For a list of papers, click here.
As human agents, we are constantly faced with normative questions about what to do, think, and feel. I am interested in all areas of philosophy that address such questions, including ethics, metaethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind and action.
However, normative theory is not limited to investigating normative standards for actions, thoughts, and feelings. In general, it matters to us not just that our actions and attitudes accord with the normative standards to which they are subject, but that we are actually guided by these standards in acting, thinking, and feeling. As such, it is of utmost importance that we understand not just what the standards are, but also what it is to be guided by them.
My primary research project addresses precisely such questions. In it, I develop and defend a reasons-based account of what I call normative achievements. There are many standards our actions and attitudes can fail or succeed at meeting. But there's something special about some standards, like rationality, knowledge, and moral worth. When we meet these standards, we've achieved something in the sense that we're necessarily creditworthy for our success. Such successes are normative achievements. I argue that what unifies normative achievements is that they consist in exercises of rational agency - our capacity to act, believe and feel for reasons.
In "Acting and Believing Under the Guise of Normative Reasons" (forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research), I develop an account of motivating reasons according to which an agent Ф-s for some reason just in case she Ф-s in virtue of representing it as a normative reason to Ф. In "Moral Worth, Credit, and Non-Accidentality," I defend an account of moral worth on which morally worthy action consists in acting rightly in virtue of acting for the right reasons as such. In "Rationality and Correctly Responding to Reasons," I argue that if rationality is to be understood in terms of responding to reasons, we need a more robust conception of responding to reasons than is commonly supposed. I am also working on two more papers as part of this project: one that explicates my general account of normative achievements, and one that develops an account of knowledge as a normative achievement.
Finally, I have work-in-progress papers on evidentialism, pragmatic encroachment, coherence requirements, consequentialism, and moral acquaintance. For abstracts of work-in-progress papers, see my list of papers here.