This page highlights my research publications.
Final manuscripts are available to download when allowed by copyright agreements.
August 2019. Online at Taylor & Francis.
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming).
Abstract: Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts we use to appraising the people who use them. First, I outline several ways in which the use of a concept can violate moral standards. Second, I discuss three accounts of moral responsibility, which I call voluntarism, rationalism, and psychologism, arguing that each allows us to find at least some cases where we are responsible for using defective concepts. Third, I answer an objection that because most of our concepts are acquired through processes for which we are not responsible, our use of defective concepts is a matter of bad luck, and not something for which we are responsible after all. Finally, I conclude by discussing some of the ways we may hold people accountable for using defective concepts.
THE CONCEPT OF A UNIVERSITY: THEORY, PRACTICE, AND SOCIETY
May 2019. Online at Brill.
Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 52, Special Issue: Revisiting the Idea of the University.
Abstract: Current disputes over the nature and purpose of the university are rooted in a philosophical divide between theory and practice. Academics often defend the concept of a university devoted to purely theoretical activities. Politicians and wider society tend to argue that the university should take on more practical concerns. I critique two typical defenses of the theoretical concept—one historical and one based on the value of pure research—and show that neither the theoretical nor the practical concept of a university accommodates all the important goals expected of university research and teaching. Using the classical pragmatist argument against a sharp division between theory and practice, I show how we can move beyond the debate between the theoretical and practical concepts of a university, while maintaining a place for pure and applied research, liberal and vocational education, and social impact through both economic applications and criticism aimed at promoting social justice.
HARMS AND WRONGS IN EPISTEMIC PRACTICE
November 2018. Online at Cambridge Core.
Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84, Cambridge University Press.
Edited book (co-editors: Simon Barker and Charlie Crerar), reviewed.
Contributors: Alison Bailey, Olivia Bailey, Heather Battaly, Simon Barker, Havi Carel, Quassim Cassam, Charlie Crerar, Miranda Fricker, Trystan S. Goetze, Heidi Grasswick, Keith Harris, Casey Rebecca Johnson, Ian James Kidd, Alessandra Tanesini.
From the Back Cover: How we engage in epistemic practice, including our methods of knowledge acquisition and transmission, the personal traits that help or hinder these activities, and the social institutions that facilitate or impede them, is of central importance to our lives as individuals and as participants in social and political activities. Traditionally, Anglophone epistemology has tended to neglect the various ways in which these practices go wrong, and the epistemic, moral, and political harms and wrongs that follow. In the past decade, however, there has been a turn towards the non-ideal in epistemology. This volume gathers new works by emerging and world-leading scholars on a significant cross section of themes in non-ideal epistemology. Articles focus on topics including intellectual vices, epistemic injustices, interpersonal epistemic practices, and applied epistemology. In addition to exploring the various ways in which epistemic practices go wrong at the level of both individual agents and social structures, the papers gathered herein discuss how these problems are related, and how they may be addressed.
HERMENEUTICAL DISSENT AND THE SPECIES OF HERMENEUTICAL INJUSTICE
Winter 2018. Online at Wiley Online Library.
Hypatia 33(1): 73–90.
Abstract: According to Miranda Fricker, a hermeneutical injustice occurs when there is a deficit in our shared tools of social interpretation (the collective hermeneutical resource), such that marginalized social groups are at a disadvantage in making sense of their distinctive and important experiences. Critics have claimed that Fricker's account ignores or precludes a phenomenon I call hermeneutical dissent, where marginalized groups have produced their own interpretive tools for making sense of those experiences. I clarify the nature of hermeneutical injustice to make room for hermeneutical dissent, clearing up the structure of the collective hermeneutical resource and the fundamental harm of hermeneutical injustice. I then provide a more nuanced account of the hermeneutical resources in play in instances of hermeneutical injustice, enabling six species of the injustice to be distinguished. Finally, I reflect on the corrective virtue of hermeneutical justice in light of hermeneutical dissent.