Professor of Psychology,
Clemson Univesity since 1991
My Interests Include...
Developmental PsychologyClemson University Department of Psychology
I've written about the development of mathematical reasoning in children, and the development of expertise in adults.
Ways of coming to know about the world and about each other. In addition to the classic topics in adult cognition: pattern recognition, memory, attention, categorization, problem solving, reasoning, and decision making, I've concentrated on the relationship between logic and the psychology of reasoning, and to the relationship between linguistics and the psychology of language.
Developing Moral Values Across the Life-span.Clemson University Home
My interest is descriptive moral psychology. Moral psychologists study moral reasoning, moral judgment, moral character, even moral action—and the ways in which human beings develop them. Moral development is a life-span issue: precursors of moral activity can be seen in toddlers, and moral development extends throughout adutlhood. Moral psychology does not seek to discover what we ought to do, or how we ought to live; it asks how human beings acquire their conceptions of what to do, or how to live.
I teach several undergraduate and have taught graduate level courses at Clemson. You can see the syllabi for them on the list to the right
In my less mundane existence, I'm a retired jazz critic (I wrote reviews for Cadence magazine from 1992 to 1998). I have done a good deal of research on the life and music of Herman Poole Blount (better known to the world as Sun Ra). The first edition of my discography, The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra, was published by Cadence Jazz Books in 1994. The second edition (co-authored with British Ra expert Chris Trent) came out in 2000. If you have information about released or unreleased recordings of Sun Ra and his Arkestra, please contact me by email, email@example.com.
A project that I have been involved with since 1996 grew out of an attempt to understand the strange and highly fruitful environment in which Sun Ra grew to artistic maturity. I have been gathering information on the many neglected musicians in Chicago during the two decades after World War II, especially those who worked on the boundaries between jazz and blues, or jazz and R&B... or jazz and rock-and-roll. In this research, I have the good fortune to work with knowledgeable and generous collaborators like Armin Büttner, Leonard J. Bukowski, Bill Daniels, the late Otto Flückiger, Ferdie Gonzalez, Dani Gugolz, John Holley, Dan Kochakian, Tom Kelly, Big Joe Louis, Konrad Nowakowski, the late George Paulus, Victor Pearlin, Bob Porter, Robert Pruter, Bill Sabis, Yves François Smierciak, Dr. Robert Stallworth, Helge Thygesen, Billy Vera, George R. White, and Art Zimmerman. Check out the Red Saunders Research Foundation page for more about this effort. We have compiled discographies of such figures as Buster Bennett, the Dozier Boys, the Four Blazes, King Kolax, Red Saunders, Sax Mallard, Tom Archia, Jimmy Coe, Tommy Dean, King Fleming, Eddie Johnson, Willie Jones, Claude McLin, the early Sun Ra, and Al Smith, and of such labels as Aristocrat, Boxer, Chess, Chance, Club 51, Cobra, Cool, Drexel, Gold Seal, Hy-Tone, Miracle/Sunrise, Premium, Jazz Ltd., JOB, Mad/M&M, Marvel/Planet, Old Swing-Master, Opera, OraNelle, Parkway, Parrot/Blue Lake, Ping, Rhumboogie, Rondo, S D, Session, Seymour, Sonora, Sultan, Sunbeam, Tempo-Tone, Theron, United/States, Vee-Jay, and Vitacoustic.
Ayn Rand and Objectivism
Objectivism is a neo-Aristotelian philosophy developed by the novelist Ayn Rand. Many of Rand's ideas have influenced my work. In her later years, Rand called the philosophy elaborated by herself and by two of her leading disciples Objectivism. I have quit using the Objectivist label, because I do not accept this incomplete philosophical system as a total package—and Rand, loudly seconded today by those who would rather worship her than think critically about her ideas, insisted that her philosophy be accepted or rejected as a total package. Those with a scholarly interest in Ayn Rand and Objectivism should become familiar with the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, founded by the late R. W. Bradford, and edited by Stephen Cox, Roderick Long, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, and myself.