I'm a PhD student studying at the University of Southern California's Department of Philosophy. My primary philosophical interests concern topics in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. I was born in Moncton and grew up in Winnipeg, Abidjan, and Montreal. I spent most of the 2000's playing music professionally. I'm lucky to be married to this lady.
My dissertation argues for a new position concerning the ontology of reasons, which I call the directive account of reasons. According to this view, reasons are not simply facts, propositions, or states of affairs, as is standardly assumed. Rather, they are complex objects. Normative reasons for action, for example, contain a proposition, like the content of the belief that the cake is made of chocolate, and a goal, like the content of the desire to eat things made of chocolate. My dissertation supports this account with two lines of argument. First, it argues that central normative concepts -- such as goodness (Chapter 2), moral worth (Chapter 3), and moral understanding (Chapter 4) -- can be analyzed only by assuming the directive account, or something relevantly similar. Second, it argues that only the directive account ascribes the correct meaning to claims that denote reasons with non-finite clauses, such as "the reason to go to the party is to dance" (Chapter 5). Finally, the directive account is better able to ground an analysis of virtue (Chapter 6) in terms of normative reasons and makes steps towards an analysis of the basing relation in epistemology (Chapter 7).
I'm also particularly interested in questions at the intersection of ethics and the philosophy of language such as questions concerning natural language modality, judgment internalism, expressivist semantics and metasemantics, and the normativity of meaning. Before coming to USC, I studied philosophy at the University of Toronto, principally with Prof. Nate Charlow, and at the University of St. Andrews, principally with Prof. Jessica Brown, who supervised my MLitt dissertation on contextualism in epistemology.