In my research, I explore the ways in which people can be said to be the authors of their own conduct, and on the flip side, the ways in which they can become alienated from their actions.
In one research program, which grows out of my dissertation, I investigate the relationship an agent must have to her motivations in order for her to be an appropriate target of attributional moral responsibility for her actions. I put forth a view that I call the Minimal Approval View, according to which the relevant criterion is that the chain of mental events that leads to the agent’s action must guarantee that the agent minimally approves of her effective motivation. To minimally approve is to desire to some degree for one’s motivating desire to be satisfied for some further aim than merely getting rid of it by acting on it. I consider the implications of such a view for current debates in moral responsibility, with a special eye towards cases of mental disability and marginal agency.
“The Minimal Approval View of Attributional Responsibility,” Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility (provisionally forthcoming)
“How Should Deep Self Theorists Handle Weakness of Will?” [In Progress]
“The Finely Individuated Trait View of Blame’s Content” [In Progress]
“Attributability, Accountability, and Forgetfulness” [In Progress]
In another research program, I explore the idea that in addition to the satisfaction of an agent’s desires, the relationship the agent has to her desires also affects her well-being. I am particularly interested in the interplay between ill-being and alienation from one’s life projects, and have so far explored this theme in the contexts of immortal boredom and clinical depression.
“Williams and the Desirability of Body-Bound Immortality Revisited,” European Journal of Philosophy
“Depression’s Threat to Self-Governance” [Under Review]