Expressivism and normative realism

My main research project is devoted to reconciling a naturalistic approach to normative thought and language with strong commitments to truth and objectivity in the normative domain. In my PhD thesis (NYU, 2017), I argued that expressivism about normative discourse is compatible with normative realism, and that expressivism offers a new way of addressing the reliability challenge to our normative beliefs. As a research fellow at the University of Leeds, I am currently exploring whether meta-semantic expressivism (a new version of expressivism proposed in recent years) is compatible with realism, and what might be the benefits of this reconciliation. I am also thinking about how we can make progress in the dispute between minimal and robust realism: in particular, I have a working paper on whether there is any good moral argument against robust realism.

The ethics of imperfection

I'm interested in making sense of our attachments to various forms of imperfection in our lives. For instance, how we can reasonably affirm our actual lives when comparing them to better lives we could have had? How can we make peace with our past moral failings while committing to avoid similar mistakes in the future? What is it to love people for who they are, and how can this be justified? 

Publications

Making peace with moral imperfection, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, 2019

Reid on moral sentimentalism, Res Philosophica, 2019 [pre-print]

Personal value, biographical identity, and retrospective attitudes, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2019 [pre-print]

Review of Robert N. Johnson and Michael Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections. Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 2018 [pre-print]

Expressivism and realist explanationsPhilosophical Studies, 2017 [pre-print]

Expressivism and the reliability challengeEthical Theory and Moral Practice, 2017 [pre-print]

 

Papers under review or in progress

  • A paper on the dispute between minimal and robust normative realism

  • A paper on meta-semantic expressivism and the question of realism

  • A paper on expressivism, objectivity, and disagreement