My current focus is on the philosophy of animal minds, conceptual holism, and normativity.
“What Frege asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.” Philosophical Psychology, vol. 33, no. 2, 2020, pp. 206-227.
Abstract: I argue that Pepperberg's work with Alex (and other African grey parrots) provides evidence that the vocal articulations of at least some parrots have conceptual content. Using Frege's insight that numbers assert something about a concept, I argue that Alex's ability to answer the question "How many?" depended upon a prior grasp of conceptual content. Frege's theoretical insight and Pepperberg's empirical work provide reason to reconsider the capabilities of parrots, as well as what sorts of tasks provide evidence for conceptual content.
“Skeptical Symmetry: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Scientific Reasoning.” Gnosis, vol. 4, no. 2, 2016, pp. 14-19.
Abstract: I argue that a demand for justification of the very inferences that are required for justification (i.e. in the problem of induction), is deeply confused. Using a Wittgensteinian approach, I argue that justification has an internal relation with deductive and inductive inferences. Separating justification from the structure of the inference (e.g. deduction or induction) so that one can be used to ground the other is then a misunderstanding of the essentially binded structure these concepts have.
“Review of Damn Great Empires! William James and the Politics of Pragmatism, by Alexander Livingston.” William James Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 2019, pp. 94-101.
“Human Development and the Extended Mind: Review of Becoming Human: The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality by Jennifer Greenwood.” Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, vol. 23, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1092-1093.
“Animals that can do math understand more language than we think.” The Conversation, May 28, 2020.
Abstract: Some philosophers claim that understanding a word requires one to understand its connection to other words. Using this claim, they have argued that talking animals, like parrots, are only capable of mimicry. Using Frege's insight into the structure of number concepts, I argue that nonhuman animals who can count or do basic arithmetic demonstrate that they understand these connections. The linguistic capabilities of humans are therefore less unique than we tend to think.
Header Photo Credit: The Take Off by @greatgatsbyphotography