My work addresses analytical and normative issues related to fallibility, self-deception, and epistemic dependence. Following many historical philosophers, I take the epistemic to be inextricably intertwined with the moral and the political. What people think influences what they do. Aware of this, bad actors often look for ways to manipulate thinking. Thus, improving behavior and avoiding manipulation requires improving thinking. But people often resist changing their minds. My research examines the causes and normative underpinnings of such resistance. In general, I think people tend to be overly and often irrationally resistant to changing their minds. Against these tendencies, my work defends a generalized epistemic humility as the rational upshot of our awareness of our intellectual limitations; exemplifying such humility allows thinkers to remain steadfast when appropriate while requiring changing their minds when they should. My work also searches for explanations of this resistance in order to identify ameliorative interventions.
My research ranges across epistemology, social and political epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, metaethics, political philosophy, and religion. I have projects in the works related to epistemic trespassing, post-truth explanations, conversion, humility, the nature of belief, self and other licensing, higher-order evidence, debunking, echo chambers, non-ideal theory, and radicalization, fanaticism and extremism.
Please don't hesitate to email for copies of these papers if you can't access them!
Work in Progress I welcome feedback. Please email me for drafts or with comments. A paper on moral and epistemic self-licensing. A paper on "post-truth" explanations. A paper on radicalization. A paper on disagreement with converts.
Ideas Being Baked Debunking arguments and the nature of belief Epistemology of extremism Reasonable person standards in the law Information cascades, social media, and self-licensing More on the relation between testimony and conversion The relation between love, respect, and conversion The nature of religious, moral, and political "belief" and how this informs questions about conversion The idea (found in Ta-Nehisi Coates and Baldwin, among other places) that there is a moral imperative to see reality as it is Miscarriage and abortion Transformative experience and autonomy in medicine Transformative experience and epistemic injustice