My current research focusses on virtue theory and the emotions. I'm especially interested in negative emotions such as anger and fear. Against current orthodoxy, I argue that the virtuous agent would not experience these emotions, and that their so-called 'fittingness' is not enough to vindicate them. I present such an argument with respect to fear in a paper recently published in Philosophers' Imprint.
The historical figures I focus on primarily are Plato, Sidgwick, and Kant. My research on Plato centers on the defense of justice offered in the Republic, as well as Plato’s view on the relative weights of practical and epistemic concerns. I have published articles on these topic in Phronesis and Journal of the History of Philosophy (co-authored with Nich Baima). Nich and I recently completed a monograph titled Plato’s Pragmatism (Routledge, 2021). The central claim of this book is that, contrary to common interpretation, Plato prioritizes practical concerns above epistemic ends such as knowledge and truth.
I arrived at Sidgwick through my attempt to defend an impartialist account of practical reason called ‘Rational Impartialism’. According to this theory, there are no basic (i.e. non-derivate) reasons to favor oneself or one’s intimates. My PhD thesis revives a Sidgwickian argument for this view. Current projects include a reply to the charge that Sidgwick’s critique of deontology was unfair, as well as a defense of new interpretations of Sidgwick’s ethical axioms.
In a chapter of my edited collection on Kantian and Sidgwickian ethics, I investigate Kant and Sidgwick’s respective claims that belief in God is morally necessary. I argue that this conclusion arises from a shared assumption about the nature of practical reason and the need to posit a single ultimate end. Other research focusses on Kant’s value theory, moral psychology, and moral theology. I have published articles on the Kantian value of sympathy as well as Kant's moral justification for the hiddenness of God. Current projects address the relative value of virtue and holiness, as well as interpretive puzzles concerning Kant’s claim that one's own happiness is a necessary end.