Director, Law and Philosophy initiative
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Philosophy
I am interested questions about normativity: what it is, where it comes from, how it can play the special roles it has in our lives, and how its roles differ depending on where we find it. I think there's a promising answer to these questions that goes by the name constitutivism. Constitutivism answers these questions by appeal to the constitutive features (i.e. the metaphysics) of norm-governed things.
Most of my research focuses on trying to locate, develop, and defend the best version of constitutivism and apply it in the wild to get some interesting normative conclusions off the ground in domains as diverse as the philosophy of law, epistemology, and the philosophy of language.
Courses Taught, AY 19-20
Special Topics: Law and Reasons (PHIL 370)
Crime and Justice (PHIL 331)
Ethics (PHIL 320)
"Functional Constitutivism"s Misunderstood Resources: A Limited Defense of Smith"s
Constitutivism", Ethics. (forthcoming, October 2019).
"Legal Metanormativity," in Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence, eds. Kevin Toh, David Plunkett, Scott Shapiro. (Oxford University Press, 2019).
"Constitutivism without Normative Thresholds," The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12, No.3 (December 2017): 231-257.
- "Can Planning Functions Explain the Normativity of Law?" (Workshop on Law, Language, and Social Ontology, University of Surrey, June 2019)
- "Agency, Aims, and Reasons" (Universität Leipzig, Colloquium Series, May 2019)
- "Rawls and Legal Reasons" (The University of South Carolina, February 2019)
- "Aims, Agency, Reasons." (NYU Abu Dhabi Workshop on Normativity and Reasoning, January 2019)