I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the supervision of Paul Guyer in Philosophy at Brown University. My research is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I completed my doctoral studies in Philosophy at the University of Alberta last year. My areas of specialization are Kant’s philosophy, early modern philosophy, and aesthetics.
I have been working on Kant’s philosophy since my masters degree, however my dissertation project gave me the opportunity to work and write on early modern philosophers, particularly German Rationalists, and their connection to Kant, and on contemporary theories of art criticism and the relevance of Kant’s work today. In my doctoral dissertation, “A Kantian Theory of Art Criticism,” I argued that Kant’s aesthetic theory yields a fruitful theory of art criticism and that this theory presents an alternative both to the existing theories of his time and to contemporary theories. I have been publishing parts of my dissertation as a series of articles (one already published in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, one forthcoming in Natur und Freiheit, one conditionally accepted in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, one still in progress). I have received three essay prizes for my articles, including the John Fisher Memorial Prize in Aesthetics (see below).
There are two recent projects I am engaged in, both of which address cross-disciplinary issues. Here are brief descriptions of each project:
Historical and Contemporary Approaches to Imaginative Resistance
The first project, which is funded by Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, concerns the relationship between two different value judgments, aesthetic and moral judgments. My objective is to develop a better understanding of the bearing of ethical and aesthetic evaluations of artworks on one another through an examination of historical and contemporary approaches to the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. In a cross-disciplinary project drawing on the implications of recent psychological research, I aim to provide an explanation of the phenomenon of imaginative resistance by bringing to the table a novel approach to the issue, one that places central importance on the constitutive effect of the emotion of disgust in both moral and aesthetic evaluations. I have presented a paper where I criticize some of the recent trends in imaginative resistance research and put forward a positive account at the Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress in May 2016 in Toronto. I will also present this paper, “Out of Mind, Out of Sight,” at the APA Pacific Division Meeting in San Diego in 2018.
Art as a Social Kind
The second project, I am very excited about, brings together discussions on social and natural kinds in metaphysics, philosophy of biology, and aesthetics. In a recent talk I had a chance to present at the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science Annual Meeting and at the Western Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Meeting this year, I utilize a new theory of social and natural kinds in explaining what kind of a kind art is. My plan is to further look into the merits of this theory and expand it to explore the possible correlations between various kinds in art and biology.
Values and Society (MacEwan University) – Syllabus
Knowledge and Reality (MacEwan University) – Syllabus
Philosophy of Criticism (University of Alberta) – Syllabus
Existentialism (University of Alberta & MacEwan University) – Syllabus
Philosophy and Health Care (University of Alberta & MacEwan University) – Syllabus
Early Modern Philosophy – Syllabus