I am an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and I direct the Computational Social Philosophy Lab. During the Spring quarter of 2018, I was a Fellow of the Dartmouth Institute for Cross Disciplinary Engagement.
My research is about what we should believe, both as individuals and as groups. This includes a project in what I call “normative epistemology.” Normative epistemology is analogous to normative ethics in that whereas normative ethics is about general theories of what we ought to do, normative epistemology is about general theories of what we ought to believe. I advance a particular general theory of what we ought to believe, which is a truth-focused consequentialist view. I defend truth-focused epistemic consequentialism from a long list of objections in the literature. Truth-focused epistemic consequentialism, I argue, is uniquely positioned to vindicate the idea that what we ought to believe is determined by what gives rise to true beliefs (or accurate credences). I have several publications defending this view already, but I’m also working on a book-length manuscript defending the view.
The second part of my research uses agent-based computer models to better understand how groups of people reason together. This work has resulted in a number of insights about topics like diversity and polarization in groups, the nature of expertise, how information moves in groups, how democracies can improve or hinder information flow, and how representative and direct democracies compare. We’re currently thinking a lot about the dynamics of juries and the role of diversity in juries. For more information about that work, see the page for the Computational Social Philosophy Lab.
Before coming to Penn, I did a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Michigan. I started at Penn as an Assistant Professor in January of 2013, and I received tenure and a promotion to Associate Professor in July 2019.