I am a graduate student in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh. I expect to earn my PhD in April of 2018. Before coming to Pitt, I earned a JD from Yale Law School in 2012. Before that, I was an undergraduate at Scripps College in Claremont, California, graduating with a BA in philosophy in 2008.
My research interests are primarily in moral, political, and legal theory. Through my work, I aim to show that Kant’s theory of right has much to contribute to a great many contemporary discussions in political and legal theory. As the foundation of his theory of right, Kant offers a distinctive conception of the right to freedom as a right to direct one’s own will in the external world consistently with others’ rights to do the same. With this conception in mind, we can rethink what it means to preserve and protect individual freedom.
My dissertation, The Material Conditions of Freedom, explores the relationship between freedom and economic and property systems. I argue that respecting the right to freedom requires both securing citizens’ access to basic resources and limiting inequalities. Further, I argue that respecting the right to freedom requires rejecting capitalism and searching instead for a system of exchange that allows democratic control of societal economic production. While freedom is often invoked to argue for the free market and against socioeconomic rights, my dissertation shows that freedom can instead be a powerful tool in refuting such arguments.
The picture above is “Heavy Circles” by Vassily Kandinsky. It is on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA–my very favorite museum.