Rena Beatrice Goldstein
aspiring epistemologist and philosopher of education, with a focus on epistemic injustice and virtue-ethic education.
I am a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. I have an MA in Education and an MA in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles.
I’ve taught courses in writing, introduction to philosophy, critical thinking, and ancient philosophy at CalState LA, Los Angeles City College, The Robert F. Kennedy High School in Koreatown, CalState Dominguez Hills, and at the University of Philosophical Research.
I study background beliefs and assumptions to better understand how bias plays a role when we evaluate other people or when we evaluate scientific evidence.
My dissertation focuses on cases that show the difficulty of knowing when a belief is prejudiced and when a belief is a helpful generalization. Not knowing when a belief is prejudiced can be harmful. If individuals in positions of power--physicians, police officers, or teachers--make decisions based on prejudice, it can be very harmful to those influenced by their decisions--patients, civilians, or students. My project investigates four interconnected topics: (1) how prejudice manifests in subtle ways in science; (2) the responsibility one has for implicit prejudice inherited from communities; (3) how prejudice differs from generalizations, like stereotypes; and (4) applying theories of prejudice to practical problems in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
Interested in my current work?
Overview of Courses Taught
Foundations of Greek Philosophy
January - June 2019
This is an introduction to Greek Philosophy, dealing with the rise of the original sense of philosophy as “love of wisdom.” The course surveys some of classical philosophy and the evolution of the concepts of consciousness, investigating the pre-Socratic thinkers, as well as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and Proclus.
January - June 2017
In this course, students study fundamental logical rules that apply when making claims to knowledge. Students learn basic logic functions, in their inductive and deductive forms, and those forms relate to the everyday language. The goal is to develop students' abilities to analyze, criticize, and advocate for their ideas, to reason inductively and deductively, and to reach well-supported conclusions by applying the concepts of critical reasoning.
Introduction to Philosophy
September - December 2016
The objective of this course is to introduce students to philosophical inquiry and discuss major themes in an open and responsive environment. Many issues that we naturally wonder about are topics for philosophic debate, such as: What is the goal of human life? How can I decide morally difficult cases? Does God exist? Do I exist? We will explore these main topics in philosophy through traditional and contemporary debates, as well as become familiar with the conceptual tools available to philosophic inquiry.
June - August 2015
This summer writing class works with incoming students, prior to the first semester of freshmen year, to develop their writing skills. Students are assigned readings. Half of the class time is spent discussing the readings, and then students use the remainder of the class time to work on their essays.
This course provides students with an overview of the exciting field of medical epistemology. Based on case-studies drawn from contemporary medical practice, the course will be themed around nine key topics: 1) Testimonial and hermeneutical injustice in the medical context. 2) Expert disagreement in the medical context. 3) Trust and the role of experts in the medical context. 4) Transformative experiences in the medical setting. 5) The significance of vaccine skepticism. 6) The ethics and epistemology of placebos. 7) The value and accuracy of diagnostic tests. 8) The difference between side effects and intended effects. 9) The nature of medical indications.
Get in Touch
85 Humanities Instructional Building
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-4555
Rena [dot] B [dot] Goldstein [at] uci [dot] edu