My research lies at the intersection of ethics and epistemology. Fundamentally, I am interested in how we gain knowledge about value, whether moral, political, aesthetic or epistemic. Currently, my work focuses on the risks we face when we make up our minds about political issues, especially in the age of social media. Up until recently, I have been primarily concerned with moral knowledge: what it is, where its limits lie, and how it fits into our scientific worldview.
My project examines the problem of irrelevant influence: our beliefs about value are influenced by factors that are irrelevant to their truth, and render them epistemically problematic. The project consists of three parts. In Part I, I argue that the arbitrariness of many value beliefs best explains why irrelevant influence is generally troublesome. In Part II, I refine this account by applying it to a pressing issue in contemporary political epistemology: whether social media irrelevantly influences political belief and, if so, why that is. In Part III, I discuss how to rationally respond to irrelevant influence, harnessing the social media case to develop countermeasures at the level of epistemic agents, environments and theorizing. For more, see my abstract.
My PhD thesis investigated whether objective moral knowledge is compatible with what we learn from evolutionary biology. I argued that it is: the discoveries of evolutionary biology about how moral beliefs are formed don’t undermine the possibility of moral knowledge, even though they should significantly shape our understanding of its nature. To establish that, I addressed a wide range of issues in contemporary epistemology, from the relevance of explanation to justification, to the nature of reliability and the epistemic significance of higher-order evidence. For more, see my abstract.
Papers & Work in Progress
- [Paper on Evolutionary Debunking and Companion in Guilt Strategies] (conditional acceptance, Philosophical Studies)
- [Paper on Evolutionary Debunking and Higher-Order Evidence of Error] (under review)
- [Paper on Evolutionary Debunking, Reliability and Epistemic Luck] (in progress)
- [Paper on Epistemic Luck and Moral Epistemology] (in progress)
- [Paper on Arbitrary Belief] (in progress)
Email me for available drafts. Feedback is always welcome.