I am an Assistant Professor in the philosophy department at Brigham Young University (as of Fall 2017). Prior to this appointment, I received my Ph.D. from UC San Diego (June 2014) and taught at Virginia Tech (2014-2017).
I signed up for Introduction to Philosophy during my freshman year of college. We read Descartes’ Meditations and then debated about whether we can know if anything exists outside the mind and, if so, what those objects are like. I am still puzzling over these issues, though now I am the one teaching Descartes’ Meditations to Introduction to Philosophy students.
My research to this point has focused mostly on early modern epistemology and metaphysics. (I am still working on a reply to Descartes’ skeptical arguments!) For example, I am interested in how, according to Locke, sense perception can give us knowledge of the existence of objects and their properties. This was the topic of my dissertation and related publications in the History of Philosophy Quarterly (2018) and Locke Studies (2013, 2016). I also have published papers on miracles and the laws of nature on Locke in the Southern Journal of Philosophy and Hume the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, the latter of which won second place in the 2017 ACPQ Rising Scholar Essay Contest!
Another area of my research concerns the philosophy of religion (both historical and contemporary). In addition to the work on miracles mentioned above, I am currently writing about how Locke thinks that revelation can provide evidence for religious belief. Also, in a recent paper in Sophia (2019), I present a novel approach to explaining how human freedom is compatible with divine foreknowledge.
Outside the halls of academia, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 4 boys, hiking in the Rockies, and watching movies and sports (though I never watch TV shows).