Jean Kazez



Jean Kazez

Philosophy Dept.

Southern Methodist UniversityDallas, TX 


my blog






about the book





about the book





















I received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Arizona (1991), where my main interests were philosophy of mind and philosophy of language.   Some day I may return to those deeply mysterious subjects. 


Right now I'm interested in tangible questions about the way we live.  What counts as a good human life?  Is there one necessary ingredient or many?  Is morality always our first priority? 


I'm also interested in "the good life" for animals--what is that?  Should we live in a way that allows animals to live good lives too?  How are animals different from people?  Do they have minds like ours?




My new book, Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals (Blackwell 2010) is an "all things considered" look at the nature of animals and the obligations we have toward them. The book calls on us to give animals all the respect they are entitled to, yet argues against certain sorts of egalitarianism. 


My book The Weight of Things:  Philosophy and the Good Life (Blackwell 2007) delves into an extremely simple question--what makes a person's life go well?  I discuss happiness, self-expression, religion, autonomy; whether morality is first priority; living with disabilities; how fundamental choices get made, and many other topics. The book explores philosophy from Plato to the present, but also draws on literature, movies, history, biography, and personal experience.




I've published essays in Free Inquiry, The Philosopher's Magazine, Philosophy Now, as well as the webzine The Mother's Movement Online. I write a quarterly arts column called "Imagine That" for The Philosopher's Magazine.  I have an article about academia and motherhood in the anthology Mama Phd (Rutgers 2008) and one about vegetarianism and vampires  (yes) in Twilight and Philosophy (Blackwell 2009).

Some inks are at my blog.



I have been teaching at SMU for 15 years; as an adjunct starting when my kids were born in 1997.  I regularly teach a course on the good life titled "The Meaning of Life" and a course on animal rights.  In past years, I've taught Ethics and Literature, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy and Gender, etc. Before coming to SMU I taught for a year at the University of Texas at Austin.


Phil 3333 - meaning of life - Webpage

phil/cfa 3377 - Animal Rights - Webpage