I am a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. Before that, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow jointly with the Department of Philosophy and at the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford University. I received my PhD in philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park.
My primary research projects are in philosophy of science (especially biology), philosophy of race, and political philosophy. In my projects, I often draw on the theoretical and experimental tools of biology to illuminate broader issues in philosophy of race, political philosophy, and public policy.
My main research interest is scientific explanation in the life sciences. In my dissertation project, On the Activities and Parts of the Mechanisms of Life, I develop the philosophical foundations of the new mechanist approach to explanation. My research draws on the life sciences, especially molecular biology, evolutionary theory, and neuroscience, to illustrate my philosophical theses.
In philosophy of race, I have research interests at the intersection of race, metaphysics, and philosophy of medicine.
In political philosophy, my work engages with philosophy and public policy. I am currently working on projects defending a novel electoral system, advancing an account of domination for theorizing about algorithmic governance, and about intergenerational justice.
- "The Hybrid Account of Activities"
Synthese, Forthcoming ( Abstract)
According to an influential account of the new mecanistic philosophy of science, entities and activities compose mechanisms. However, the new mechanists have paid too little attention to activties. Critics have charged that accounts of activities in the new mechanism literature are philosophically uninformative and opaque. This paper defends a novel account of causally productive activities, which I call the Hybrid Account, that marries the two dominant philosophical approaches to causation: production and difference-making. The Hybrid Account of Activities (HAA) identifies causally productive activities as robust difference-makers to the next stage of a mechanism. The Hybrid Account provides attractive solutions to causal identification and causal selection problems faced by earlier activities views.
- "Lockdowns and the Ethics of Intergenerational Compensation"
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 2023 ( Abstract) (Link)
Lockdowns were a morally and medically appropriate anti-contagion policy to stop the spead of Covid. However, lockdowns came with considerable costs. Specifically, lockdowns imposed harms and losses upon the young in order to benefit the elderly, who were at the highest risk of severe illness and death from Covid. This represened a shifting of the (epidimiological) burden of Covid for the elderly to a systemic burden of lockdowns upon the young. This paper argues that even if lockdowns were a morally permissible reponse to Covid, the harms and losses they imposed on the young ground a claim of compensation. I defend an Intergenerational Compensation Argument that defends a claim for an egalitarian intergenerational transfer to compensate the young for the harms of lockdown.
- "Race and Medicine in Light of the New Mechanistic Philosophy of Science"
Winner of the 2020 PSA Prize in Philosophy of Science & Race
Biology and Philosophy, 2020 ( Abstract) (Link)
Racial disparities in health outcomes have recently become a fashpoint in the debate about the value of race as a biological concept. What role, if any, race has in the etiology of disease is a philosophically and scientifcally contested topic. In this article, I expand on the insights of the new mechanistic philosophy of science to defend a mechanism discovery approach to investigating epidemiological racial disparities. The mechanism discovery approach has explanatory virtues lacking in the populational approach typically employed in the study of race and biomedicine. The explanatory constraints that form an integral part of the new mechanistic approach enable mechanism discovery to avoid the epistemic and normative shortcomings of the populational approach. The methodology of mechanism discovery can fruitfully be extended to the treatment and reversal of epidemiological racial disparities.
Works In Progress
- Metaphysics of Race. Under Contract with Cambridge University Press (Elements in Metaphysics)
- a paper defending a novel electoral system
- a paper about metaphysical explanation in the life sciences
- a paper about race and explanatory value
- a paper about non-domination and AI decision-making
- a paper about how to identify good parts in biology
- (PHIL 277) Philosophy of Biology (Leeds) Spring 2023
- (PHIL 100) PPE First Year Seminar (Leeds) Fall 2022
- (PHIL 140) On Domination (Stanford) Spring 2022
- (PHIL 458) Philosophy in the Age of Revolutions (UMD) Spring 2018
- (PHIL 308) Philosophy of Race (UMD) Fall 2018
- (PHPE 401) Capitalism and Socialism (UMD) Summer 2020