I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rice University in Houston TX, where I have been since 2010. I work in value theory and normative ethics. In 2013-2014 I was a Faculty Fellow at the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. I did my graduate work at Yale University, where Shelly Kagan was my primary advisor. Before that, I was an undergraduate at The University of Toronto.
I also work on perfectionism, the theory of value that holds that the excellent exercise of our characteristically human capacities is intrinsically good. I’m particularly interested in ill-being — the opposite of well-being — and how perfectionism (or any theory, for that matter) might account for it. I’m also at work on a project about uniqueness and its relationship to intrinsic value. My work also extends to nature of intrinsic value, organic unities, well-being, moral responsibility, and issues in epistemology.
Please look at the Research page for some current papers and other work.
In my spare time, I like to run, which is a helpful hobby for encouraging philosophical reflections on achievement and difficulty. Since moving to Houston, I’ve become a fan of many of the marvelous arts organizations here, such as the Houston Grand Opera, and the Menil Collection, as well as Hermann Park.
Selected upcoming and recent presentations:
April 2019: “Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons,” APA Pacific, Vancouver, BC
March 2019: “Why You Should Be Miserable,” Conference of the PPE Society, New Orleans, LA
February 2019: Author-meets-critic for Achievement, Central APA, Denver, CO
January 2019: “The Moral Obligation to go to Mars,” Night of Philosophy, Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, TX
October 2018: Artist in Dialogue, with artist Matthew Ritchie and choreographer Hope Mohr, Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, TX
September 2018: “Uniqueness and Intrinsic Value,” Lone Star, Houston, TX
August 2018: “Perfectionist Bads,” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, Boulder, CO
June 2018: “Perfectionist Bads and Desires,” Canadian Philosophical Association, Montreal, QC
June 2018: “Uniqueness,” OSU-Croatia Philosophy Conference, Dubrovnik, Coratia
March 2018: “Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons,” DEX, UC Davis, CA
March 2018:”The Badness of Pain,” University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
March 2018: “Uniqueness,” Kwantlen Polytechnic, Surrey, BC
August 2017: “Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons,” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, Boulder, CO
July 2017: “Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons,” Kansas Well-being Workshop (KWoW), University of Kansas
May 2017: “Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons,” Canadian Philosophical Association, Toronto
April 2017: “Achievement and the Pursuit of the Bad,” Invited Panel, Pacific APA, Seattle