• Contact Info
Publications in VIVO

Shear, Ted

Teaching Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas



  • Decision Theory, Epistemology


selected publications


courses taught

  • PHIL 1400 - Philosophy and the Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Considers philosophical topics and concepts related to the natural sciences, such as the following: science and pseudo-science; scientific method; the nature of explanation, theory, confirmation, and falsification; the effect of science on basic concepts like mind, freedom, time, and causality; ethics of experimentation; and the relation of science to society.
  • PHIL 1440 - Critical Thinking
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Develops students' skills in evaluating arguments and other aspects of critical thinking, focusing on the ways people reason and attempt to justify their beliefs. Activities may include modeling arguments, detecting common fallacies, examining the use (and misuse) of scientific evidence, and learning the basics of symbolic logic. Formerly titled "Introductory Logic."
  • PHIL 2160 - Ethics and Information Technology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Examines contemporary ethical issues concerning the use, misuse, and development of information technologies, with particular focus on the consequences such changes may have on the lives of individuals and on the shape of societies. Topics may include hacking and cyber crime; artificial intelligence; robotics and automation technologies, such as drones and self-driving cars; mass surveillance; use of personal information by corporate, law enforcement, and media interests; as well as gaming and virtual reality.
  • PHIL 2170 - Ethics and Economics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    Examines a variety of perspectives on problems at the intersection of ethics and economics, using both empirical data and moral reasoning to evaluate arguments concerning topics such as: government regulation of private industry, protectionist economic policies, fair work compensation, retirement benefits, and access to health care.
  • PHIL 2240 - Philosophy and Sports
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Introduces students to philosophical issues surrounding sport. Topics may include: paying college athletes, sex testing in sports, the use of performance enhancing drugs, sports and gambling, the nature and value of sports and sportsmanship, gender equity and sports, the ethics of strategic fouling, sports fandom, the coach-athlete relationship, athletes as role models, and the risk of extreme bodily harm.
  • PHIL 2440 - Symbolic Logic
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2022
    Introduces students to sentential logic, the logic of quantification and some of the basic concepts and results of metalogic (interpretations, validity and soundness).
  • PHIL 2490 - The Power of Words
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023
    Discusses philosophical problems about language and how our using it shapes the world. Topics may include: what language is, what we can do with words, how social norms affect meaning and communication, the relationship of language to features of the social world like race, gender, and ideology, the nature of speech acts, hate speech, propaganda, pejoratives, slurs, freedom of speech, humor, deception, translation, how language conveys thoughts, and how language shapes thought.
  • PHIL 4400 - Philosophy of Science
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    Advances students' knowledge of topics in philosophy of science and develops students' ability to think and write clearly about science. Topics may include scientific methodology; distinguishing science from pseudoscience; characterizing experimental and historical sciences; interpretations of special and general relativity; interpretations of quantum mechanics; the nature of biological species; approaches to defining life; criteria for identifying alien life; artificial intelligence; neuroscience and consciousness; fundamental physical properties and laws of nature; chance and probability; and causation. Same as PHIL 5400. Recommended prerequisite: 12 hours philosophy course work including PHIL 2440.
  • PHIL 4470 - Probability and Rational Choice
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Examines issues in four related areas: probability theory (e.g. the interpretation of probability, the raven paradox, and the principle of indifference), decision theory (e.g., the Newcomb problem, the toxin puzzle, and Pascal's wager), game theory (e.g., Prisoner's dilemma, tragedy of the commons, and Schelling points), and social choice theory (e.g., Arrow's theorem). Familiarity with symbolic logic is strongly recommended. Recommended prerequisite: PHIL 2440 and 12 hours philosophy course work. Same as PHIL 5470.


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