Rob Willison

Rob Willison

Lecturer on Social Studies
headshot of Rob Willison

Rob Willison is a Lecturer on Social Studies. He is a philosopher with broad interests, but his recent research has focused on philosophy of language and ethics—especially where those fields intersect. He has published work on the nature and ethics of irony, and has ongoing projects on the nature of concepts, and on the ways that a theory of meaning in general can be used to understand meaning’s particular kinds (for example, linguistic meaning and meaning in life). He also has long-standing interests in the philosophy of education, democratic theory, and the philosophy of social science. Before joining the Social Studies faculty, Rob served as the Associate Director of the Parr Center for Ethics and Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill; as the Director of Education Policy for a New York City Council Member; and as a high school Social Studies teacher in the New York City public schools. He has also served as a consultant for UNICEF, co-leading a Social Norms Workshop addressing violence against women and children in Harare, Zimbabwe, and helping to develop “A Fieldworker’s Toolkit for Social Change.” Rob received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, and his A.B. in Social Studies, magna cum laude, in 2003.  


2020-21 Courses
Social Studies 10a: Introduction to Social Studies (Fall)
Social Studies 98te: Democracy and Education in America (Fall)
Social Studies 10b: Introduction to Social Studies (Spring)
Freshman Seminar 72d: Democracy and Education in America (Spring)

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