If you are evaluating my tenure case, my research statement can be found here,
and my service, teaching, and advising statement can be found here.
My primary research interests lie in the intersection of philosophy and cognitive psychology. I believe that a range of issues in philosophy can be illuminated by psychological considerations, and conversely that empirical psychology can benefit from philosophical understanding.
So far, a lot of my work has focused on generics, which are generalizations like “tigers are striped”, “ducks lay eggs”, and “mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus”. These sentences pose difficulties for traditional formal semantics, but are acquired and processed quickly and easily by young children. My research project seeks to understand the features of our psychology that make this possible, and to explore the consequences of these features for philosophy more generally. While my main project is a philosophical one, I’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate with some wonderful people in psychology departments to test empirical predictions concerning how we understand these statements.
Another main area of research for concerns the philosophy and psychology of prejudice and stereotyping. Since prejudiced beliefs characteristically involve making generalizations about a group of people, understanding the nature of generic generalizations has the potential to illuminate aspects of social prejudice.
Please click here for my online papers, here for my CV, and here for media coverage of my work.
Marjorie Rhodes and I are delighted to report that we have been awarded a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation, entitled "The Development of Social Essentialism."
From 2010 through 2013, I have the honor of holding the Jacob Viner University Preceptorship.
Photo credit: Brian Wilson Photo