Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 Year in Review

As another year wraps up I am feeling reflective and will offer a brief summary of my 2019 in review.

Academically, I was very pleased to have this paper come out in print in Rejuvenation Research. The argument is that senescence poses one of the most significant threats to human freedom this century.

I also have 4 different book chapters finished this year that will be out in print next year. One is on the topic of the ethics of memory modification for soldiers to reduce the risks of PTSD, the second on positive biology and well-ordered science, the third a critique of Rawls and ideal theory, and the fourth a virtue epistemological account of toleration. So it has been a year of spreading myself intellectually, covering different topics from different theoretical perspectives. Fun stuff!

It was also a very busy year for me with teaching. I taught just over 600 undergraduates and approximately 20 graduate students in 2019. I taught in all 3 semesters this year, offering a graduate course in the School of Policy Studies in the spring/summer term in addition to my regular 2/2 load in the fall and winter terms.

It was also a very successful first year for the Philosophy Meetup Kingston group I launched last December. Within a year membership grew to 130 members! Over the past year I organized over 30 events. We had vibrant debates on the following topics: the Happy Life vs the Meaningful Life, Death and the Ethics of Assisted Dying, Immortality, Trump will be impeached, The Evolution of the Adult Self, Future Generations, Justice, Food, Punishment, Personal Identity, Luck, Religion, Democracy and the Trolley Problem.

In addition to the Philosophy Meetup Group, I also launched a new Men's social support Meetup group, which meets monthly and currently has 17 members. This group has been a very positive influence in my life as well.

This year I also ran, for the 5th straight year, my Political Philosophy Discussion Group for male inmates over the summer months. As always it was a deeply enriching experience. We debated the issues of justice, civil disobedience, punishment, the state of nature and human nature.

It has been just over a year since the passing of my father, the most avid reader of this blog. The first year of grieving his passing has been a catalyst for reflection and personal growth. My relationship with him continues, I always hear his voice in my head encouraging me to tackle new projects and develop new ideas. But I miss his presence dearly. I have come to an emotional place in the grieving process where I feel gratitude, peace and loss, all simultaneously.

What are my plans for 2020? I hope to make some serious headway on a major research project that has been in the works for the past 5 years- a new book on play and a realistic utopia. Having now completed a lengthy list of disparate invited contributions, I intend to devote the bulk of my research energies to the study of the biology of play, utopian political thought, and positive psychology. Looking forward to a new year! All the best to everyone.