Darby Vickers will join the Department of Philosophy at University of San Diego as an Assistant Professor on September 1, 2022. She served as a visiting assistant professor in the same department (Fall 2021-Summer 2022). She holds a Ph.D. and MA in Philosophy and an MA in Classics from UC Irvine. She has a passion for research, teaching, and educational policy and reform. Her research focuses on the intersection of epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of education in both ancient Greek and contemporary philosophy. Here areas of specialization are Ancient Greek Philosophy & applied ethics (specifically ethics of technology & ethics of education).


Darby received her Ph.D. from the Department of Philosophy at University of California, Irvine in 2021. Her dissertation examined Plato’s views on the ways to transmit ethical expertise stably form one generation to the next (focusing on Plato’s Meno and Republic).

She and her colleague, Dr. Nicolas Smith (Philosophy, UCI) have recently published the first in a series of papers on artificial intelligence ethics. This paper, published in Ethics and Information Technology, discusses how we can integrate AI into the preexisting moral world and at what point we may be able to ascribe moral responsibility to AI.

She is also the creator and co-organizer of an applied epistemology and information literacy project, Archaeology in a Post-Truth World: An Interdisciplinary Philosophical Conference (which includes an outreach component, Debunking 101). Additionally, Darby serves as a co-investigator on a study on graduate student well-being and doctoral writing productivity (with Professor Barbara Sarnecka’s lab).

She received an MA in Classics from the TriCampus Program in Classics (based at UCI) in 2015. Her MA thesis explored the self-conscious representation of oral history in the Odyssey (Books 8-12). She partnered with Sara Rodriguez (MFA Directing, UCI) to create a podcast on the OdysseyOdyssey & Chill— which provides highlights and insights into Homer’s epic.


Darby was one of the 2019 Pedagogical Fellows in the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation at UC Irvine. She was also selected to participate in the National Humanities Center Virtual Graduate Student Summer Residency (Passionate Teaching in the Research Environment: How to Create Meaningful Online Learning Experiences). She and colleague Rena Goldstein (PhD candidate, UCI) have been running doctoral writing workshops from Summer 2019 to the present. To see her pedagogical training and teaching experience, look at her teaching page.

Outreach/Academic Communication

Darby is also passionate about outreach and public pedagogy. She has a public-facing component to her work on information literacy, Debunking 101 . She works with a program called TH!NK, which brings philosophy graduate students into local elementary schools to teach 5th graders critical thinking. In 2018, she won the People’s Choice Award for a presentation of her work on intellectual pleasure for a public audience (at UC Irvine’s AGS Symposium). She has been interviewed on two podcasts: This Grad Life hosted by Dr. Ted Yoo (December 3, 2019) and The Wonders of the World Pocast (1, 2). She and Sara Rodriguez (MFA, Directing) created the short podcast, Odyssey & Chill to introduce the public to the Odyssey in an accessible manner (which debuted December 5, 2019). The podcast has already been used in classrooms both at UCI and elsewhere. A sequel is forthcoming. She also runs a podcast, currently on hiatus: The History of Greece Podcast. Find a more detailed bio here or learn more about her research interests here.

Academic Service

Darby has held a variety of academic service positions during her time in graduate school. She is currently in her second year serving as a graduate student researcher and liaison for the Forum for the Academy and the Public (2019-2021). She also served as a graduate student researcher in the Humanities Center at UCI (Summer 2019-Spring 2020).

Contact: you may contact Darby via email (dvickers AT sandiego DOT edu) or via Twitter @DarbyVickers

Cartoon of Darby with Podcasting Mic by Sara Rodriguez