Ali Mohsen

Ali Mohsen, Ph.D.


Professor Mohsen has been teaching philosophy at Santa Monica College since 2016, teaching courses on technology, humor, Ancient Greek philosophy, and critical thinking. He earned a B.A from Cal State Northridge, an M.A. from Cal State Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University. Outside of class, he enjoys comedy, the outdoors, and fatherhood.

Specialty Areas

  • Phenomenology and Existentialism
  • Emotion
  • Humor
  • Technology
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Islamic Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy/Equity Statement

Professor Mohsen has developed his teaching style by studying comedians explore philosophical and uncomfortable topics in captivating ways. Ultimately, he says philosophy and comedy are not all that different. While their goals are unique, philosophy and comedy share a common method; they begin with everyday attitudes about an unexamined topic, render it absurd or problematic, and then search for a better understanding. In the classroom, humor helps foster bonding, a greater understanding of other points of view, and reveals ways to ethically engage in disagreements. Humor also helps us share new ways of interpreting the world that we can use for living well and promoting justice in our various communities. If knowing oneself is the first step towards living an examined life, then we need to understand our own history and its relationship to the histories of others. Thus, I employ an intersectional approach in my teaching and humor is an empowering tool for liberating us from oppressive forces.