My research addresses the question of how diverse individuals, who disagree on a wide range of fundamental questions, can live together in a shared social world. I’ve found that tackling this question requires approaching various topics in political philosophy using a wide range of theoretical tools. I’ve worked on questions ranging from legitimacy, democratic theory, distributive justice, and public reason liberalism, and I’ve addressed these questions using methods such as social choice theory, agent-based modeling, and, of course, more typical philosophical argumentation, as well as often drawing on insights in the empirical social sciences.
My dissertation Equality and the Social Contract examines the relationship between egalitarianism and social contract theory. In it, I defend what I call the justificatory egalitarian thesis: if we take for granted that we owe interpersonal justification to one another, certain egalitarian conclusions follow. Namely, the egalitarian principle that we ought to relate as equals in the context of public social status. I defend the justificatory egalitarian thesis by arguing that it is justified on almost any approach to social contract theory. I go on to examine the social, economic, and political implications of the aforementioned relational egalitarian moral principle.
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"Democratic Public Justification," Canadian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming) It would seem natural to think that democracy would be a reliable means to track what laws or policies that are publicly justified. But why? I examine the mechanisms by which democratic institutions would choose publicly justified outcomes, and argue that they might not be as reliable as first thought. I go on to argue that such unreliability can ameliorated through the use of lotteries in democracy.