Evan Westra

I'm a philosopher of cognitive science, mind, and moral psychology. My research is about how we reason about the social world. I'm especially interested in "theory of mind" or "mindreading", which is our capacity to understand behavior in terms of underlying psychological causes (e.g. beliefs, desires, emotions, etc.). My most recent work explores how we reason about character traits, and how we come to know other people. I'm also interested in debates about moral judgment, concepts, intentionality, Bayesian models of cognition, pragmatic inference, animal minds, and moral responsibility.

Bio: I grew up in Calgary, Alberta. I did my B.A. in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia (along with my older brother Adam, who is also a philosopher), and then stayed on to do an M.A. I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2017 from the the University of Maryland, College Park, where I worked under the supervision of Peter Carruthers. I spent the 2017-2018 academic year teaching in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester. I am currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, working with Jennifer Nagel.

When I'm not doing philosophy, I enjoy playing board games (the kind that ruin friendships), podcasts, cooking, running, weightlifting, and going to the theater.

Speaking of custom oil paintings of your dog or cat: you should check out my mother Monique's pet portrait website.