Usha M. Nathan

Title | Organization: 
Graduate Student | Ph.D. program in Philosophy
Student Year: 
8th Year Ph.D. Student (Dissertation Phase)

2019-2020 Core Preceptor: Literature Humanities

2018-2019 Core Preceptor: Literature Humanities

I work in ancient philosophy, and the intersections between aesthetics and epistemology. In my dissertation, by reference to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, I explore the form and force of reasoning that involve evocative examples and that elicit emotions from the listener. What, I ask, is the role of imagination (phantasia) in these forms of reasoning?  How might such exercises of imagination furnish grounds for the beliefs formed? What is distinctive about such reasoning?

More generally, I am interested in understanding why we should trust thought experiments, what art and aesthetic experience can teach us about non-deductive reasoning, and what we can learn from literature and the other arts.

I also have interests in 20th century philosophy, pragmatism, feminist epistemology, and the philosophy of perception.

Areas of Specialization: 

Areas of Specialization: Ancient philosophy, Aesthetics, and 20th century European philosophy