Timothy Sommers

Brown University, 1993 Masters Degree; All-University Fellow 1991-1994
574 English Philosophy Building
Office Hours: 


“Is Intergenerational Justice a Problem for Relational Egalitarianism?”, Eastern APA, 2021


“Would it be better if there were more of you?”, Outstanding Graduate Student Salon Presentation of 2019, selected to be presented at a Faculty Salon in 2020 (Delayed due to Coronavirus)


"The Right Critique of Ideality: Modeling, Ideal Theory, and the Behavioral Asymmetry Objection", Central APA, 2020


“The Institutional Support Trap for Fair Equality of Opportunity,” Central APA, 2019


“Self-Ownership or Basic Liberties?” Eastern APA, 2019


“The Disappearing Salience of Violence in a General Theory of Political Action”, Graduate Student Conference, Loyola University of Chicago, Fall 2017


“Rawls and Minority Culture, A Reply to Graham”, Eastern APA, 1995.


“Debate as Teaching Tool in Business Ethics” with James Roper, In the Socratic Tradition: Essays on Teaching Philosophy, Rowan & Littlefield, 1998, pp. 91-103.


Recent Teaching Development

  • 2020-2021 Teaching as Research (TAR) Project on how different types of questions influence student performance
  • 2020-2021 All-University Graduate Teaching Fellow
  • 2018-2020 Developed the “Who Cares?” game to help students understand liberal feminist ideas about care along with Asha Bhandary, Laura Brown, and Jamie Ritzo and based on Bhandary’s book “Freedom to Care”. We developed a board game, beta tested it with a number of groups, and currently are collaborating with programmers at the University of Iowa’s “Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio” to develop a digital version.
  • 2019 Research Assistant (Developing a Program for a Graduate Certificate in Ethics for the University of Iowa)
  • Certificate of Teaching Achievement, CIRTL Associate Program, December 16, 2019
  • 2019 “Seminar in College Teaching”, Department of Psychology and Quantitative Methods, The University of Iowa, Office of Graduate Teaching Excellence


Selected Teaching Experience

  • 2020 The University of Iowa (“Introduction to Philosophy”)
  • 2019 The University of Iowa (TA “Introduction to Ethics”)
  • 2018 The University of Iowa (TA “The Meaning of Life”)
  • 1999 Pace University (“Intro. To Ethics”)
  • 1999 SUNY, New Paltz (“Classics of Political Thought” in the Political Science Department)
  • 1998 Dutchess County Community College (“Applied Ethics”)
  • 1998 Mount Saint Mary’s (“Intro. to Ethics”)
  • 1998 Seaton Hall University (“Composition” for the English Department)
  • 1994-1998 Louisiana State University (“Intro. to Ethics”, “Seminars in Political Philosophy”)



3 Quarks Daily (Science Arts Philosophy Politics Literature)




Monthly Columns:


Kafka/”After Hours”, August 2020


“The Supreme Court is Right”, July 2020


“Against Contrarianism”, June 2020


“How to Avoid Paradoxes While Traveling Thru Time”, May 2020


“Utopian AntiHierarchicalism”, April 2020


“Words of Wisdom for Troubled Times: Epictetus or Taylor Swift”, March 2020


“The Unbelievable Moral Progress Game”, February 2020


“This Title Only Appears to Convey Information”, January 2020


“What Should the Distribution of Wealth Be?” December 2020


“Parallel Universes and Eternal Return Again”, December 2019


“Equality Now”, November 2019


"Rawls and Neoliberalism", October 2019


"John Rawls, Philosopher", September 2019


"Either you don't know anything or most of what you believe is true", August, 2012


"Is Ethics all about Consequences?", July 2019


"What if Equal Opportunity is a Bad Idea?", June 2019


“’Ontological Relativity’ Turns 50”, forthcoming May, 2019


“The New Storytelling”, April, 2019


“SuperWorld”, March, 2019


“Here goes Everything”, February, 2019


“You Can’t Possibly Believe That,” January, 2019


“12 Angry Men, Juries and Democracy” December, 2018


“What’s with all the Zombies?” November, 2018


“Would it be Better if there were more of You?” October, 2018


“Should We Own Ourselves?” September, 2018.


“Two Sources of Objectivity in Ethics”, August, 2018.