University of Maryland, College Park
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2019
Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Applied Ethics
Areas of Interest
Philosophy of Religion
  •  25
    Are strangers sincere in their moral praise and criticism? Here we apply signaling theory to argue ceteris paribus moral criticism is more likely sincere than praise; the former tends to be a higher-fidelity signal (in Western societies). To offer an example: emotions are often self-validating as a signal because they’re hard to fake. This epistemic insight matters: moral praise and criticism influence moral reputations, and affect whether others will cooperate with us. Though much of this appli…Read more
  •  2
    Why disdain replicated art? If art is valuable because it evokes experiences of beauty, they should be comparable. In chapter 11 of the Elephant in the Brain, Simler and Hanson argue we actually care about the extrinsic properties of art—e.g. who made it—to signal our intelligence and taste. Here I defend a different explanation for the evidence cited by S&H: the extrinsic properties of art are central to what constitutes art, play a bigger role fixing the value of art than S&H allow, and the po…Read more
  •  36
    Modest meta‐philosophical skepticism
    Ratio 32 (2): 93-103. 2019.
  •  6
    Skeptical Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (3). 2020.
    May argues that moral skepticism is less plausible than perceptual skepticism if it’s formulated using epistemic closure. In this paper, I argue we should be skeptical of the implausibility thesis. Moral skepticism can be formulated using closure if we combine moral nihilism with a properly formulated evolutionary scenario. Further, I argue that pace May, the phenomenon of ‘imaginative resistance’ isn’t an issue for the moral skeptic; she has an evolutionary explanation of the phenomenon. Thus, …Read more
  •  2
    Properly Functioning Brains and Personal Identity
    Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 23 77-81. 2018.
    Surely, I persist through time; thus, I must be identical to something that persists through time. But, what is identical to me, which persists through time? First, I argue that we should take reductive materialism and the Lockean view of personal identity seriously. But, these positions appear in tension. Second, I argue a plausible way to reconcile them is to embrace a novel kind of animalism that I call neural animalism. This says that I am identical to my properly functioning brain.
  •  21
    Aspirational theism and gratuitous suffering
    Religious Studies. forthcoming.
    Philosophers have long wondered whether God exists; and yet, they have ignored the question of whether we should hope that He exists – call this stance aspirational theism. In this article, I argue that we have a weighty pro tanto reason to adopt this stance: theism offers a metaphysical guarantee against gratuitous suffering (i.e. God would not permit gratuitous suffering). On the other hand, few atheist alternatives offer such a guarantee – and even then, there are reasons to worry that they a…Read more
  •  56
    There is a controversy, within social epistemology, over how to handle disagreement among epistemic peers. Call this the problem of peer disagreement. There is a solution, i.e. the equal-weight view, which says that disagreement among epistemic peers is a reason for each peer to lower the credence they place in their respective positions. However, this solution is susceptible to a serious challenge. Call it the merely modal peers challenge. Throughout parts of modal space, which resemble the act…Read more
  •  13
    Santa Claus and the Problem of Evil
    Philosophy Now 123 24-25. 2017.
  •  7
    Moral Manipulation & The Problem of Evil
    Philosophy Now 99 17-19. 2013.
  •  3169
    The Immorality of Procreation
    Think 11 (32): 85-91. 2012.
    In this paper, I argue the practice of procreation is immoral regardless of the consequences of human presence such as climate change and overpopulation; the lack of consent, interests and moral desert on the part of nonexistent individuals means someone could potentially suffer in the absence of moral justification. Procreation is only morally justified if there is some method for acquiring informed consent from a non-existent person; but that is impossible; therefore, procreation is immoral.
  •  114
    No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales
    Logos and Episteme 2 (3): 455-464. 2011.
    Steven Hales constructs a novel argument against the possibility of presentist time travel called the suicide machine argument. Hales argues that if presentism were true, then time travel would result in the annihilation of the time traveler. But such a consequence is not time travel, therefore presentism cannot allow for the possibility of time travel. This paper argues that in order for the suicide machine argument to succeed, it must make (at least) one of two assumptions, each of which beg t…Read more
  •  518
    Sceptical Thoughts on Philosophical Expertise
    Logos and Episteme 3 (3): 449-458. 2012.
    My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they neverthe…Read more
  •  83
    Still No Suicide for Presentists: Why Hales’ Response Fails
    Logos and Episteme (1): 149-155. 2012.
    In this paper, I defend my original objection to Hales’ suicide machine argument against Hales’ response. I argue Hales’ criticisms are either misplaced or underestimate the strength of my objection; if the constraints of the original objection are respected, my original objection blocks Hales’ reply. To be thorough, I restate an improved version of the objection to the suicide machine argument. I conclude that Hales fails to motivate a reasonable worry as to the supposed suicidal nature of pres…Read more
  •  131
    The Fine-Tuning Argument and the Problem of Poor Design
    Philosophia 43 (2): 411-426. 2015.
    My purpose, in this paper, is to defend the claim that the fine-tuning argument suffers from the poor design worry. Simply put, the worry is this: if God created the universe, specifically with the purpose of bringing about moral agents, we would antecedently predict that the universe and the laws of nature, taken as a whole, would be well-equipped to do just that. However, in light of how rare a life-permitting universe is, compared to all the ways the universe might be have been life-prohibiti…Read more