•  8
    Controlling Hope
    Ratio. forthcoming.
    This paper considers the kind of control we exercise over hope. In doing so, we situate our discussion against the backdrop of the growing literature on hope’s nature. Several important analyses of hope have the implication that, once the relevant desires and beliefs for hope are present, an agent can (sometimes) directly control whether they hope. But we argue against the possibility of direct control. This is because hope bears systematic relationships with fear and despair; and the view that …Read more
  •  103
    Philosophy of Hope
    In Steven C. Van den Heuvel (ed.), Historical and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Hope, Springer. pp. 99-116. 2020.
    The philosophy of hope centers on two interlocking sets of questions. The first concerns the nature of hope. Specific questions here include how to analyze hope, how hope motivates us, and whether there is only one type of hope. The second set concerns the value of hope. Key questions here include whether and when it is good to hope and whether there is a virtue of hope. Philosophers of hope tend to proceed from the first set of questions to the second. This is a natural approach, for one might …Read more
  •  136
    The Intersection of Hopes and Dreams
    Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (4): 645-663. 2020.
    A familiar injunction is to follow your dreams. But what are these dreams? Despite their importance, philosophers have almost entirely ignored the topic. This paper fills this gap by advancing an account of the psychological makeup and the normative powers of dreams. To elucidate their psychology, I identify the salient features of dreams. I argue that these features are explained by the hypothesis that dreams are a species of hope. More specifically, the proposal is that dreams fit the standard…Read more
  •  338
    Desiring under the Proper Guise
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14 121-143. 2019.
    According to the thesis of the guise of the normative, all desires are associated with normative appearances or judgments. But guise of the normative theories differ sharply over the content of the normative representation, with the two main versions being the guise of reasons and the guise of the good. Chapter 6 defends the comparative thesis that the guise of reasons thesis is more promising than the guise of the good. The central idea is that observations from the theory of content determinat…Read more
  •  204
    Discovering the virtue of hope
    European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3): 740-754. 2020.
    This paper asks whether there is a moral virtue of hope, and if so, what it is. The enterprise is motivated by a historical asymmetry, namely that while Christian thinkers have long classed hope as a theological virtue, it has not traditionally been classed as a moral one. But this is puzzling, for hoping well is not confined to the sphere of religion; and consequently we might expect that if the theological virtue is structurally sound, there will be a secular, moral analogue. This paper propos…Read more
  •  158
    Sentimental perceptualism and the challenge from cognitive bases
    Philosophical Studies 177 (10): 3071-3096. 2020.
    According to a historically popular view, emotions are normative experiences that ground moral knowledge much as perceptual experiences ground empirical knowledge. Given the analogy it draws between emotion and perception, sentimental perceptualism constitutes a promising, naturalist-friendly alternative to classical rationalist accounts of moral knowledge. In this paper, we consider an important but underappreciated objection to the view, namely that in contrast with perception, emotions depend…Read more
  •  143
    Hope
    1000-Word Philosophy. 2018.
  •  184
    On the Epistemological Significance of Value Perception
    In Anna Bergqvist & Robert Cowan (eds.), Evaluative Perception, Oxford University Press. pp. 200-218. 2018.
    This paper explores the epistemological significance of the view that we can literally see, hear, and touch evaluative properties (the high-level theory of value perception). My central contention is that, from the perspective of epistemology, the question of whether there are such high-level experiences doesn’t matter. Insofar as there are such experiences, they most plausibly emerged through the right kind of interaction with evaluative capacities that are not literally perceptual (e.g., of …Read more
  •  304
    A Perceptual Theory of Hope
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5. 2018.
    This paper addresses the question of what the attitude of hope consists in. We argue that shortcomings in recent theories of hope have methodological roots in that they proceed with little regard for the rich body of literature on the emotions. Taking insights from work in the philosophy of emotions, we argue that hope involves a kind of normative perception. We then develop a strategy for determining the content of this perception, arguing that hope is a perception of practical reasons. Our pro…Read more
  •  210
    Finding hope
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5): 710-729. 2019.
    This paper defends a theory of hope according to which hopes are composed of a desire and a belief that the object of the desire is possible. Although belief plus desire theories of hope are now widely rejected, this is due to important oversights. One is a failure to recognize the relation that hope-constituting desires and beliefs must stand in to constitute a hope. A second is an oversimplification of the explanatory power of hope-constituting desires. The final portion of the paper uses an e…Read more
  •  100
    Intellect versus affect: finding leverage in an old debate
    Philosophical Studies 174 (9): 2251-2276. 2017.
    We often claim to know about what is good or bad, right or wrong. But how do we know such things? Both historically and today, answers to this question have most commonly been rationalist or sentimentalist in nature. Rationalists and sentimentalists clash over whether intellect or affect is the foundation of our evaluative knowledge. This paper is about the form that this dispute takes among those who agree that evaluative knowledge depends on perceptual-like evaluative experiences. Rationalist …Read more
  •  158
    Taking the Perceptual Analogy Seriously
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4): 897-915. 2016.
    This paper offers a qualified defense of a historically popular view that I call sentimental perceptualism. At a first pass, sentimental perceptualism says that emotions play a role in grounding evaluative knowledge analogous to the role perceptions play in grounding empirical knowledge. Recently, András Szigeti and Michael Brady have independently developed an important set of objections to this theory. The objections have a common structure: they begin by conceding that emotions have some impo…Read more