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)
    • Many people (particularly Buddhists) believe that being a mindful person is generally a morally good way to be. But this idea appears to conflict with common intuitions about moral emotions—particularly blaming emotions like guilt and resentment—and makes it look like being a mindful person might sometimes make one morally worse. In this paper, I reconcile this tension by (i) presenting a secular (though Buddhism-compatible) account of mindful moral emotion and (ii) arguing that under this account mindful moral emotions do not carry their apparent moral costs, or at the very least such costs are compensated by comparable moral gains. Along the way, I argue that key assumptions motivating the apparent tension are ultimately misguided, while gesturing at ways in which mindful moral emotions (and mindful moral emoters) are plausibly morally better than their non-mindful counterparts. In the end, I show that you can be a mindful blame-embracer without risking any virtue.
  • What is a mindful person?
    • I am working on a new, philosophically precise account of dispositional mindfulness (i.e., trait mindfulness, or, what it is to be a mindful person).
  • 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?