A bit about me

Ethan H Jacobs

Why study philosophy? Philosophy is often associated with a kind of supremely logical form of thought, in which all sides are weighed and every consideration accounted for in the attempt to most accurately make sense of things. In Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty offers another conception:

if we see knowledge as a matter of conversation and of social practice, rather than as an attempt to mirror nature, [we arrive at] a conception of philosophy which has nothing to do with the quest for certainty.

My motivation to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy largely stems from the way in which I see philosophy as the union of these disparate ideas.

On the one hand, I am interested in the construction and analysis of argumentation in light of principles of perspicuity and intelligibility. On the other, I understand this analysis as both conditioned by and conditioning the terms of broader historical conversations that stand as expressions of human interest and attention.

It is precisely this human element that draws me to the pedagogical side of philosophy. Teachers have both the privilege and the responsibility of shaping the landscape of thinking for future generations, and these topographic hills and valleys — points from which we either survey every other or else excavate in depth — have very real effects on human culture and its material conditions.

Personal Details

Ethan H Jacobs


Besides philosophy, I enjoy staying active and volunteering in my community. I like cycling, long-distance hiking, playing squash, and learning languages. I also like:

  • Playing the piano
  • Urban exploration
  • Trying my hand at cooking


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