Research

I have three main research projects:

Vagueness, Indeterminacy, and Choice

Standard models of decision-making assume total precision in our preferences and beliefs. But there is a lot of debate about whether we can or should be so precise. I am interested in the connections between phenomena including imprecise preferences, vague projects, unsharp credences, and the Incommensurability of Value.

I am particularly interested in the implications of these for climate change: how can it be rational to forego a flight now, to mitigate climate change in fifty years, even as we admit that each flight has negligible climate effect? And can this question be answered publicly?

Publications:

  1. Tenenbaum and Raffaman on Vague Projects, the Self-Torturer, and the Sorites in Ethics Vol. 126, No. 2 (January 2016), pp. 474–488. doi:10.1086683533.
  2. Heaps and Chains: is the Chaining Argument for Parity a Sorites? in Ethics Vol. 124, No. 3 (April 2014), pp. 557–571.
  3. Borderline Cases and the Collapsing Principle in Utilitas (2014): volume 26, issue 01, pp. 51–60. (Copyright belongs to Cambridge University Press, and the journal may be found online here

Internalism and Nihilism

I’m interested in Humean or internalist accounts of reasons, especially in what these ‘austere’ theories say about our place in the world, and how much they deserve to be called nihilist. How much support does modern science provide to a nihilist view of the world?

Impartialist Satisficing

Satisficing consequentialism is a natural response to ‘demandingness’ worries that beset its maximising cousins, but it has proved rather unpopular. Most defences of satisficing have adopted ‘agent-relative’ versions of the view, but I consider a full-blown agent-neutral satisficing normative theory.

Teaching

I am on research leave for the Autumn and Spring terms 2016-17, but in Summer I will teach PP1EL: Elementary Logic.

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