Current Work

My current research projects mostly involve Kant in some form or another, with some additional forays into virtue ethics. I'm working on a new book (under contract with Oxford University Press) about Kantianism as a guide to living your life. This book is part of a larger collaborative project on philosophy as a way of life. I'm also working on several papers on Kantian vice, such as contempt, ridicule, and indifference to suffering. In virtue ethics, I'm focusing on practical wisdom, which has been puzzling me for several decades now. I'm also continuing work on the main themes of my latest book (Minding the Gap), especially the role that social conventions play in our capacity to act as better people and perhaps even become better people. Someday I hope to indulge my adoration of Jane Austen and write something about the intertwining roles of moral norms, social conventions, and aesthetics in her novels.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, I will be giving talks at Sungkyunkwan University, Washington University-St. Louis, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue, the Central APA, Concordia University (Montreal), and McMaster University.

Works in Progress

Becoming our Best Selves: Ethics with Immanuel Kant (under contract with Oxford University Press)

"Global Poverty and Kantian Vice"

"The Moral Boundaries of Mockery"

"What's Wrong with Contempt?"

"Faith in People and their Projects"

"On Helping Badly"

Recent Talks

Bates College, invited lecture, April 2018

"The Value of the Veil of Philanthropy"

American Philosophical Association, invited symposium, Pacific Division Meeting, March 2018

University of Tennessee - Knoxville, invited lecture, October 2017

"The Moral Boundaries of Mockery"

Oxford University and University of Birmingham, Jubilee Centre, Virtues in the Public Sphere, January 2018

"Moral Contempt and Moral Faith"

University of Iceland, Who's Got the Power? October 2017

"Mockery, Contempt, and Social Power"

National Institutes of Health, Department of Clinical Bioethics, May 2017

"Feminism and Moral Theory"

University of St. Andrews, Workshop on Self-Control, May 2017

"Cultivating Self-Control through Etiquette"

Johns Hopkins University, invited lecture, March 2017

"Saturday Night Live and Fiendish Joy"

American Philosophical Association, invited symposium, Eastern Division Meeting, January 2017

"Civility as Moral Scaffolding"

Creighton University, invited lecture, April 2016

"Advance Directives and Self-Sacrifice"

Auburn University, Aristotle and Kant in Conversation, March 2016

"Knowing Better: Self-Improvement in Aristotle and Kant"

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, invited seminar, March 2016

University of Maryland - College Park, invited lecture, February 2016

"The Starry Sky Above Me: Living Non-ideally by my Ideals"