There have been a number of professors throughout my formal philosophical career who have in some way greatly influenced my overall philosophical views in a very profound way. And maybe it’s that Christmas is coming, maybe it’s that I’m bored, and maybe it’s just that I’d like another post to extend my “posting every day” streak, but I’m feeling an urge to list and thank them at this time. I’ll use their real names, but not their locations, to give them the ability, if asked, to say “Um, that wasn’t me! It was someone else with that name!”. These are in no particularly order (and I hope I get the spellings right):
Rob Stainton – He’s not only the reason I even HAVE a Masters’ degree in Philosophy, but he’s also responsible for my favouring dualism when it comes to mind. Which is ironic considering that he’s a staunch materialist.
Andrew Brook – Also very influential in my overall views on consciousness — despite, again, being a staunch materialist and absolutely not a qualia freak — but even more importantly was one of the main driving factors behind my developing the view of the distinction between the psychological and the phenomenal.
Paul Raymont – This may seem relatively minor, but explained to me that Kant’s Categorical Imperative refers only to consistency, not desirability, which greatly impacted my views on Kant’s moral system, which have greatly impacted my own views on morality.
Diane Debrule – Introduced me to Greek philosophy and consciousness, and also was instrumental in my examining the similarities and differences between the Virtue Theories of Aristotle and the Stoics, which has not only greatly informed my views of Stoicism, but of Virtue Theory as well.
Heidi Maibom – Introduced me to the Stoics, or at least in a sense where I found them interesting, formed my views on emotion and how it relates to morality (again, ironically she does seem to hold the exact opposite view than me), and was instrumental in my discovering the link between simulation and theory with regards to empathy. Ultimately, being Stoic-leaning and distrusting empathy-based moralities started with her, for good or for ill, although again that’s probably not her own view.
David Matheson – Probably the person who is most responsible for my interest in epistemology, and on a specific note also taught me that the “p is true” condition of knowledge does not require certainty, which I’ve just realized the importance of … which is one of the main reasons why I thought of listing these people and thanking them. So that’s something else to blame him for.
Vincent Bergeron – Again, it might seem minor, but I had never done anything on Aesthetics or Art until his course, which produced this.
There are other professors out there whose courses I’ve really enjoyed and that I’ve learned a lot in, but these are the ones that had an overall impact on my philosophical views and interests. So I owe them a debt of thanks for doing that … even if they might have wanted to have a completely different impact on my philosophical views and interests [grin].