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Research interests

I'm interested in the relationship between kinds of normativity, particularly in the differences between practical and moral normativity, and in the parallels between moral and aesthetic normativity.

I'm currently working on 'ought implies can' and developing an account of practical reasoning, thinking especially about the relationship between it and our abilities.

In addition, I'm interested in certain topics in aesthetics, like meta-aesthetics, aesthetic properties like subtlety, as well as high and low art (see my post on this topic at Aesthetics for Birds).

Publications

"'Ought Implies Can': Not So Pragmatic After All", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming)

(pre-print)

The view that 'ought implies can' should be understood as a pragmatic principle - one involving either conversational implicature or presupposition - has become popular. I argue that this strategy fails because 'ought implies can' fails to satisfy tests for conversational implicature and presupposition, and furthermore that it cannot account for the 'ought implies can' phenomena that arise in deliberation.

"The Virtue of Subtlety and the Vice of a Heavy Hand", The British Journal of Aesthetics, 2017

(pre-print, official version)

I examine subtlety in aesthetics. I discuss its hallmarks and offer an account of its value. It is valuable because it promotes active engagement with the artwork. I connect this to the role of agency and autonomy in artistic experience.

"Actions That We Ought, But Can't", Ratio, 2014

(pre-print, official version)

I offer a class of counterexamples to the 'ought' implies 'can' principle by highlighting complex actions involving both behavioral and robust mental components. We often think that individuals have obligations to perform such actions, even while they cannot bring about the relevant mental states.

Encyclopedia Articles

"The Aesthetic Attitude" in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This is a peer-reviewed article I wrote for the IEP. It's an introduction to different conceptions of and theories about the aesthetic attitude.