Dustin:


I am a doctoral candidate and instructor of writing and philosophy at the University of Rochester. My dissertation research, under the supervision of Richard Feldman, focuses on reflective equilibrium in epistemology and its rational restraints on the basis of peer disagreement. My additional research interests include intersections between social epistemology and social-political philosophy, the philosophies of time, agency, and mind, and applied ethical issues. Some specifics include:  
  • social and moral epistemologymy main research project at present introduces the concept epistemic exploitation. As I conceive of it, epistemic exploitation is the willful dissemination of distorting influences used to shape another’s judgments as means to one’s own end. For example, if S provides T with information, the truth-value of which S is indifferent to, with the hopes that this information will influence T to act in a way that helps S achieve her own ends, then S epistemically exploits T.
  • belief control and cognitive agency—specifically topics involving epistemic agency, belief-formation, and disagreement.
  • collective or group rationality--specifically asking, what epistemically legitimizes a field of inquiry and its practices?
  • the philosophy of time—most specifically, relativizing the "now" of becoming, employing neither the A nor B theories, while also questioning the consistency of this view in light of scientific law and the phenomenology of time.
  • science and society--most specifically, I am concerned with the intersection of democratic ideals and technical expertise, asking: do highly specialized and technical areas of expertise, e.g. science, law, medicine, undermine the democratic ideal of everyone's view carrying equal weight where matters of policy and social impact are concerned?
Previously, I studied at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where, under the supervision of Nicholas Griffin, I was awarded a Master's Degree in philosophy for my work on Bertrand Russell's later epistemic and metaphysical program. I continue to work in the History of Analytic Philosophy when time permits.