I work primarily in philosophy of language and mind,
ethics, and early modern philosophy.
I teach in a variety of areas, including philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethics, meta-ethics, metaphysics, feminist philosophy,
early modern philosophy, and the history of analytic philosophy.
My dissertation focuses on metasemantics, the normativity of content, slur
terms, and the social parameters of meaning and content determination. I
develop and defend a norm-based metasemantic framework for the explanation
of the content of concepts. This framework is motivated by the need to explain the independence of our conceptual repertoires from purely individual and social factors. It is developed partly in response to what I call the slur problem for any norm-based theory of content, arising from the badness of the use profile associated with slur terms and the thought patterns they express. This problem is especially pressing for a norm-based metasemantics like mine, whose content-determining norms are in significant senses objective. Rather than retreat from these claims or attempting to identify a special sense of ought involved in the metasemantics, I identify a more promising behavioral and cognitive target for the relevant norms, modeled roughly after imperfect duties rather than perfect duties. The resulting view, motivated by anti-individualism rather than by a priori arguments about correctness and constructed more carefully and permissively with respect to the relevant normative facts, overcomes the most pressing challenges to the normativity of meaning and content, concerning correctness, rule-following, anti-realism, and the implausibility of universal obligations derived a priori from semantic correctness or the nature of belief.