Sao Miguel, Azores 2016

RESEARCH

 

Broadly speaking, my work looks to rehabilitate historically-overlooked contributions to ethical theory and bring them to bear on issues in contemporary debate, with special attention to emotion-based theories of value from the early 20th Century phenomenologists. I also have special interests in Kant's moral psychology and its legacy in post-Kantian ethical theory, including a project on the underappreciated experiential role of feeling in Kant's moral psychology. 

My recent work draws upon converging insights from early phenomenology, feminist care ethics, and recent trends in cognitive science in order to advance a perceptualist form of value realism. Against traditional representationalist models of perception, I develop the case that evaluative perception is an "enactive" relation between a caring agent and its lived environment. As an instructive case study, I look to recent enactivist theories of color perception, which maintain that colors are irreducibly experiential yet no less real properties of a perceptual environment both constituted and inhabited by the visually experiencing organism. Extending these ideas to value theory by way of conceptual resources from the phenomenological tradition, I argue that our emotional experiences at once constitute and disclose the evaluative significance of the world, and value properties are the felt aspects and motivational affordances that things in the world possess when considered from the situated perspective of lived emotional engagement.  

In general, I am preoccupied with phenomenologically-informed approaches to issues at the intersection between value theory, moral psychology, and the philosophy of mind and emotion, including (i) the nature of emotional intentionality and its connection to the ontological status of values, (ii) the relationship between values, emotional experience, and practical reasons, and (iii) the ontological grounds of a priori moral principles and the prospects for an essence-based model of a priori moral knowledge. 

 

See below for abstracts of recent papers.