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About Me

I am an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Rutgers University–Newark. In 2023, I am also a Philosophy Fellow at the Center for AI Safety.

I received my PhD from the philosophy department at Rutgers University–New Brunswick in May 2019. Before going to Rutgers–New Brunswick, I completed an MPhil in Philosophical Theology at the University of Oxford and studied Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Philosophy at Harvard University.

My interests include the philosophy of language, the philosophy of technology, social philosophy, the philosophy of religion, ethics, formal epistemology, the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, decision theory, and philosophical logic.

About My Research

In the philosophy of language, my research focuses on semantics, pragmatics, and speech act theory. One of my projects in this area concerns the speech act of assertion, and in particular its dual role as a means of communicating information and a device for undertaking conversational commitments. Another project seeks to understand the semantics of mixed quotation and related constructions and evaluate the extent to which quotation occurs covertly in natural language. A third project focuses on the semantics of slurs and other evaluative expressions. In connection with this third project, I like to think about things like expressivism, illocutionary force, and semantic multidimensionality.

In the philosophy of technology, I am interested both in issues related to the safety of emerging technologies — for example, approaches to mitigating the existential risks associated with advances in artificial intelligence — and in issues of technological fairness, transparency, and governance. I am part of Rutgers–Newark's initiative in Computer Science, Data Science, and AI.

In social philosophy, I am interested in exploring the implications of accounts of gaslighting which are purely epistemic in the sense that they do not tie gaslighting constitutively to the intentions of the gaslighter. Such accounts raise the possibility that gaslighting might occur in unexpected domains, for example in certain academic discussions in applied ethics. I am also interested in gendered language, and in particular in the semantics of gendered pronouns and words like 'woman', 'man', 'female', and 'male'. I believe there is strong empirical support for trans-inclusive theories of the meanings of these expressions.

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.