Papers

Here are some papers I’m currently working on. I’ve omitted some of the main argumentative moves – please, send me an email if you’re interested in hearing more!

[Metaphysics Paper]

I argue that infinitism – the view that grounding forms an infinitely descending sequence – is well-motivated given a conception of dis-unified, pluralistic, “small-g” grounding. I argue for this for reasons associated with the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I argue to be resistant to classic objections. I conclude that anybody committed to “small-g” grounding has good reason to be committed to infinitely descending ground.
Keywords: Infinitism, foundationalism, grounding, gunk, Principle of Sufficient Reason.

[Mind/Language Paper]

I argue that beliefs with indexical contents are essential to rationalizing behaviours, even if they are not essential to explaining them. I argue that any rational agent will be characterized by a sense of autonomous agency which demands a kind of self-awareness which, in turn, can only be adequately characterized by beliefs with irreducibly indexical contents. Therefore, no account without indexical belief contents can succeed at rationalizing, although it may succeed at explaining behaviours.

Keywords: essential indexical, de se, rationality, explanation, agency

[Ethics Paper]

I argue that no characterization of desire makes it a good basis for well-being. In Section I, I introduce desire-satisfaction accounts of well-being. In Section II, I argue that characterizing desire in functional-motivational terms will meet with counter-examples of cases where we are made better off by things with no possible connection to action motivation. In Section III, I argue that characterizing desires as an irreducibly phenomenal state unduly restricts the applicability of well-being to a narrow range of agents (and other problems).

Keywords: well-being, desire-satisfaction, motivation, phenomenology

[Ethics/History Paper 1]

I propose a literal reading of Aristotle’s association of virtue with kalon – a term variously translated as “beautiful”, “noble”, or “fine” – and that this is well-motivated.  An account of essentially aesthetic virtue has an important practical upshot: aesthetically pleasing things serve as public exemplars for emulation and clear teleological goals. Therefore, I argue, one should always strive to look good while doing good.

Keywords: Kalon, Aristotle, virtue, aesthetics,