Tyler K. Fagan, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


My current research comprises three main topics: (i) how minds cognize other minds, and which minds do so; (ii) how animal minds work, and how we study them scientifically; and (iii) how a better understanding of cognition might change our conceptions of agency, responsibility, and moral status. Under the first two headings, I am currently studying methodological questions about anthropomorphism, explanatory parsimony, and the development of better experimental methods for probing mindreading abilities in animals and prelinguistic children. Under the third heading, I am working with Drs. Katrina Sifferd and Bill Hirstein to develop a view of agency, self-control, and responsibility that is both scientifically reputable and practically useful in moral and legal contexts.

Beyond these topics, I have active interests in moral psychology (especially questions about self-deception and self-knowledge), ancient philosophy (especially the Presocratics), and early modern philosophy (especially Hume). I also hold B.A. degrees in Philosophy & Religion and English from Truman State University. Before entering graduate school I worked as a Research Assistant in the Dynamic Cognition Lab at Washington University in St. Louis.

I teach a variety of classes here at Elmhurst, including Introduction to Philosophy, Critical Reasoning, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Ethical Issues in Health Care, and an FYS course called "Truth, Lies, and Everything In Between." You can view a condensed teaching dossier, including sample syllabi for both traditional and online courses, along with student evaluation data, here.

Areas of Specialization

  • Moral Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Neuroethics

Areas of Competence

  • Ethics
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Logic

Office: Lehmann Hall 320
Mailbox: 71
E-mail: tyler.fagan@elmhurst.edu

My Curriculum Vitae