My areas of interest, in alphabetical order: aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, non-classical logic, phenomenology, philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, rhetoric.
“Wittgenstein’s Wager” Southwest Philosophy Review 38 (1):51-57 (2022)
Knowledge is analyzed in terms of the cost incurred when mistakes are made — things we should have known better, but didn’t. Following Wittgenstein at the end of On Certainty, an Epistemic Wager, similar to Pascal’s Wager, is set up to represent the cost differences not in belief vs. disbelief, but in knowledge vs. skepticism. This leads to a core class of absolutely certain knowledge, related to Moorean Facts, that is integrated into our everyday lives. This core knowledge is resistant to both radical skepticism, such as a Cartesian Demon, and Gettier style objections, while providing a small, but sufficient base for future epistemological research.
“Punny Logic” Analysis (2015) 75: 359-362, doi: 10.1093/analys/anv034
Logic and humour tend to be mutually exclusive topics. Humour plays off ambiguity, while classical logic falters over it. Formalising puns is therefore impossible, since puns have ambiguous meanings for their components. However, I will use Independence-Friendly logic to formally encode the multiple meanings within a pun. This will show a general strategy of how to logically represent ambiguity and reveals humour as an untapped source of novel logical structure.
Works in Progress
“General Relativistic Biology”
This paper presents an alternative conceptual foundation for biological evolution. First the causal and statistical perspectives on evolutionary fitness are analyzed, finding them to implicitly depend on each other, and hence cannot be individually fundamental. It is argued that this is an instance of a relativistic perspective over evolutionary phenomena. New accounts of fitness, the struggle for life, and Natural Selection are developed under this interpretation. This biological relativism is unique in that it draws from General Relativity in physics, unlike previous theories that drew upon statistical mechanics or Newtonian dynamics. A mathematical law of evolutionary change, as well as new theoretical biological concepts to underpin it, are likewise developed. The law and theory are then applied to give examples of how both cornerstones and edge cases can be understood using these new methods. Using General Relativistic Biology provides fresh insight into evolution, all while preserving the core, canonical scientific research program.
——– more forthcoming