New Faculty Interview

Dr. Ashley Feinsinger, Assistant Professor, Philosophy

 

Feinsinger

Written by:

Fayth Fowler, Freshman, School of Business, Marketing

Briana Capuchino, Senior, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology

Dr. Ashley Feinsinger is convinced that philosophy is for everyone. She currently teaches Intro to Philosophy and the Philosophy of Language. In both of these classes Dr. Feinsinger wants her students to understand that philosophy is relevant to today’s issues. She draws connections between the course material and current social justice issues in order to accomplish this. What facilitates the success of this mission is her student-led classroom approach. She encourages students to take charge of the lecture to ensure that they have an opportunity to develop their own views on the present argument. By doing so, she’s hoping to help students realize that there is something going on in the course material that they already care about. Because of this, she encourages her students to find philosophical arguments present in their everyday lives. For example, one activity she has been eager to implement is one that involves the concept of “Dialect Policing.” More often than we realize, individuals will try to police the language of others. With this, she wants students to track how often they encounter instances of “Dialect Policing.” It’s activities like these that Dr. Feinsinger knows will help reinforce the idea that philosophy is relevant today.

Dr. Ashley Feinsinger has always understood philosophy as being a social tool. However, the connection between language and social justice came about later in her career when she joined USD. What she likes most about USD is that the institution values diversity in education, not only in their students but in the subjects available to students as well. She finds that in the classroom, students have such a wide variety of interests that it is important to expose them to subjects they haven’t been taught before. Ultimately, what Dr. Feinsinger would like to accomplish is instilling an interest in philosophy amongst undergraduates at USD. She wants to see philosophy classrooms become more interdisciplinary so that every student can see just how relevant philosophy is to them.