Brownstein, M. 2016. Context and the Ethics of Implicit Bias. In Brownstein, M. and Saul, J. (Eds.) Implicit Bias and Philosophy: Volume 2, Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
You probably know the Lucas Brothers from their Netflix special On Drugs or their appearances in TV shows and movies like Lady Dynamite and 22 Jump Street. You might not know that they are serious students of philosophy. Join us on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30 in the Strand's 2nd Floor Art Department as Kenny and Keith Lucas join Michael Brownstein (Associate Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College and author of The Implicit Mind) to discuss how philosophy shapes their comedy, how comedy works, the weirdly popular idea that comedians are today's philosophers, and more.
This event is organized by Brooklyn Public Philosophers and hosted by the Strand Bookstore.
For the Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile Court, and Consolidated Justice Court, with Alex Madva. Participant survey results both immediately following the training and 3 months later here. Coverage from the National Association of State Judicial Educators here.
Workshop: Can Psychology Improve Policing?
Organized with Susanna Siegel. April 29th 2016 at Harvard University. Details here.
Philosophy of Comedy
This course uses a diversity of tools—historical, psychological, philosophical, and more—to consider the nature of comedy as a form of creative expression. Understanding comedy requires considering questions such as: what makes something funny? When is it okay (and not okay) to laugh at a joke? Why do we laugh at all? Can comedy be used as a tool for pursuing social justice? Syllabus
Intellectual Foundations I: What is the Common Good?
This multidisciplinary course considers how different intellectual traditions -- specifically philosophy, history, psychology, and evolutionary biology -- frame seminal questions about the nature of the common good. Syllabus
Living Well During Dangerous Times: An Incomplete Philosophical History
How does one live well during dangerous times? This course considers various answers to this question. Key themes covered are stoicism, virtue ethics, existentialism, and civil disobedience. Syllabus
Race and Education
This course focuses on the role of stereotypes, prejudice, and social group membership in student experiences and outcomes from primary school through college in the United States. Readings are drawn from philosophical and psychological literature, and well as popular narratives. The aim of the course is to address the intersection of race and education from both theoretical and practical perspectives. What are the best ways to understand the relevant social and individual challenges? And how can these challenges be overcome? Syllabus
Philosophy and Psychology of Race and Gender
Persistent inequalities between social groups are a blight on modern, liberal democracies, which pride themselves on the idea of justice and fairness for all. This course focuses on inequalities having to do with race and gender, with special emphasis of the psychology of prejudice. Syllabus
Understanding Technological Society (through Food)
This course examines the impact of science and technology on politics, economics, culture, health, and morality. We will focus on one particular example: food. Topics include: industrial agriculture, food and justice, food and community, and the ethics of eating. This course includes a service learning component, guest lectures, film, and a variety of technical and non-technical readings. Syllabus
Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature
This course focuses on four topics that philosophers have thought about for thousands of years: happiness, morality, virtue and free will. In recent years, scientists have begun to examine these same subjects, bringing to bear on them the modern tools of their trade (experimental studies, statistical analysis, etc.). This course has three aims: (1) to use any tools we can in order to understand something about these really really really important questions; (2) to examine the very methodological promiscuity assumed in (1); and (3) to re-examine our beliefs and maybe even change our lives a little in light of what we learn. Syllabus
Mind and Machines
Is the mind like an extraordinarily complex machine? If so, what kind of machine is it like? This course examines the most contemporary mechanical metaphor for the mind: the computer. The idea that the mind is like a computer is the founding assumption of modern cognitive science. In trying to understand how the mind is or is not like a computer, we will take what John Haugeland calls a “mind design” approach; that is, we will try to understand what the mind is like by thinking about how it is built. Syllabus
I write about science, ethics, and social change, with emphasis on the psychology of prejudice, bias, and identity. I have also written about the nature of skill, spontaneity, self-control, and “flow.”
I'm married to the fiber artist Reine Hewitt. We live in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn with our three kids, Leda, Iggy, and Minerva; our dog, Frances; and six laying hens (Jumper, Chickie, Brown Stripe, Black Stripe, Comfort, and Puffin).
I am also a board member and past President of the Ft. Greene Tennis Association, which recently raised over $60,000 to repair our neighborhood tennis courts (before and after). Nowadays I race triathlons with the Brooklyn Tri Club, like this one in Iceland.