Research

Metaphysics

My primary research interests lie in metaphysics and philosophy of action.

My PhD thesis, which is about the metaphysics of (i) agency in the most general sense and (ii) ‘free’ agency in particular, combines these. In Part I, I carefully formulate and defend a theory of powers – going on to¬†explain the sense in which agency and causality, correctly understood, consist in the exercise, by individual substances, of their distinctive powers. I then consider whether and how we might understand modality and laws of nature in virtue of this theory of powers. My approach to powers is strongly influenced by – though in certain important ways different from – the work of E.J. Lowe, John Heil, and Stephen Mumford, among others. Part II is concerned with the question of what it would take, given the truth of this broadly ‘Aristotelian’ picture of reality, for an agent to exercise free and intentional agency.

Ethics

In meta-ethics, my views lie in the direction of a Rossian ‘ethical intuitionism’. I am therefore interested in defending a realist position that is pluralist, deontological, and non-naturalist in character, and in working on various questions concerning moral epistemology and moral metaphysics.

I am also especially interested in the matter of the correct account of moral responsibility, and in various fundamental questions in social and political philosophy.

Epistemology

My views in epistemology are particularly influenced by Laurence BonJour, who defends a ‘moderate’ form of rationalism according to which substantive a priori justification is indispensable for all, or nearly all, cases of epistemic justification. This position is foundationalist and internalist in character, but leaves room for useful externalist and non-foundationalist varieties of justification and knowledge (as bearing a kind of ‘secondary’ epistemological status).