Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Ethics, Action Theory, Metaethics
Old Main, 100
Professor Asarnow wants to know whether anything really matters in life, and, if anything does, what it is. To that end, he regularly teaches courses in ethics, metaethics, bioethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of race and gender, though he cautions his students that he is still unsure whether any of these things really matter.
Asarnow’s research is primarily in ethics and the philosophy of action, with special emphasis on questions about the metaphysics and ethical significance of human motivation: what it is to have an intention or act for a reason, and whether our intentions and reasons for acting matter morally. More broadly, he is interested in questions about what people should do, questions about questions about what people should do, the relationship between mind and world (if such there be), and connections between philosophical ethics and other disciplines (including law, medicine, social work, and software engineering).