Before coming here, I completed an MPhil in Philosophical Theology at the University of Oxford and studied Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Philosophy at Harvard College. In the summer of 2014, I was a visiting student at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at LMU. I returned to Oxford as a guest of the New Insights and Directions for Religious Epistemology Project for Trinity Term 2015, and again as a visiting graduate student in Trinity Term 2016, 2017, and 2018. In Fall 2017, I was a visiting student at USC. In August 2018, I was a visiting student at ANU.
My interests include the philosophy of language, the philosophy of religion, social philosophy, formal epistemology, the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, ethics, decision theory, and philosophical logic.
About My Research
In my dissertation, I motivate and explore the consequences of the thesis that assertoric content is more intimately associated with commitment than communication. On the one hand, I argue that holding that the propositional content a speaker asserts may diverge from the propositional content she communicates to her audience provides a satisfying resolution to a longstanding puzzle about meaning and communication. On the other hand, I argue that careful consideration of the relationship between the horizontal and diagonal propositions of an utterance shows that David Lewis's influential attempt to ground sentential meaning in linguistic conventions of truthfulness and trust cannot succeed. In light of the failure of this Lewisian strategy, I propose an alternative, commitment-centered answer to the question of what grounds sentential meaning.
I also have an active research program in the social philosophy of language focusing on the semantics of slurs. In connection with this project, I like to think about things like expressivism, illocutionary force, and semantic multidimensionality.
In the philosophy of religion, one strand of my work concerns the epistemic status of theism, and in particular arguments which seek to establish that theistic belief is justified or unjustified. I have a special interest in the problem of evil, which I take to be a powerful argument for atheism. A second strand of my work brings the philosophy of religion into dialogue with social epistemology and applied ethics by exploring the epistemic significance of individuals' beliefs about whether various aspects of their lives contribute to their wellbeing, especially as this epistemic significance bears on the obstacles faced by LGBT individuals in religious communities.