•  620
    A Tale of Two Doctrines: Moral Encroachment and Doxastic Wronging
    In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology, Oxford University Press. 2021.
    In this paper, I argue that morality might bear on belief in at least two conceptually distinct ways. The first is that morality might bear on belief by bearing on questions of justification. The claim that it does is the doctrine of moral encroachment. The second, is that morality might bear on belief given the central role belief plays in mediating and thereby constituting our relationships with one another. The claim that it does is the doctrine of doxastic wronging. Though conceptually disti…Read more
  •  1008
    Radical moral encroachment: The moral stakes of racist beliefs
    Philosophical Issues 29 (1): 9-23. 2019.
    Historical patterns of discrimination seem to present us with conflicts between what morality requires and what we epistemically ought to believe. I will argue that these cases lend support to the following nagging suspicion: that the epistemic standards governing belief are not independent of moral considerations. We can resolve these seeming conflicts by adopting a framework wherein standards of evidence for our beliefs to count as justified can shift according to the moral stakes. On this acc…Read more
  •  1160
    A challenge we face in a world that has been shaped by, and continues to be shaped by, racist attitudes and institutions is that the evidence is often stacked in favor of racist beliefs. As a result, we may find ourselves facing the following conflict: what if the evidence we have supports something we morally shouldn’t believe? For example, it is morally wrong to assume, solely on the basis of someone’s skin color, that they’re a staff member. But, what if you’re in a context where, because of …Read more
  •  52
    If we’re the kind of people who care both about not being racist, and also about basing our beliefs on the evidence that we have, then the world presents us with a challenge. The world is pretty racist. It shouldn’t be surprising then that sometimes it seems as if the evidence is stacked in favour of some racist belief. For example, it’s racist to assume that someone’s a staff member on the basis of his skin colour. But what if it’s the case that, because of historical patterns of discrimination…Read more
  •  1417
    What We Epistemically Owe To Each Other
    Philosophical Studies 176 (4). 2019.
    This paper is about an overlooked aspect—the cognitive or epistemic aspect—of the moral demand we place on one another to be treated well. We care not only how people act towards us and what they say of us, but also what they believe of us. That we can feel hurt by what others believe of us suggests both that beliefs can wrong and that there is something we epistemically owe to each other. This proposal, however, surprises many theorists who claim it lacks both intuitive and theoretical support.…Read more
  •  4800
    The wrongs of racist beliefs
    Philosophical Studies 176 (9): 2497-2515. 2019.
    We care not only about how people treat us, but also what they believe of us. If I believe that you’re a bad tipper given your race, I’ve wronged you. But, what if you are a bad tipper? It is commonly argued that the way racist beliefs wrong is that the racist believer either misrepresents reality, organizes facts in a misleading way that distorts the truth, or engages in fallacious reasoning. In this paper, I present a case that challenges this orthodoxy: the case of the supposedly rational rac…Read more
  •  1021
    Beliefs That Wrong
    Dissertation, University of Southern California. 2018.
    You shouldn’t have done it. But you did. Against your better judgment you scrolled to the end of an article concerning the state of race relations in America and you are now reading the comments. Amongst the slurs, the get-rich-quick schemes, and the threats of physical violence, there is one comment that catches your eye. Spencer argues that although it might be “unpopular” or “politically incorrect” to say this, the evidence supports believing that the black diner in his section will tip poorl…Read more
  •  2446
    Doxastic Wronging
    In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology, Routledge. pp. 181-205. 2019.
    In the Book of Common Prayer’s Rite II version of the Eucharist, the congregation confesses, “we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed”. According to this confession we wrong God not just by what we do and what we say, but also by what we think. The idea that we can wrong someone not just by what we do, but by what think or what we believe, is a natural one. It is the kind of wrong we feel when those we love believe the worst about us. And it is one of the salient wrongs of raci…Read more
  •  811
    Can Beliefs Wrong?
    Philosophical Topics 46 (1): 1-17. 2018.
    We care what people think of us. The thesis that beliefs wrong, although compelling, can sound ridiculous. The norms that properly govern belief are plausibly epistemic norms such as truth, accuracy, and evidence. Moral and prudential norms seem to play no role in settling the question of whether to believe p, and they are irrelevant to answering the question of what you should believe. This leaves us with the question: can we wrong one another by virtue of what we believe about each other? Can …Read more