of 1943 Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Program in Cognitive Science
Program in Linguistics
Department of Psychology
Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies
University Center for Human Values
Cognitive Science at
Princeton As of July 1st, 2015, I am delighted to announce the
new Program in Cognitive Science. For more information please visit CogSci.Princeton.edu.
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.
My most recent work has
focused on the question of why certain academic disciplines, but not
others, have large gender gaps. In an on-going project, Andrei
Cimpian and I are investigating why this might be so, and what
might be done to address these gaps. The first of our papers on the
topic was recently published in Science.
Additional information on the project, including practical suggestions
for educators, can be found here.
Much of the rest 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. This
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.
Another main area of research
for me 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. Much of my on-going work in this area is
conducted in collaboration with Marjorie Rhodes.
Please click here for my online papers, here for my CV, and here
for media coverage of my work.
I am currently conducting
video interviews with philosophers for the Marc Sanders Foundation.
The series, entitled Philosophical Conversations, is available on the
Foundation website , and on YouTube.