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APA Member Interview: Jennifer Marusic

Jennifer S. Marušić is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University and works on the history of modern philosophy, with a focus on the British Empiricists. She has written on Locke’s account of sensitive knowledge and of judgment, on Hume’s views on causation, belief and religion, and she is currently working on a book on Locke’s epistemology.

What excites you about philosophy?

I’m pretty excited about philosophy in general! But I’m especially excited by Locke and Hume. I’m interested in philosophical systems and thinking about how various commitments hang together. Locke isn’t typically thought of as much of a systematic thinker, but I think that his views are much more systematic than he’s given credit for. I find myself especially interested in aspects of their views that tend to strike us as unfamiliar, implausible, and sometimes even downright crazy. I try to think about what considerations might lead them to adopt views that seem so foreign to us.

If you could have a one-hour conversation with any philosopher or historical figure from any time, who would you pick and what topic would you choose?

This one is easy. I’d talk to Hume about religion. I doubt he would tell me what he really thinks, but it would still be a fun conversation!

Which super power would you like to have?

Is not needing sleep a super power? If so, I’d take that.

What is your favorite sound in the world?

Rain on the roof. When my daughter was very small, we would sleep listening to an eight-hour YouTube recording of rain on a tin roof–the louder the better as far as she was concerned. It wasn’t quite the same as listening to the real thing, but it was still very soothing.

You’re stuck on a desert island and you can only have one recreational activity. What is it?

I’d swim! With a little luck, the island is not surrounded by sharks, the water is warm, and I’ve got plenty of sunscreen.

Name a trait, skill or characteristic that you have that others may not know about.

I can stand on my head for a very long time. It hasn’t really come in handy yet, but maybe one day it will.

What three things are on your bucket list that you’ve not yet accomplished?

Only three? As a kid, I had a map of Alaska on my bedroom wall, but I’ve still never been there. I’d like to learn how to surf (maybe I should do that on the desert island?). And I’d like to be a better (that is, halfway decent) powder skier.

Find out more about Jennifer here


This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better. We’re including profiles of APA members that spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it. We’d love for you to be a part of it, so please contact us via the interview nomination form here.

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