- Philosophy of Language
- Feminist Philosophy
SUNY Geneseo (B.A., Psychology)
Virginia Tech (M.A., Philosophy)
My recent research falls in the intersection of feminist philosophy, philosophy of language, and ethics. I have a particular interest in applying rigorous formal methodologies to explore and address critical issues in feminist philosophy and ethics. I believe that precise analytical tools can yield profound insights into complex ethical questions but that we have to be careful to not misapply, or overstate the impact of, these tools.
I also have developed justinfer.com, a website designed to enhance teaching and learning in formal logic. It allows professors to create courses, easily select their preferred derivation system, and generate derivation problems (or use pre-existing ones). Professors can then assign these problems to students, who can complete them on a user-friendly platform. The website automatically checks students’ work for correctness (sensitive to the derivation system selected by their professor) and tracks their progress in a gradebook. For students, this is as if an instructor is watching every step of a derivation and letting the student know immediately if that step was done correctly.
When I am not doing philosophy, I enjoy:
- Playing board games
- Socializing with friends
- Listening to music
- Learning new things
- Spending time with my dog
There are a couple of projects I am working on that are at various stages.
- Many believe that the only actions we can consent or not consent to are actions of other people. Particularly, they believe it doesn’t make sense to talk about consenting or not consenting to one’s own actions. I think this view is wrong. It does make sense to talk about a person consenting or not consenting to their own actions and this cannot be reduced purely to the notion of whether the agent voluntarily or involuntarily did the action. A quick example that illustrates, it could be the case that the child voluntarily does some action but that they do not consent to doing this action (because they are simply too young to make these decisions).
- Various philosophers have argued that in ideal cases of sex, there is not consent because it won’t make sense to talk about consent in these cases. I believe that many of the arguments in this area are mistaken. Largely, the problem with their arguments stems from a confusion between presuppositions and implicatures.
- Identifying propositions with the set of possible worlds at which the proposition is true has the infamously implausible entailment that all necessary true sentences share the same meaning. Several different extensions to this theory have been suggested to avoid this problematic entailment. One of which says that propositions are identical to the set of possible and impossible worlds at which it is true. I am working on a paper that argues that this extension (often called "Impossible World Semantics") still implausibly entails that seemingly non-synonymous sentences express the same proposition. I have presented varying versions of this project at a few conferences, most recently at the Eastern APA in January 2019. This project is low on my current research priorities but I stand by the arguments made in it and I plan to eventually finish this project.