the past twenty years, earning my doctorate from the University of Toronto in 2009. My primary areas of research and teaching have been in continental philosophy, history of philosophy, philosophy of language and culture and philosophy of literature, but I am interested in any philosophy that can illuminate contemporary issues in new and productive ways and deepen our experience of being alive. My dissertation, on issues of translation and meaning in Deleuze and Derrida, can be found here.
Since graduating, I have been teaching at U of T in the department of philosophy and in the department of literary studies, doing my part to shake undergraduates out of consumerist slumbers and inspire them to think deeply and subversively. My greatest joy has been in teaching Nietzsche, Kafka and Henry Miller to students who never knew university could be so fun.
In 2011, I started Plutarch’s Table salons, with the aim of making philosophy fun and accessible and bringing the powerful insights of philosophy to contemporary issues and problems. The salons have proved to be an exciting way to bring philosophy out of the ivory tower, and I continue to enjoy the inspiring atmosphere of these events. However, the illumination that philosophy can provide to individuals grappling with real life-issues requires a deeper and more sustained engagement, and it was this realization that led me to philosophical therapy.
I began my work as a philosophical therapist in response to what I see as a crisis of thoughtful engagement in our contemporary world, and in particular in the so-called ‘self-improvement industry’. Academics too often make philosophy seem irrelevant to life, while most of what passes as philosophical guidance for non-academics amounts to no more than empty self-help formulas and inspirational stories that don’t engage us intellectually in the hard work of making conscious and meaningful choices.
My work bridges this gap by using the best philosophical thinking as a tool to understanding as well as expanding and enriching the human experience.
I find my work as a philosophical therapist deeply gratifying. I continue to study philosophy – every morning while my kids are still sleeping – and this allows me to begin every day with new perspectives and thoughts to share with my clients and my readers.