I'm an associate professor at the University of Southampton. I finished my PhD at Rutgers in 2014. Ernest Sosa was my advisor and Ruth Chang, Jonathan Dancy, Alvin Goldman, and Susanna Schellenberg were on my committee; you can see a post-defense picture here, complete with a Skype projection on my face. My dissertation was entitled On the Normativity of Epistemic Rationality. It sought to explain why we should care about being epistemically rational. My explanation rested on the thought that epistemic rationality constitutes respect for truth (a thought that also made an appearance in my first publication in 2012). This project quickly transformed into a larger one that explains why perspectival obligations have perspective-transcendent significance, by appealing to (i) the idea that all value calls fundamentally for respect, and (ii) the idea that respect is constituted by heeding the demands of perspective. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my oldest research interests are all in epistemology. I have also long had research interests in ethics and philosophy of practical reason. I've taught modules in many other areas, including aesthetics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics; indeed, I wanted to be a metaphysician of science as an undergraduate. Much of my research combines my interests in epistemology in the broad sense and ethics, and is best described as work in the ethics of belief. Two recent papers develop key ideas from my dissertation: (1) a paper published in Philosophical Review developing the first explicit and systematic non-consequentialist account of theoretical normativity (Epistemic Kantianism)and (2) a paper forthcoming in Philosophical Studies applying similar ideas to practical reason. I'm also working on a book further developing these ideas.
My work in epistemology in the narrow sense (i.e., the theory of knowledge) is mostly separate from this business. For I think epistemology in the narrow sense is non-normative, and really a branch of the philosophy of mind. I defended this view in a 2018 publication (though the paper was finished and accepted two years earlier). My non-normativist outlook took a new form in talks in 2017, 2018 and 2020 and in graduate seminars in 2017 and 2019; it evolved further as I happened upon remarkable new work on the history of epistemology by Maria Antognazza, Michael Ayers, and Lloyd Gerson, and as I learned more about classical Indian epistemology. The first of the new views appeared in an abandoned paper called 'The Theaetetus Thesis', where I tried to defend a spinoff of Theaetetus's initial suggestion that 'knowledge is nothing but perception'. That view then transformed into a position I called presentationalism in 'Knowledge and the Presentation of Reality'. According to presentationalism, knowledge is that general factive mental state which, when occurrent, presents one with a fact, where presentations are quasi-perceptual states. In a yet newer manuscript in progress ('World-First Epistemology'), I am proposing a more objective descendant of this view. It invokes the Aristotelian idea of perception as the informing of mind by world, while also doing justice to insights from 20th century informational theories of knowledge.