Research Interests & Publications

My overarching research aspiration is to robustly link questions of practical political philosophy with an explanation of the underlying nature of social reality. I am interested in exploring the relationships between the nature of political obligation, notions of the ‘good life’ and our (individual and collective) sense of self.

I convene the Philosophy of Oppression and Emancipation (POE) departmental reading group. We have been focusing on feminist philosophy, critical philosophy of race, philosophy of disability, philosophy of sexuality, radical philosophy (e.g. Marxism, Anarchism, Green politics etc) and issues of oppression and emancipation more broadly.

Selected publications and future plans:

“Love, Plural Subjects & Normative Constraint”

A peer reviewed published article in the journal Phenomenology and Mind, IUSSpress. In this paper I discuss the idea that we can understand the claims Robert Nozick has made about “love’s bond”, using the tools of Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory. This paper was cited by C.S.I. Jenkins in paper ‘Modal Monogamy’ in Ergo.

“How Where I Stand Constrains Where We Stand”

A chapter in the peer reviewed collected volume of papers Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents; Contributions to Social Ontology, Springer Philosophical Studies Series. Vol. 121, Konzelmann Ziv, Anita; Schmid, Hans Bernhard (Eds.) Springer, Dordrecht. In this paper I defend the idea that we can make sense of a collective will that can constrain individual action by extending Michael Bratman’s account of the grounds of the constraint placed upon an agent by their own will.

Race and the normative force of unchosen and unjust social roles – Under review

Charles Mills claims that there are specific ‘civic and political duties’ held by people in virtue of the racial social roles they occupy. However, we might resist the idea that non-voluntary and morally problematic roles can ground genuine normativity. In this paper I argue that we should take the felt normativity of non-ideal social roles seriously. Further, I argue that we should agree with Mills that one’s race constitutes a social role with normative force. I claim that Mills is wrong to seek to ground this normativity in an actual social contract (the ‘racial contract’) and I argue instead that Margaret Gilbert’s account of joint commitment, and its accompanying notion of collective intentionality, can be developed so as to provide a more promising proposal.

“Racial bias, rational motivation and constituting a ‘we’”

A paper in preparation for a special issue of the Journal of Applied Philosophy on Bias in Context. This joint issue arises from the 3rd Bias in Context Workshop which was held at the University of Sheffield and had the theme of “Interpersonal Interventions and Collective Action,”. I presented this paper there (then titled “Bias & constituting a ‘we’”). This paper argues that in addition to undermining individual rationality, bias can entangle us into collective agencies which then compel us – by virtue of collective rationality – to act in problematic ways.

“Race and the normative force of oppressive social roles”

A paper presented at the Role Ethics Network Workshop at the The Open University’s Scotland Office, Edinburgh. Further, as part of working on this paper, I also recently discussed it at a “pre-read” conference ‘Social Philosophy: Work-in-Progress’ at the university of Nottingham. An abstract for this paper has been submitted as part of a proposal to Oxford University Press for a collected volume comprising of a set of field-leading critical chapters on ‘the ethics of roles’. This paper explores the idea that specific ‘civic and political duties’ held by people in virtue of the social roles they occupy are grounded in group identity and collective intentionality.

“Collective achievement and the possibility of collective well-being”

A paper in early stages, currently waiting on colleague feedback and considering appropriate potential venues for publication. This paper will argue that the possibility of collective achievement indicates that we may have to make conceptual room (within our theories of well-being) for the possibility of collective well-being.

No current title, on topic of social class.

Additionally, I am currently in the process of arranging a meeting with two colleagues at the University of Nottingham who share research interests in social metaphysics – in particular we are interested in the seemingly underdeveloped area (within this context) of social class. My intention is that this will develop into future research projects and possible collaborative work.