University of Alabama at Birmingham
Philosophy Dept. HB 425
900 13th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1260
After finishing my PhD in June 2011 at UC Santa Barbara, I began a 3-year position in the Philosophy Department at Monash University in Australia. This was cut a year short, however, to begin my position at UAB in August of 2013.
I teach a range of philosophy courses, but at UAB my regulars are Contemporary Moral Issues (PHL 115), Bioethics (PHL 116), and Ethics: Theories of Good and Evil (PHL 315). I occasionally teach seminars, which usually cover current debates in moral psychology or neuroethics.
Most of my research is in ethics and epistemology, focusing on questions that intersect with the sciences of the mind (e.g. in neuroethics). I’m interested in what goes on in our heads when we think about what to do and what to believe. So I try to answer questions like:
- What motivates us to do what we believe is right?
- Are we all ultimately self-interested?
- How do emotions influence moral judgment?
- Should we trust moral intuition?
- Do we have free will and can we be morally responsible?
- What do we think is required for attaining knowledge?
- Can we attain moral knowledge?
My main overarching project right now is to develop a moral psychology in the rationalist tradition that is naturalistic or empirically adequate. (I am increasingly attracted to contractualism as a particular framework for this.)
Recent articles of mine have appeared in Philosophical Studies, the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and the Spindel Supplement of the Southern Journal of Philosophy. (The latter is connected with the Spindel Emerging Scholar Prize I received for my paper “Egoism, Empathy, and Self-Other Merging.”) In some of my work, I have had the privilege of collaborating with some excellent scientists and philosophers, including Richard Holton (MIT), Jay G. Hull (Dartmouth), Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke), and Aaron Zimmerman (UCSB).
Some other professional activities include serving as Assistant to the General Editors at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (which I completely redesigned in 2009) and editing several categories for PhilPapers. In June of 2012, I participated in a summer seminar on Big Questions in Free Will at Florida State University, similar to the seminar I attended the previous summer on Perceptual, Moral, and Religious Skepticism at Purdue University.