Current Projects

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I am at work on a number of papers, some of which are under review. I have included abstracts of these papers below so you can get an idea of where my research is headed. Feel free to email me if you’re interested in talking more! 

Sophie de Grouchy on the Value of Ambivalence

Sophie de Grouchy is most known for translating and commentating on Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. Like Smith, Grouchy argues that sympathy lies at the root of moral life, though she is skeptical that it provides a good standard for propriety judgments given our existing norms, which promote inequality. In this article, I argue that, for Grouchy, it is our experience of remorse, not sympathy, that binds us to others in their suffering. This experience corrects for self-conceit and allows us to cultivate ambivalence about our own judgments and conduct. In so doing, Grouchy claims that we come to see our judgments as provisional and our conduct as subject to change. The resulting account of morals, which I refer to as progressive, is original and compelling.

In Defense of Idle Gossip

Gossip is traditionally seen as vicious, despite its widespread practice. Recently, social scientists and philosophers have argued that gossip can be a useful, even virtuous, instrument for the enforcement of norms. Some virtue ethicists have argued that we can establish and promulgate our ideas of moral exemplariness through the practice of gossip. I argue that when gossip succeeds in creating moral exemplars it does so viciously. I argue further that idle gossip, or gossip absent the aim of norm enforcement, can achieve the pro-social aims of evaluative gossip without also running afoul of our aspirations to virtue.

Masham on Loving Persons

(Abstract to Follow Soon)

Can We Love Ourselves? 

(Abstract to Follow Soon)

Hume’s View of Women, in Context 

(Abstract to Follow Soon)