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I'm an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University. I have been an assistant to a professor of philosophy, and my current position is considerably better. I specialize in meta-ethics and the emotions, and also do work on free will and Nietzsche.
I teach a wide variety of classes: Practical Reason, Meta-Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Free Will, Environmental Ethics, Medical Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, and Introduction to Philosophy.
To the right is a picture of me. The lack of a smile indicates that I'm a serious scholar while the background demonstrates my willingness to engage with the external world in a more concrete way. There might also be the implication that, like the wave behind me, I'm a force of nature. But a very small one.
- CV (pdf)
- "Meta-Ethical Realism with Good of a Kind" in The European Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
I argue that we can and ought to engage in ethical thought using good of a kind to the exclusion of good simpliciter. Employing good of a kind, I claim, allows us to be realists about ethical thought and utterances even if one denies there is anything that is good simpliciter. I defend what I call "Cultural Aristotelianism," according to which evaluations of people are grounded in their memberships in cultural kinds, e.g. philosopher, citizen, mother, etc.
A copy of the draft is available upon request.
- "Intentionality and Compound Accounts of the Emotions," in The Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):67-90
Intentionality and Compound Accounts of the Emotions (pdf)
Most philosophers of emotion endorse a compound account of the emotions: emotions are wholes made of parts, or as I prefer to put it, emotions are mental states that supervene on other (mental) states. The goal of this paper is to ascertain how the intentionality of these subvening members relates to the intentionality of the emotions. Towards this end, I proceed as follows. First, I discuss the problems with the account Justin D'Arms and Daniel Jacobson offer of the intentionality of the emotions; I argue their account is fundamentally misguided by virtue of being motivated by a misunderstanding of the nature of propositional attitudes. Second, I argue against Peter Goldie's claim that an affective component of an emotion contributes to its intentionality. Third, I offer my own compound account of emotions. I argue i) emotions are mental states that supervene on other mental states, ii) the mental states that constitute the subvenience base of emotion can have nonconceptual and/or conceptual representational content, and iii) an emotion's intentionality supervenes on (but is often not identical to) the intentionality of only one of its subvening members, specifically, the evaluative representation.
- "Nietzsche's 'Interpretation' in the Genealogy," The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 18 (4) 2010: 693-711.
Nietzsche's "Interpretation" in the Genealogy (pdf)
I argue for a novel interpretation of the third treatise of Nietzsche's "Genealogy," according to which the third treatise consists largely of offering false causal explanations for a set of facts Nietzsche lists in the first section of the treatise. The particular explanations offered, I argue, a function of the evaluative commitments of the person offering the explanations.
- Book Review in Ethics, January 2008, of Michael Zimmerman's "The Nature of Intrinsic Value" (pdf)