My Research

My name is Rachel Tillman.

I am a feminist with a background in languages, education, religious studies, and philosophy. My current interests focus on the nature of our bodies and how the matter of bodies, including their interactions with their environments and with emotions and thoughts, shapes the parameters of the good, the ethical, and the healthy – both in our daily lives and in the practice of medicine, broadly conceived.

My doctoral dissertation (2014) in the department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University was in the area of philosophy of medicine. In it I put Deleuze and Guattari and Aristotle into dialogue about the substantial, or ontological, component of the process of defining health, with a particular development of two aspects aspects of living bodies that we ought to take into account when we define and pursue health: their permeability and their teleology.

This work puts me at the intersections of ontology, epistemology, and ethics and politics; in other words, what is, what we can know, what we should do, and how we can live together. I am particularly fascinated with the role that ontology and epistemology (the parameters of reality and knowledge) play in ethical and political decision making and judgments about health. My main goal is to discover philosophical tools that we can use to rethink the connections between ontology, epistemology, ethics, and politics, in order to better promote the health of human beings and and the other living beings with whom we share our world.

You can find my work (en español) on feminist bioethics of birth and parto respetado en Colombia on my Instagram @parirconamor and blog Parir con amor.

Most recently I have been dedicating my time to mothering and educating our young children… a wonderful and enriching task! This experience has led me to reflect on the fundamental role of nurture in human life and how invisibilized it is in our society. These reflections were the spark that led me to begin the nurture project, still in its very early stages! I see nurture as a profoundly decolonial and feminist praxis that has the potential to revolutionize our world and our society, one relationship at a time. If you are interested in contributing to the nurture project, please let me know!

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