My dissertation is about pragmatist and idealist approaches to resolving the apparent tension between the nature of intentionality and a plausible commitment to (some sort of) a naturalistic worldview. This means I spend a lot of time thinking about Kant, Hegel, Peirce, Dewey, Wittgenstein, Sellars, McDowell, Brandom, and Price, among others.
I also have interests in epistemology, philosophy of science, early modern philosophy, the history of analytic philosophy, and continental philosophy (phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism).
In my two published book reviews, I have focused on the prospects for pragmatist-inspired views in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology. In my review of John Turri and Peter Klein’s edited volume Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, I argue that the Wittgensteinian-pragmatist epistemological contextualism offered by Michael Williams can plausibly dissolve the problem to which infinitism is a response. In my take on Huw Price’s Expressivism, Pragmatism, and Representationalism, I argue that Price’s view, while a potentially promising programme for deflationist-minded pragmatists, may have trouble succeeding on its own terms. I presented my more developed thoughts on Price’s project in a presentation at the Canadian Philosophical Association Congress in May 2017, and am currently preparing a manuscript to submit for publication.
My other research to date has been presented at conferences and colloquia. In a paper presented to the conference for the Templeton-funded research project Idealism and the Metaphilosophy of Mind, I argue that some Hegelian ideas can prove useful in enriching “liberal naturalism”, the view (first broached under that name by John McDowell) that the domain of the ‘natural’ should not be limited only to what the natural sciences can investigate and explain on their terms.
In other presented work I have argued for the merits of the pragmatism of C.I. Lewis, defended a priori linguistic philosophy from attacks on the use of “intuitions” (partly by arguing that such philosophy neither does nor should proceed via “intuitions”), and examined the virtues of Wittgenstein’s treatments of “non-empirical propositions” in his later work.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Review of John Turri and Peter D. Klein, eds., Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, for Dialogue (forthcoming). [Link]
Review of Huw Price, Expressivism, Pragmatism, and Representationalism, in Dialogue 54: 3 (2015): 573-576. [Link]
“A Problem for Huw Price’s Pragmatism”, Canadian Philosophical Association Congress, May 2017.
“Hegelian Lessons for Liberal Naturalism”, Idealism and the Metaphilosophy of Mind Conference, September 2016.
“Pragmatism and Objectivity in C.I. Lewis”, Canadian Philosophical Association Congress, May 2016.
“Defending the Armchair Without Intuitions”, Canadian Philosophical Association Congress, June 2015.
“Grammar, Hinges, and Mythology: Non-Empirical Propositions in Wittgenstein”, Dalhousie Philosophy Department Colloquium, August 2010.