Daniel's Interests

Hi. I am interested in how people explain and come to understand new subject matters. Understanding and explanation are everywhere, from introductory geology classes to high-end physics classes to art museums to parenting. I want to know what it means to say that a child or a student or anyone comes to understand something, and how we can bring about that understanding (particularly through explanation). This question drives most of what I do, including all of the following things:

  • Teaching!
    • Classes geared towards philosophy students
    • Classes geared to premed students or engineers
  • Publishing
  • Working on acquisition of "basic" understanding, including:
    • Researching explanation, inference, and learning progressions
    • Serving as a post-doctoral research associate for a Moore Foundation project developing a course on critical scientific and philosophical reasoning
  • Parenting!
    • Getting my five year old to understand the mystifying world around her
    • Getting my one-year-old to understand that there is a world around him to be mystified by (Does this count as understanding? Stay tuned.) (Spoiler alert: probably)
  • ....and much more! Once you start looking, you can't stop wondering about what understanding and explanation are, and what we can do with them!