Department of Philosophy

2019 Master's Cohort

Group shot of 2019 master's cohort

From left: Jordan Wagner, Joshua Brown, Jacob Schultz, Luke Gopnik Parker, Thomas Mattessich, Kevin Doherty, Corey Beckford, Yaakov Bleier and Yimao Liu.

The following students entered the master's in philosophy program in fall 2019:

corey beckford, ma in philosophy student
Corey Beckford
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort
Course Assistant, PHIL 1a Intro to Philosophy
Office Hours: Email for appointment

Corey Beckford holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Lake Forest College. His current areas of interest include hermeneutics; the phenomenology of stand-up comedy; continental philosophy, particularly Kant and Heidegger; philosophy of aesthetics; and ancient Greek philosophy, particularly Parmenides and Aristotle. During his spare time, Corey enjoys watching old kung fu movies, drinking tea and playing "Dragon Ball FighterZ."

yaakov bleier, ma in philosophy student
Yaakov Bleier
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort

With a background in Talmudic law and Judaic studies, Yaakov Bleier developed a passion for philosophy generally. He strives for spiritual insight, moral clarity and the discovery of first principles. Key influences include Plato, Maharal, Schopenhauer, Emerson and Bergson.

joshua brown
Joshua Ray Brown
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort

Joshua is a graduate of Rollins College, with a BA in humanities. His research interests center on the methodologies and limits of philosophy, spanning the areas of metametaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of race and gender. Aside from philosophy, Joshua's interests include creative writing, skiing, and weightlifting.

kevin doherty, ma in philosophy student
Kevin Doherty
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort

Kevin Doherty graduated from UMass Lowell in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He then worked for several years as a mental-health counselor and in various psychological research labs. His philosophical interests include phenomenological cognitive theories of subjectivity, moral psychology and free will. He also works in Brandeis's Division of Institutional Advancement. He enjoys playing guitar and watching Netflix, and dreams of one day getting a dog.

yimao liu, ma in philosophy
Yimao Liu
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort

Yimao Liu graduated from Rutgers-New Brunswick with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a minor in political science. Her primary research interests are in ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of law. She is particularly interested in moral obligation and social groups. When she is not doing philosophy, she enjoys reading fiction, watching "Xiangsheng" (a Chinese comedic performing art) and cooking without following a recipe.

thomas mattessich, 2019 ma student in philosophy
Thomas J. Mattessich
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort
Course Assistant, PHIL 131a Philosophy of Mind
Office Hours: Tue., 2:00 -- 3:30pm (and by appointment)

Thomas Mattessich holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and computer science from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He worked for several years in the tech industry, until his passion for theory and ideas drew him back to academia. His philosophical interests include the philosophies of mind and cognitive science, metaethics, and German Idealism (though he has never taken a philosophy course that he didn't enjoy.) He likes watching films, cooking, and skiing in the winter.

luke gopnik parker, ma in philosophy student
Luke Gopnik Parker
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort
Course Assistant, PHIL 136a (Personal Identity)
Office Hours: M, 5:00 -- 7:00pm (email for appointment)

Luke Gopnik-Parker graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in philosophy and music. His areas of interest include phenomenology, ethics and aesthetics. He is drawn to philosophers whose work lies at the intersection of the analytic and continental traditions.

jacob schultz, ma in philosophy student
Jacob Schultz
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort
Course Assistant, PHIL 6a (Intro to Symbolic Logic)
Office Hours: M 12:00 - 2:00pm (email for appointment)

Jacob Schultz received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Illinois-Chicago, along with high distinction from the philosophy department. His primary philosophical interests are in metaphysics and the philosophy of language and epistemology as they related to metaphysics. In particular, Jacob is interested in the metaphysics of objects. In his spare time, he enjoys learning new things, trying out interesting restaurants and watching good movies.

Jordan wagner, ma student in philosophy
Jordan Dean Wagner
Master's Student, 2019 Cohort
Course Assistant, PHIL 1a (Intro to Philosophy)
Office Hours: Email for appointment

J.D. Wagner holds a bachelor's in philosophy from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His primary interests are in epistemology and the philosophy of science, specifically evidence-based issues. In his spare time, J.D. enjoys (Olympic) weightlifting, trying to cook, listening to experimental music and, as of recently, sailing.