I specialize in moral and political philosophy, moral psychology, and experimental philosophy. My work is animated by an interest in the role that empirical facts should play in the evaluation of normative concepts. On my view, moral and political philosophers should be (and have often been, explicitly or implicitly) interested in the fruitfulness of these concepts – how well they help us to solve practical problems. My account of fruitfulness is multidimensional, including the motivational force and sociopolitical consequences of the adoption of concepts. Notably, evaluating fruitfulness along these dimensions is partly an empirical enterprise. We have to engage with and sometimes conduct new research in the social sciences to determine the extent to which normative concepts help us to solve the practical problems they are supposed to help us solve.
I am also interested in how political philosophy should take facts about the real world into account. In particular, the fact that citizens and non-citizens of democratic states stand in relationships with one another, including intimate relationships and relationships of identification, generates stringent duties on these states that bear on how they treat non-citizens. I have mostly examined these duties in the context of immigration justice, but am also interested in their implications for other topics, such as global poverty and climate change.
More generally, I hold that philosophers have an important role to play in engaging with and conducting empirical research on moral and political issues, and that traditional and empirical methods can be brought together to illuminate these issues.
“Why are Muslim Bans Wrong? Diagnosing Discriminatory Immigration Policies with Brock’s Human Rights Framework.” Forthcoming in Res Publica. [pre-print]
“Testing the Motivational Strength of Positive and Negative Duty Arguments Regarding Global Poverty.” Forthcoming in Review of Philosophy and Psychology. (with Luke Buckland, David Rodríguez-Arias, and Carissa Véliz) [online first]
“How to Cancel the Knobe Effect: The Role of Sufficiently Strong Moral Censure.” (2021). American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 2. (with Nicholas Southwood) [published version]
“Comparing the Effect of Rational and Emotional Appeals on Donation Behavior.” (2020). Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 15, No. 3. (with Marcus Mayorga, Joshua Greene, Paul Slovic, Daniel Västfjäll, and Peter Singer) [published version]
“The ‘Daddy Dividend’: The Gender Division of Labor and Regression Towards Patriarchy.” (2020). American Philosophical Association Newsletter: Feminism and Philosophy, Issue on Parenting and Philosophy, Vol. 19, No. 2. (with Serene Khader) [published version]
“Kantian Themes in Ethics and International Relations.” (2018). In The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and International Relations, eds. B. Steele and E. Heinze, New York: Routledge Press. [pre-print]
“Unification Admissions and Skilled Worker Migration.” (2017). In Fair Work: Ethics, Social Policy, and Globalization, ed. K.P. Schaff, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. [pre-print]
“Doing, Allowing, and Enabling Harm: An Empirical Investigation.” (2014). In Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Vol. 1, eds. T. Lombrozo, J. Knobe, and S. Nichols, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (with Christian Barry and Gerhard Øverland) [published version, pre-print]
Works in Progress
The Fruitfulness of Normative Concepts, book under contract with Oxford University Press.
Advances in Experimental Political Philosophy, edited volume under contract with Bloomsbury Press.
“Feasibility and Normative Encroachment” (with Nicholas Southwood) (under review)
“Concept Formation, Normativity, and Conceptual Engineering” (under review)
“Whose Borders? Immigration Justice, Free Migration, and the Global South” (with Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò) (under review)
“Duties of Assistance” (with Christian Barry) (in preparation)