People

Graduate Students

Maysoon Al-Suwaidan Maysoon Al-Suwaidan
Maysoon did her undergrad in political thought at Georgetown University then moved to Cairo where she studied philosophical theology and Avicenna's commentaries on Aristotle at al-Azhar under Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb. Before coming to Tufts, she earned an M.A. in Arabic literature and Islamic philosophy at the American University in Cairo. Her thesis was on al-Farabi's theory of logic and language in Kitab al-Huruf. In January 2011, she went on leave from the Tufts philosophy M.A. program to join the Egyptian revolution and work on her poetry (Arabic). During her time in Cairo, she established a literary salon that attracted renowned Arab writers (Saadi Youssef, Ahmed Abdel Muti Hijazi, Youssef Ziedan among others) and became the subject of public controversy for its defiance of traditional norms. Her poetry collection Mansiyyah is being released in 2014 by Dar al-Shorouk publishing house. She was recently exiled from Egypt and is now back in Boston to complete her final year at Tufts. Her philosophical interests lie in the areas of moral philosophy, ancient philosophy, 19th & 20th century German philosophy, philosophy of action (free will, agency) and meta-ethics. She has a special interest in the epistemology of religious belief and the possibility of moral discourse between people with incommensurable foundational beliefs or values. In her free time she likes to engage in freethinking thought scandals that make religious dogmatists (especially sexist ones) very angry. You can follow her musings, aphorisms, and public troublemaking here: http://www.twitter.com/MaysAlsuwaidan
Cody Abramson Cody Abramson
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Philosophy and BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience) in 2015. My main philosophical interests include meta-ethics, personal identity, idealism and pragmatic theories of knowledge. I also like to think about whether or not realism is consistent with contemporary theories in physics. When not thinking about philosophy, I enjoy playing guitar, drums, and watching Chopped on the food network!
Thomas Carnes Thomas Carnes
My name is Thomas Carnes and I'm originally from Virginia Beach, VA.  I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2008 where I majored in Philosophy. Since then, I have served as an officer in the Army, having been stationed in Missouri; Augusta, GA; and Savannah, GA. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. After completing the Master's program at Tufts I will be assigned to teach Philosophy at West Point for three years. My ultimate goal is to be selected to pursue a PhD and return to West Point to teach permanently until I retire from the Army. My philosophical interests include just war theory issues, the moral permissibility of political action, the tensions between moral rights and moral obligations, and abortion. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Lyndsay, and we are due to have our first child, Chloe, on 28 August. In my free time I like to read, work out, watch the St. Louis Cardinals, and discover the best food Savannah (and soon Boston) has to offer with Lyndsay.
Nathaniel Carter Nathaniel Carter
Nat graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College in 2011. In those days, he focused on philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. These days his emphasis is shifting toward logic, metaphysics, metaontology, and philosophy of language (all of which he sees as intimately connected). When he leaves his proverbial armchair, Nat enjoys running, tutoring, life hacking, squirrel whispering, playing other people's guitars, and meditating (usually not in an armchair, but he's open to it). When he leaves for Tufts, the thing he'll miss most is studying non-classical logic in his parents' attic.
Junran Chen Junran Chen
I am Junran Chen from a medical family in China. I was admitted by the Department of the Science of Material, Fudan University in 2010 and I changed my major to Philosophy a year later. I will pursue a doctor's degree after graduating from Tufts. In Chinese, "jun" means gentleman (I have to emphasize that I am a girl) and "ran" means nature. It indicates my interests in both humanity and nature. I am fascinated in myths, relics, and local museums. I prefer ancient civilizations which are laden with historical interests and mysterious legends, especially those about grave robbery and archaeological excavation. As a student interested in ethics, I am curious about the attitude of taking official excavations for granted. I am also interested in plant classification. Once I am a young girl who loved growing flowers, but the harsh reality that none of my flowers survived forced me to give up this hobby. From then on, I changed my hobby to observe wild plants. If there is something which combines my enthusiasm in humanity and nature, it must be food. Yes, I am a foodie. In recent times, a hit documentary, "A Bit of China", attracts my eyeballs. It was struggling to watch so many tasty dishes in late night. One sound told me: "It is only a documentary about Chinese culture." The other debated: "Who cares? Just eat!" The ending was that I kneaded the fat around the waist while throwing snacks into my mouth. One of my greatest wish is I can cook by myself when I pursue my master's degree in the USA.
Leonard de Leon
Megan Entwistle Megan Entwistle
Megan graduated Honours with Distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada. Though born and raised on the Saskatchewan prairies, Megan has come to love the east coast – and so is excited to live in Boston, despite being an avid (albeit disillusioned) Leafs fan.

Megan's primary research interests lie at the intersection of epistemology and philosophy of language. For example, she is particularly invested in the problem of linguistic vagueness as a form of radical skepticism. Megan is also taken by the life and thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein and strives to do justice to his philosophical method(s) in her own work.

Outside of the classroom, Megan enjoys hockey and soccer, having played both sports at the varsity level during her time as an undergrad. She is also fond of classical piano, Russian literature, and hiking in the Rockies.
Samuel Gomes Samuel Gomes
In the winter of 2014, I graduated summa cum laude from Humboldt State University with a B.A. in philosophy. (For those who are curious, Humboldt State University is located deep in the redwood forest of Northern California, which is an awesome area.) My primarily interests are in ethics and political philosophy, although I also like to dabble in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. In ethics and political philosophy, my inquiries range from highly abstract meta-ethical questions (e.g. the basis of intrinsic value, the justification for the State, etc.) to relatively concrete matters of applied ethics (e.g. the role of education in a democratic society, the proper treatment of nonhumans, etc.). Ultimately, I hope to coherently connect these two ends of the spectrum. Meanwhile, my flirtations with metaphysics have yielded my forthcoming article "Whitehead on the Experience of Causality," which is expected for publication in Process Studies, issue 44.1. When I'm not reading philosophy or writing, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, martial arts, and learning talmud.
Zachary Harned Zachary Harned
Zach Harned graduated with his BA in philosophy from the University of Florida, started his MA in philosophy at the University of Houston, and then took an extended leave of absence to get an MS in Clinical Psychology from Baylor University. Zach has been employed as a research therapist and assessor at Veterans Affairs hospitals in Texas for the last few years. He has worked mostly with Veterans with PTSD, substance use, depression, and anxiety, all the while knowing he would be ineluctably drawn back to philosophy. Zach's philosophical interests lie largely within the area of neurolaw. He is interested in how findings in neuroscience/psychology inform and interface with legal and ethical questions, such as how responsibility and punishment might be mitigated by certain types of psychopathology, or how fMRI research impacts questions involving recidivism, lie-detection, and nonconsummate offenses. In his free time, Zach enjoys sailing, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, camping, woodworking, playing squash, making music, cooking, and reading.
Arian Koochesfahani Arian Koochesfahani
Educated as a Straussian, I grew into philosophy during my junior year at James Madison College. At Tufts, I am focusing on epistemology and philosophy of science, as well as on philosophy of logic and philosophy of language.
Qiu Lin Qiu Lin
Qiu Lin graduated with her B.A in liberal arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. Supported by the college's Hodson fund, she will be participating in a curatorial internship program in summer 2015, for she loves visiting galleries and museums while travelling to different places. Qiu's philosophical interest lies largely in philosophy of physics, particularly that of space and time. Thanks to her liberal arts background, she is also intrigued by philosophy of Christianity and its impact on Western thoughts, while finding in herself a strong yearning to learn more about Chinese philosophical and poetical traditions. Besides reading great books, she also loves hiking, road-tripping, cooking, and most important of all, having good conversations.
Jiali Liu Jiali Liu
My name is Jiali Liu. I live in Beijing and obtained my B.A. in English and International Studies from China Foreign Affairs University. I currently intern at Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. It is the Beijing Center for the global think tank Carnegie Endowment for International peace. I have been mostly involved in non-profit work and academia. I developed a profound interest in literature and philosophy during college years and made my mind to pursue philosophy in America after a semester at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York where I experienced a very different kind of intense intellectual rigor from what is available here in China. I am interested in Philosophy of Mind and the ethics associated with it all.
Isaac McAllister Isaac McAllister
While originally hailing from the small town of Hamilton, New Zealand, I have spent most of my life dwelling in China, where my family split time primarily between Kunming and Beijing. Following this, I moved to the LA area to attend university and received my B.A. in Philosophy from Azusa Pacific University in 2016. My main philosophical interests are logic and philosophy of language. Most notably, I am interested in exploring modal systems and investigating questions of vagueness and indeterminacy in logic and language. Outside of philosophy, I also maintain a keen fascination with ancient Semitic linguistics and am engaged in projects in that field as well. When not busy with academic stuff, I enjoy rock climbing, playing games, and chatting with friends.
Michael Mitchell Michael Mitchell
Michael Mitchell graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Social Studies and Philosophy. He was awarded the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for his honors thesis, "Living Well by Being Good: Virtue Ethics as an Ethical Theory." His main philosophical interests are in moral and political philosophy, particularly global justice, individual responsibility, and virtue ethics (ancient and contemporary). He also has significant interests in Wittgenstein, the relationship between philosophy and literature, and philosophy of religion. When he is not reflecting on how to live, Michael enjoys long novels, long-form journalism, and long-distance running.
Kiki Mizuno Kiku Mizuno
I am a native of Seattle where I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Washington. Much of my work at the undergraduate level was a mélange of courses in the humanities and sciences, with one foot planted in biology and the other rooted in literature. Toward the terminus of my undergraduate career, I defected to philosophy from the sciences finding the scope of inquiry in biology too myopic. Thus, I have as a buttress an empirical, scientific upbringing, which grounds (but does not constrain) the types of questions I ask and the philosophical beliefs I hold. My internal mix of empiricism and intellectual curiosity is evident in how I handle philosophical problems.

As a result of my academic history, I am interested in questions at the intersection between science and philosophy. It could probably be guessed that I enjoyed Quine's "Epistemology Naturalized". With that said, I am eager to avail myself of scientific resources (sometimes) to try to answer philosophical questions. In addition, I would like to research natural and synthetic languages. I am absolutely fascinated with language. I am working on a collection of short stories with the working title "A Treatise on the Nature of Dreams" which explores the points of human experience at which language breaks down. I enjoy approaching language from philosophic, linguistic, and creative angles.

My biggest obstacle to writing philosophy papers has been an eight pound tabby cat named Scully (after Agent Dana Scully from the X-Files). While she has surfaced in examples spanning a multitude of my papers, she has also employed feline subterfuge to try to delay or prevent the completion of many assignments. Aside from balancing writing with the hassle of trying to keep Scully from sleeping on top of my notes, books, and laptop, I also enjoy good food, art exhibitions, cinema, collecting shoes, travelling, and film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. And I have always (always!) got a bookmark progressing along the pages of a wonderful book.
Charles Oddleifson Charles Oddleifson
I graduated in 2015 from Williams College with degrees in philosophy and math. In philosophy my interests tend to fall within metaphysics and philosophy of logic and language. I've done some work on causation and properties. At Tufts I hope to work towards a better understanding of how naturalness figures in philosophical problems, the relation between modality and essence, and probability. I also like running and playing soccer and tennis.
Soham Shiva Soham Shiva
I grew up in different parts of India before settling down in Delhi, where I began formal study in philosophy at the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University. At Tufts, I hope to orient my study to track a language-logic-mind curve that is aligned closely with recent work in cognitive science. ​Obliquely, I have historical interests in Aristotle and Kant, and often find myself thinking about the interface of aesthetics and philosophy of mind. Outside (though not entirely) of philosophy, I routinely dabble in photography and Indian classical music.
Gabe Siegel Gabe Siegel
My name is Gabriel Siegel and I am from Seattle, WA. I obtained my B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Washington, with a minor in French. Part of my undergraduate studies was spent at Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier, France where I also took philosophy courses. In addition to French, I am currently learning the German language. My primary philosophical interests are in the Philosophy of Mind, the Philosophy of Language, and the Philosophy of Psychology. I also have a secondary interest in theories of psychology within the history of philosophy, especially Aristotle, Descartes and Spinoza. Outside of my academic pursuits I play the saxophone and clarinet, with a special focus on Klezmer music. In Seattle I taught private saxophone lessons for 8 years, and I enjoy backpacking during the summer.
Michael Veldman
I discovered philosophy somewhat late as an undergrad, and graduated majoring in economics and philosophy. Realizing that I still did not know anything about anything (much less having any taste at all for economics), I decided to try for a Master's before taking the plunge into a doctoral program in philosophy. I suppose I could say my main interests are in moral philosophy and action, but that might be misleading. Really I just like Kant and Wittgenstein...and Korsgaard, Quine, Nagel, Rawls, Austin, Parfit, Cavell, even Ryle, and some others. Oh! and gymnastics.
Chip Williams Chip Williams
As an undergraduate at Oberlin College I considered following my heart and majoring in computer science or economics, but my lust for material gain drove me into the arms of the philosophy department. After graduating in the spring of 2013, I briefly returned to my hometown in northeastern North Carolina, where I enjoyed explaining to strangers and casual acquaintances alike what I plan to do with my philosophy degree. I never tired of basking newt-like in the warm glow of their approval after revealing my intention to obtain another, bigger philosophy degree. My primary interests are in the philosophy of biology (especially evolutionary biology) and general philosophy of science.
Cornelia Wilson
James Withers James Withers
My research in philosophy revolves around ethics but ethics as it relates to epistemology and ontology. Particularly, I am currently interested in the ethical implications of Ray Brassier's philosophy and Alasdair MacIntyre's ethical philosophy. Other philosophers that interest me are François Laruelle, Derek Parfit, and Bernard Steigler. I have also recently become interested in cognitive science. Besides philosophy, I enjoy watching the Red Sox, playing Dark Souls, reading literature, and listening to Pink Floyd.