I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rhode Island College.
I'm interested in a wide variety of topics in ethics, the philosophy of art, metaphysics, and general value theory, such as: the nature of pleasure, well-being, love, the badness of death, humor, the paradox of tragedy, the nature of aesthetic value, moral responsibility, and the emotions.
Much of my current work concerns the nature and importance of well-being. Against a widely held view, I think that well-being is in many ways less important than other forms of value, particularly meaning and worth. There are a variety of ways in which we can evaluate lives. We can assess live in terms of welfare—how good they are for the one who lives them. We can assess them in terms of meaning. And we can assess them, more broadly, in terms of worth. In my current book project, Welfare, Meaning, and Worth, I defend theories of each.
Apart from my research on well-being, I'm especially interested in the normative assessment of emotion. I wonder to what extent one can be morally responsible for non-voluntary emotional reactions. And I'm curious about why voluntary control seemingly threatens the authenticity of emotions.
I'm currently at work on Philosophy of Film: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge). The companion Web site is here: philosophyoffilm.com
Chris Grau and I are currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Love.
I've taught over a dozen different philosophy courses and several interdisciplinary humanities seminars: Philosophy of Death, Philosophy of Film, The Good Life, Philosophy of Love, Free Will, Bioethics, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Environmental Ethics, Meta-ethics, and Philosophy of Emotion. Last year I taught Moral Responsibility, Philosophy of Death, The Good Life, Philosophy of Film, and Philosophy of Love.
This fall I'm teaching Philosophy of Death and Philosophy of Art.
Here are some of my works in progress:
Here are some of my published (and forthcoming) articles:
CV | Research | Teaching | PhilPapers Profile