About me

I'm a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. I work mainly in the philosophy of psychology, with a particular emphasis on theory of mind. I'm also interested in pragmatics, moral cognition, comparative psychology, and the evolution of uniquely human forms of cooperation. My supervisor is Peter Carruthers.

I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Drawn to philosophy by the works of Daniel Dennett, I followed my older brother Adam to the University of British Columbia, where we both completed the B.A. in Philosophy. While Adam went on to study Kant from the University of Montreal, I stayed at UBC to do my M.A., initially pursuing an interest in free will and moral responsibility. The excellent support and inspiration I received from the faculty there led me to pursue a Ph.D. in the philosophy of psychology, which I began at Maryland in 2012. 

I currently live in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. When I'm not doing research, I like to take advantage of the DC area's many cultural attractions, including the vibrant theatre scene and world-class art galleries. You may also find me at the local pub for trivia night or off hiking in somewhere in the Maryland or Virginia countryside. I am also a podcast-junkie and an avid consumer of television.

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


You can email me at ewestra at umd dot edu.