Most of my research focuses on beliefs. I am interested in what kind of beliefs individuals hold and why they hold them. More specifically, my work has been looking at how irrational agents revise their beliefs and come to their (epistemic) senses, so to speak.
While most of the debate on irrational phenomena (e.g. wishful thinking, akrasia, self-deception) has been focusing on the question of how we ‘backslide’, my work focuses on the overlooked phenomenon where agents abandon their irrational, albeit oftentimes comforting, beliefs for the price of a cold truth.
In my dissertation I examine the phenomenon of self-deception and develop an account of how individuals cease to be self-deceived. I'm also currently working on issues about group agency and self-control.
Papers (drafts available on request)
Self-Control in Action and Belief (with Sarah Stroud), Philosophical Explorations (conditionally accepted).
In this paper we advance a transversal account of self-control that applies both to the domain of action and to the domain of belief.
[Paper on Self-Deception], currently under review.
Here I explore and propose my own account of self-deception's parallel phenomenon of ceasing to be self-deceived.
[Paper on Self-Deception], final draft ready.
I defend a view of self-deception as a violation of the individual's own epistemic norms, and show how this characterization is superior to the dominant standard view of the phenomenon.
[Paper on Adaptive Preferences], final draft ready.
I argue that the metaethical distinction about internal and external reasons can inform questions pertaining the autonomy of individuals with adaptive preferences. The paper examines whether individuals whose preferences are adaptive qualify as autonomous according to John Martin Fischer and Michael Ravizza’s reasons-responsiveness account of autonomy, in particular when internal and external reasons are considered. I show that while externalism’s verdict is that adaptive preferences are nonautonomous, internalism is instead committed to conclude that they are autonomous.
Can Groups Be Self-Deceived? (with Éliot Litalien), in preparation.
We argue that a coherent account of group self-deception is problematic.
From Psychometrics to Ethics: A Moral Dilemma for Response Shift in Health-Related Quality of Life, in preparation.
This paper is the result of work I have done as member of a research project led by Eran Tal (McGill) on validity in psychometrics. Here I examine an ethical dilemma physicians face between testing patients' treatments' success and improving patients' health.
Project on Conspiracy Theories:"Beliefs Locked and Loaded"
This ongoing project focuses on conspiratorial beliefs, and it advances a new argument for why they are so tenaciously resistant to revision. In a nutshell, I argue that conspiratorial beliefs (including anti-vaccine attitudes) are not standard, bland beliefs, but rather they are what I call loaded beliefs. That is, they are beliefs that in addition to having epistemic functions (e.g. to aid in navigating the environment) also possess the following non-epistemic functions: they allow those who hold them to be the main character of a self-serving narrative and speak to their identity in important ways, they provide purpose and meaning, they are emotionally charged, they bind people together, they modulate access to specific communities, and so on.
I suggest that what makes loaded beliefs locked, in the sense of being resistant to revision, is precisely their non-epistemic features which give back positive returns to those individuals who hold those loaded beliefs. Because loaded beliefs have an affective component, evidence alone is often unsuccessful when it comes to revision as it exclusively targets evidential considerations. And this raises challenges that pertain to the role that loaded beliefs play in relation to technology and society. In particular, issues that I am tackling in my work are whether, and how, responsible technology has been for spreading loaded beliefs, and whether it has contributed to making these beliefs so immune to revision.