•  411
    Kinesthetic Empathy, Dance, and Technology
    Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal 6 (2): 1-34. 2016.
    I argue that when we use email, text messaging, or social media websites such as Facebook to interact, rather than communicating face-to-face, we do not experience the best kind of empathy, which is most conducive to experiencing benevolence for others. My arguments rely on drawing interdisciplinary connections between sources: early modern accounts of sympathy, dance theory, philosophy of technology, and neuroscience/psychology. I reflect on theories from these disciplines which, taken together…Read more
  •  139
    Modern Greatness of Soul in Hume and Smith
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2. 2015.
    I contend that Adam Smith and David Hume offer re-interpretations of Aristotle’s notion of greatness of soul, focusing on the kind of magnanimity Aristotle attributes to Socrates. Someone with Socratic magnanimity is worthy of honor, responds moderately to fortune, and is virtuous—just and benevolent. Recent theorists err in claiming that magnanimity is less important to Hume’s account of human excellence than benevolence. In fact, benevolence is a necessary ingredient for the best sort of great…Read more
  •  58
    Thomas Hobbes: Magnanimity, Felicity, and Justice
    Hobbes Studies 26 (2): 130-151. 2013.
    Thomas Hobbes’s concept of magnanimity, a descendant of Aristotle’s “greatness of soul,” plays a key role in Hobbes’s theory with respect to felicity and the virtue of justice. In his Critique du ‘De Mundo’, Hobbes implies that only genuinely magnanimous people can achieve the greatest felicity in their lives. A life of felicity is a life of pleasure, where the only pleasure that counts is the well grounded glory experienced by those who are magnanimous. Hobbes suggests that felicity involves th…Read more
  •  45
    Henry David Thoreau: Greatness of Soul and Environmental Virtue
    Environmental Philosophy 12 (2): 161-184. 2015.
    I read Henry David Thoreau as an environmental virtue theorist. In this paper, I use Thoreau’s work as a tool to explore the relation between the virtue of greatness of soul and environmental virtues. Reflecting on connections between Thoreau’s texts and historical discussions of greatness of soul, or magnanimity, I offer a novel conception of magnanimity. I argue that (1) to become magnanimous, most individuals need to acquire the environmental virtue of simplicity; and (2) magnanimous individu…Read more
  •  33
    Philosophy of Digital Art as Collaboration
    Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures 19. 2019.
    How can artists create works of computer art or Internet art in which audience members become genuine artists and collaborate with the original artists on the self-same work that they began? To answer this question, this essay will reflect on the work of philosophers who focus on questions concerning art completion and the ontology of computer art. This essay will also reflect on the artistic work of the trio LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, whose artwork can serve as a model for creating collaborative…Read more
  •  31
    Moral psychology of the fading affect bias
    with W. Richard Walker
    Philosophical Psychology 31 (7): 1097-1113. 2018.
    We argue that many of the benefits theorists have attributed to the ability to forget should instead be attributed to what psychologists call the “fading affect bias,” namely the tendency for the negative emotions associated with past events to fade more substantially than the positive emotions associated with those events. Our principal contention is that the disposition to display the fading affect bias is normatively good. Those who possess it tend to lead better lives and more effectively im…Read more
  •  28
    Grand Narratives, Metamodernism, and Global Ethics
    Cosmos and History 14 (3): 241-272. 2018.
    Some philosophers contend that to effectively address problems such our global environmental crisis, humans must collectively embrace a polyphonic, environmentalist grand narrative, very different from the narratives accepted by modernists. Cultural theorists who write about metamodernism likewise discuss the recent return to a belief in narratives, and contend that our society’s current approach to narratives is very different from that of the modernists. In this paper, I articulate these philo…Read more
  •  14
    LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, Digital Remix, and Group Authorship
    British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (1): 27-43. 2020.
    I argue that sometimes a group can author a work of art without the work being either co-authored or multiply-authored. Sometimes the group, itself, is an author, rather than any of its members alone or together. I argue that when a group is an author like this, it has mental properties that no individual member of the group possesses. For example, we can consider the groups that authored digital remixes based on a film titled #INTRODUCTIONS created by the artists LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner. YouTu…Read more
  •  10
    This paper offers a composite portrait of the concept of magnanimity in nineteenth-century America, focusing on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. A composite portrait, as a method in the history of philosophy, is designed to bring out characteristic features of a group's philosophizing in order to illuminate characteristic features that may still resonate in today's philosophy. Compared to more standard methods in the historiography of philosophy, the construction o…Read more
  •  5
    Notable theorists have argued that theatre and drama play positive roles in the moral education of children and adults, including cultivating their capacity for empathy. Yet other theorists have expressed concerns that plays and educational practices involving improvisation might not lead to positive changes in real life, and might even have negative influences on actors and audiences. This paper focuses in particular on the dramatic methods employed by Theatre of the Oppressed, devised by Augus…Read more