BA, MA, PhD (University of Sheffield), FHEA, FRSA
Department of Philosophy
Director of Undergraduate Recruitment & Admissions
Full contact details
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
I am a Lecturer in Philosophy and Co-Director of the Centre for Engaged Philosophy. Before that I was the Vice-Chancellor's Fellow for the Public Benefit of Higher Education and Faculty Fellow in the Social Sciences also at Sheffield. My research and teaching are driven by the sense that philosophy, at its best, can operate across disciplinary boundaries and engage meaningfully with public concerns. This is reflected in the modules I teach, my publications, and my previous activities as Philosopher-in-Residence for the Member of European Parliament Magid Magid, Democracy Visiting Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Visiting Fellow at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. My teaching has been recognised with an Early Career Senate Teaching Award and an Outstanding Teaching Award. I have a rich interest in pedagogic innovation in the field of philosophy and facilitation techniques, so I work closely with international, national and local organisations dedicated to pedagogic innovation and to increasing the provision of philosophical activities in schools and in the wider community.
- Research interests
My research interests are in philosophy of education, democratic theory, political and social philosophy, and American Pragmatism. My first book, Deweyan Experimentalism and the Problem of Method in Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2019) addresses the relevance of John Dewey's philosophy for contemporary social and political philosophy. I have also published papers on Dewey's democratic ideal, theories of citizen disengagement, Richard Rorty's ethnocentric liberalism, the benefits of philosophical education, and epistemic vice in higher education policy.
My current projects address the role of gratitude in Cornel West's prophetic pragmatism, the significance of 'consummatory experiences' in undergraduate education, and the civic benefits of philosophical education. In particular, Dr Vachararutai Boontinand and I were awarded a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship and a Thailand Research Fund grant to undertake a project entitled 'Philosophical Enquiry as a Pedagogy for Teaching Critical Thinking and Democratic Citizenship in Higher Education' (2018-2021).
- Epistemic corruption and the research impact agenda. Theory and Research in Education, 19(2), 148-167.
- The Teaching Excellence Framework, epistemic insensibility and the question of purpose. Journal of Philosophy of Education. View this article in WRRO
- Deweyan Democracy, Robert Talisse, and the Fact of Reasonable Pluralism: A Rawlsian Response. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 53(4), 553-578. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO A Democratic Ideal for Troubled Times: John Dewey, Civic Action, and Peaceful Conflict Resolution. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies.
- Defending What From Whom? Debating Citizen Disengagement. The Political Quarterly, 86(4), 550-554. View this article in WRRO
- Youth philosophy conferences and the development of adolescent social skills in advance. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Beyond Relativism? Rorty and MacIntyre on Historicism and Progress In Müller M (Ed.), Handbuch Richard Rorty Springer VS
- View this article in WRRO Reconsidering Dewey's Democratic Socialism in the Age of Populism In Reder M, Filipovic A, Finkelde D & Wallacher J (Ed.), Jahrbuch Praktische Philosophie in Globaler Perspektive / Yearbook Practical Philosophy in a Global Perspective Schwerpunkt: Pragmatistische Impulse / Focus: Exploring Pragmatist Options (pp. 50-73). Munchen: Verlag Karl Aber.
- Humanism, Democracy and Engaged Learning
- Education, active citizenship and applied social intelligence: Some democratic tools to meet the threat of climate change, Rethinking Climate Change Research: Clean Technology, Culture and Communication (pp. 177-191).
- "Inequality and the 1%" by Danny Dorling. Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.
- A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 8(1), 161-164.
Conference proceedings papers
- View this article in WRRO Something Has Cracked: Post-Truth Politics and Richard Rorty’s Postmodernist Bourgeois Liberalism. Ash Center Occasional Papers, Vol. July 2018. Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Written evidence submitted by Dr. Joshua Forstenzer (PQE0106) in response to 'Purpose and quality of education in England' Parliamentary inquiry
- View this article in WRRO The Teaching Excellence Framework: What's the Purpose?
- Written evidence by Dr Joshua Forstenzer (QHE 13) in response to 'Assessing quality in Higher Education' Parliamentary inquiry
- Research group
I am keen to supervise postgraduate students in the Philosophy Department or through the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. Students interested in the philosophy of education, democratic theory, social and political philosophy (especially those working in the traditions of pragmatism and critical theory), and American Pragmatism are welcome to get in touch with me.
- Peter Worley: Why Philosophy for Children? The Greeks and the Pragmatists
- Tahmin Yesmin Shova: Active Citizenship and Multiculturalism
- Bayram Gunce: Religious Education and Critical Realism
- Teaching interests
My undergraduate teaching is driven by an engaged pedagogic outlook, rooted in the Deweyan tradition of 'learning by doing'. Having received training from both SAPERE and The Philosophy Foundation, my teaching is also influenced by pedagogic practices rooted in the practice of the community of philosophical enquiry, as well pedagogic efforts spear-headed by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture to bridge the gap between philosophical and religious thinking and practical orientation.
In practice, my 2nd year module 'Philosophy of Education' and my 3rd year and MA module 'How to Change the World From Here: Utopia, Reform, and Democracy' invite my students to engage with both theoretical content and practical experiences, resulting in assessments combining writing essays and reflective journals.
- Teaching activities
PHI 226 - Philosophy of EducationPHI 31011 - How to Change the World From Here? Utopia, Reform and Democracy
PHI 356 - Philosophical Project: The Philosophy of Higher Education
PHI 61012 - How to Change the World From Here? Utopia, Reform and Democracy