Faculty Strengths

Tenured / Tenure-Track Faculty:

Ásta (Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir)

Dr. Ásta (Ph.D. MIT, 2004) works mainly in metaphysics, social philosophy, and feminist theory, but also has interests in issues at the intersection of metaphysics and other subfields, such as philosophy of language, mind, and logic, epistemology, and aesthetics. She has written on questions related to essence and modality, response-dependence, realism and anti-realism, sex and gender, social construction, and naturalism, and is working on a book manuscript on the metaphysics of social categories, entitled Categories We Live By, under contract with Oxford University Press. Recent publications include “Who's Afraid of Feminist Metaphysics?”, in APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy; Knowledge of Essence”, Philosophical Studies; The Social Construction of Human Kinds”, Hypatia; and “The Metaphysics of Sex and Gender”, Feminist Metaphysics, ed. by Charlotte Witt. She runs the Bay Are Feminism and Philosophy workshop (BayFAP; online.sfsu.edu/bayfap) with Dr. Shelley Wilcox. Her website is at online.sfsu.edu/asta.

Mohammad Azadpur

Dr. Azadpur (Ph.D. UVA, 1999) is the author of Reason Unbound: On Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2011), which was the subject of a 2012 Pacific APA Author-Meets-Critics session.  His new book, now in partial draft form, engages Analytic neo-Hegelians (Sellars, Brandom, and McDowell) and Islamic Peripatetics (mainly Avicenna) in rethinking foundationalism and intentionality.  Another line of research explores the primacy of ethics from Ancient Greek philosophy to twentieth century figures such as Heidegger, Hadot and Foucault.  In addition to publishing a steady stream of journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Azadpur is editing a collection of representative works of Islamic Peripatetics, to appear as part of a sourcebook that spans the various medieval traditions of philosophy. It is titled Traditions of Philosophy in the Middle Ages: A Multicultural Sourcebook (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

Pamela Hood

Dr. Hood's (Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, 2003) main area of research is Ancient Greek philosophy, especially Aristotle's metaphysics and ethics. She is the author of a book entitled Aristotle on the Category of Relation (University Press of America, 2004). She recently published a book chapter entitled, "Aristotle on the Occupy Movement and Financial Inequality", in The Free Market and the Human Condition. This fall she will be presenting a paper at Fordham University on "Phronesis and Strict Virtue in Nicomachean Ethics VI", at the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy. She is currently conducting research for a book on Plato's and Aristotle's ontological conceptions of the category of being.

David Landy

Dr. Landy (Ph.D. UNC Chapel Hill, 2008) works primarily on the history of Modern philosophy, with a focus on Modern theories of mental representation. He is the author of Kant's Inferentialism: The Case against Hume (Routledge, 2015) and has begun work on another monograph tentatively titled, Hume’s Science of Human Nature. His research interests also extend to the history of German Idealism and to the intersection of historical theories with their contemporary counterparts in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and metaphysics, with a particular focus on the work of Wilfrid Sellars and his heirs (Brandom, McDowell, Millikan, Rosenberg).

Carlos Montemayor

Dr. Montemayor (Ph.D. Rutgers University, 2009; JD, UNAM Mexico, 2001) is currently working on four topics: the experience of time, the nature of consciousness and attention, the normative aspects of epistemic achievements, and the new insights social epistemology brings to legal philosophy. He collaborates with philosophers and psychologists of consciousness and is a member of Dr. Ezequiel Morsella’s lab at SFSU: the Action and Consciousness Laboratory. He also works with legal philosophers from the Legal Research Institute at UNAM. Dr. Montemayor is currently writing a book with Abrol Fairweather, which defends a reliabilist version of epistemic virtues. He also just finished writing, with H. H. Haladjian, Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention, (In press with MIT). His book, Minding Time, was published by Brill in 2013. For his research in philosophy of time, he received the New Scholar Prize for Best Essay by a Young Scholar—awarded by the International Society for the Study of Time in 2007. He now serves on the Council of this interdisciplinary Society.

You can find more about Dr. Montemayor’s work by visiting the following sites:

Minding Time (interview about the book); an article on Timing and Time Perception; and an article on Law and Cognitive Integration.

Isabelle Peschard

Dr. Peschard's (Ph.D. in Philosophy, Sorbonne, Paris 2004; Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics, University of Aix-Marseille, 1995) main area of research is philosophy of science, with a focus on scientific modeling. Before obtaining her PhD in philosophy, she obtained a PhD in Fluid Mechanics, where her research consisted in the experimental development of some models. Her philosophical approach to scientific modeling has been informed and motivated by her previous work in science. It led her to emphasize the constructive interplay between theoretical modeling and experimental activity, as well as the role of value judgments, in the form of relevance judgments, in the investigation and understanding of phenomena. See, for instance, her "Making the Abstract Concrete: The Role of Norms and Values In Experimental Modeling" (2014) in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 46: 3–10; or her "Forging Model/World Relations: Relevance and Reliability" (2012) in Philosophy of Science vol.79 (5):749-760.

Dr. Peschard has co-organized a series of workshops on the Experimental Side of Modeling which convened prominent philosophers of science at SFSU. She is currently editing a collection of papers presented at these conferences that promise to be an invaluable resource for those interested in the philosophy of scientific modeling.

Anita Silvers

Dr. Silvers (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1967) now works mainly on theory of justice, group-differentiated v. general social rights, and a variety of topics in bioethics. She and her co-authors are completing a book called Puzzles About Disability for Oxford University Press. As soon as that project concludes, she and co-author Leslie Francis will return to a manuscript where they are developing inter-related accounts of ideal justice and practical justice under conditions of injustice, emphasizing an inclusive approach to citizenship. The book expands on an article published in Ethics called “Justice Through Trust: Disability and the ‘Outlier’ Problem in Social Contract Theory".

Dr. Silvers received the American Philosophical Association’s Quinn Award for Contributions to Philosophy and Philosophers in 2009 and the Phi Beta Kappa/APA Lebowitz Award for Excellence in Philosophical Thought in 2013. An advocate for service to the profession, she has been Secretary-Treasurer of the APA Pacific Division and chair of the APA Inclusiveness Committee, and she currently chairs the Law and Society Association’s Diversity Committee. She served on the National Endowment for the Humanities National Council, appointed by the President of the United States. She currently chairs the SFSU Philosophy Department and serves on the San Francisco General Hospital Ethics Committee.

Among her single authored and co-authored articles and chapters published in the last two years are “Accommodating Every Body” (University of Chicago Law Review), “Continuous Surveillance of Persons with Disabilities: Conflicts and Compatibilities of Personal and Public Goods”  (Journal of Social Philosophy), “Feminist Perspectives on Disability” rev. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), “Human Rights, Civil Rights: Prescribing Disability Discrimination Prevention in Packaging Essential Health Benefits,” (Journal of Medicine, Law and Ethics), and “Infanticide, Moral Status, and Moral Reasons:  the importance of context” (The Journal of Medical Ethics), and  “Moral Status: What a Bad Idea! Why discard it? What replaces it?” (The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research).

Alice Sowaal

Dr. Sowaal's (Ph.D. UC Irvine, 2001) published research is on early modern philosophy. In particular, she has worked on the metaphysical and epistemic foundations of René Descartes’s physics and also on the moral and theological roots of Mary Astell’s views on the mind and liberty. She also has teaching and research interests in Leibniz, Locke, Malebranche, More, and Spinoza, as well as in the history of feminist philosophy. The graduate seminars that she teaches reflect her interest in the period as a time of systematic thinking, in which philosophers sought to connect abstract thinking with practical problems in psychology, physics, religion, and politics. Dr. Sowaal also serves as the Graduate Coordinator, where she guides students moving through the MA program, coordinates the qualifying exam, and facilitates workshops for students who are applying to PhD programs.

Recently, she has presented a number of papers: “Mary Astell and the Development of Vice: Pride, Courtship, and the Human Nature Question”, at the APA in San Diego in April 2014; "Mary Astell: Liberty, Knowledge, Passion, and Virtue” at the “Women on Liberty: 1600-1800” symposium in Prato, Italy, in July 2014 [found here]. She will present on the moral philosophies of Astell and Descartes at the APA in December 2014. She is currently working with Penny Weiss to complete an edited collection on Mary Astell for the Penn State University’s Re-Reading the Canon Series, found here.

Justin Tiwald

Dr. Tiwald (Ph.D. U. Chicago, 2006) works on a wide variety of issues at the intersections of Chinese and contemporary philosophy, including Confucianism and rights, Buddhist and Neo-Confucian accounts of empathy, and Daoist theories of well-being. He is editor of the Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy (2015) and co-editor of Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy (2014). His article "A Right of Rebellion in the Mengzi?" won the 2008 Dao Best Essay Award. He has also served as a visiting professor at South China Normal University and the University of California Berkeley. At San Francisco State, Dr. Tiwald teaches courses on East Asian thought and contemporary ethics, and runs an ongoing reading group devoted to studying philosophical texts in classical Chinese.

Bas van Fraassen

Dr. van Fraassen (Ph.D. U. Pittsburgh, 1966) teaches advanced logic and philosophical logic, directs independent study projects in logic and philosophy of science, and participates in thesis supervision.  Recently the recipient of the Hempel Award for lifetime achievement in philosophy of science, van Fraassen’s books include The Scientific Image; Laws and Symmetry; The Empirical Stance; and Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. Some of his lectures at various institutions can be watched on YouTube, and there is a short TV interview on the web, about the concept of laws of nature, found here. His current projects include a re-assessment of 20th century philosophical views about science and an examination of logical paradoxes pertaining to the Self. He is also a co-organizer of the Bay Area Philosophy of Science (BAPS) Working Group.

Shelley Wilcox

Dr. Wilcox (Ph.D., U. Colorado, Boulder, 2001) works in the areas of social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and applied ethics, with a special interest in immigration, global justice, and urban environmental issues.  She has published articles in prominent journals, including Philosophical Studies, Social Theory and Practice, and Journal of Social Philosophy, as well as numerous anthologies.  She is currently writing a book on urban environmental ethics.  Dr. Wilcox coordinates the Philosophy Department’s Graduate Teaching Associate Training Program, which provides mentorship and teaching opportunities for MA students.  Many participants go on to receive teaching fellowships in doctoral programs or regional teaching positions.  Dr. Wilcox is also Book Review Editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy, in which students can participate in the publication of the journal in various capacities.