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Research

One way or another, most of my work attends to the particular ethical dimensions of close personal relationships while acknowledging how these are impacted by, and play a role in, sweeping systems of oppression. I've spent time thinking about how discussions of forgiveness, moral development, love, agency, and care can grapple with this. One sort of relationship that continues to interest me is the one between a testifier and her audience, so my research sometimes intersects with social epistemology.

Published work

"In Defense of Genuine Un-Forgiving", Philosophical Studies (2024)

Lots of people think forgiveness is permanent and that there are no take-backs. This means we either can't or shouldn't "un-forgive." I argue that we can un-forgive and that it can sometimes be permissible; un-forgiving enables an ideal of forgiveness wherein victims hold wrongdoers accountable for their moral development and allows certain opportunities for relational repair. [View-only PDF here; pre-pub draft here.]

Selected works in progress

A paper on aesthetically critiquing manifestations of oppression (R&R)

We typically respond to morally offensive manifestations of oppression with moral critique. But sometimes we find ourselves aesethetically critiquing these things, describing them as uncreative, clumsy, ugly, ridiculous, unsubtle, gross, or downright boring. I examine how these critiques allow us to recover agency in response to agency-restricting double binds.

A paper on testimony and aretaic epistemic evaluation (under review; email for draft)

I argue that believing on someone's say-so involves believing them on a particular kind of evidence, and that this has implications for the nature of epistemic evaluation.

Authority, Inquiry, and Gender Avowals

I solve a puzzle about the right way to respond to gender avowals (statements like "I am a woman") in the context of close, personal relationships.

Oppression, Agency, and Depending on Others (email for draft)

Ideological associations between dependency, passivity, and certain oppressed identities make it difficult to properly interpret and empower the agency of people with these identities. I show that my account of interpersonal dependence is better suited to help us do this than other accounts.

Dissertation

Rethinking Interpersonal Dependence

In my dissertation I offer an account of interpersonal dependence. This is the sort of relation that obtains between people, I argue, when someone normatively expects work of another person, and when that second person countenances those expectations. This is what we mean when we say "I'm depending on you." I think understanding dependence this way helps us meet various anti-oppressive aims. Here is a chapter summary.

In Chapter 1, I argue that we should understand dependence as an expectation-meeting relation instead of a need-meeting relation and show that my account gives us the tools to identify and critique relations saddling women with gendered household, emotional, and epistemic labor.

In Chapter 2 (under review), I develop an account of love that directly builds in fair distribution of benefits and burdens (including dependency work).

In Chapter 3, I defend the idealized dependency relation of help as an important guiding ideal for many disabled folks and their personal assistants who reject the appropriateness of care.

I discuss some of the ideas from the dissertation in this blog post: "What Does It Mean To Depend On Someone?" (Blog of the APA, Women in Philosophy series)

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