Published: Aug. 28, 2018
Brian Talbot

The Philosophy Department is pleased to welcome Professor Brian Talbot to the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is starting his job here as an assistant professor of philosophy this fall; previously, he taught philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

We asked him a few questions to introduce him to the department and its students.

1. Tell us about yourself. How did you get into philosophy? Where did you study philosophy?

I tried a few different jobs after undergraduate - lawyer, preschool teacher, tutor.  I wasn't happy with any of them and felt like I wasn't living a particularly good life.  But I wasn't sure how to figure out what a better life involved.  I thought a PhD in philosophy could help me work that out, and as a bonus I might get to help other people think about this stuff too.  I went to grad school at the University of Southern California and graduated in 2009.

2. What are your main interests both research and teaching in philosophy? What are your current projects?

My research is in ethics and epistemology.  I started out working on philosophical methodology, and my research involved a combination of empirical research, math, computer programming, and "traditional" epistemology.  My more recent research in epistemology is on how the understanding of value and obligation that we get from ethics can inform accounts of epistemic norms.  In ethics, I've been thinking about how moral obligations interact with various human limitations.  Right now I'm writing on how false moral beliefs and unjustified factual beliefs affect our moral obligations.
I enjoy teaching most things.  I've particularly enjoyed introductory classes - it's great to get people excited about philosophy - and philosophy of law.  Philosophy of law really gets you thinking about how what we should do, what we should tell people they should do, and what we should make people do, interacts with our knowledge of human flaws.

3. What sorts of things do you like to do when you’re not doing philosophy?

I love to cook. I've taken up drumming in the last couple of years and I've been thinking about trying to start a band.  I probably shouldn't admit this, but I also enjoy video games (playing and watching). And of course I like to spend time with my wife and cats.

To find out more about Prof. Talbot’s research and the classes he’s teaching, please visit his webpage: