Philosophy

I am a current second-year Philosophy PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an aspiring philosopher, I am primarily interested in value theory and the philosophy of mindfulness. I am interested in most sub-fields of ethics, as well as social and political philosophy (particularly issues relevant to philanthropy and/or the LGBTQIA+ community). I received my BA in Philosophy with a Certificate in Ethics summa cum laude from Arizona State University in 2020. I believe philosophy can play a valuable role in working towards a more compassionate, mindful, and just society.

Some current projects include:

  • Mindfulness and Moral Emotions (MA Thesis)
    • This paper explores the relationship between mindfulness and moral emotions, and aims to show how the two are not incompatible at all (even among traditional approaches to moral emotions and reactive attitudes). I do so by (i) presenting a secular (though Buddhism-compatible) account of mindful moral emotion, (ii) arguing that under this account mindful moral emotions do not carry their apparent moral costs, and (iii) gesturing at ways in which mindful moral emotions (and mindful moral emoters) are plausibly better than their non-mindful counterparts.
  • Epistemic mindfulness
    • In this paper, I argue for a new concept: epistemic mindfulness, that can effectively serve as the conceptual basis for promising self-reflective strategies aimed at ameliorating pernicious epistemic biases and help combat what psychologists call the bias blind spot. Roughly, epistemic mindfulness involves developing one’s attention while decreasing the influence of epistemic biases on one’s reasoning. More specifically, I explicate a six-part framework for epistemic mindfulness inspired by the mindfulness research of neuroscientists David R. Vago and David A. Silbersweig, as well as philosophers Evan Thompson and Jake H. Davis.
  • The case for mindfulness-based bioethics
    • In this paper, I argue that in order to help bioethics practitioners mind the theoretical gaps in their methods, bioethicists ought to (i) insert non-theoretical, self-corrective elements into their methods and (ii) consider a mindfulness-based strategy as one promising option for such an element.
  • Academic Freedom and the Legitimacy of Transphobic Views
    • Exploring how we ought to relate to those seeking to promote transphobic views through institutional settings like the news media, universities, and publishing companies

A few questions (of many) that interest me right now:

  • How does mindfulness relate to moral agency?
  • Is mindfulness morally and/or epistemically valuable? If so, why?
  • Should we strive to live an ideally mindful life? What would such a life look like given facts about our psychology and well-being?
  • What ethical problems arise when we try to mass produce mindfulness and integrate norms of mindfulness into different public settings?
  • If there are no moral facts, or if they aren’t prescriptive, what criteria besides ‘truth’ might allow us to evaluate competing ethical theories?
  • Should we strive to shrink the influence of the nonprofit sector given its privatization and lack of regulation? If not, what kinds of regulations might better ensure nonprofits are deserving of their special tax status?