Associate Professor of Philosophy with tenure, University of Utah
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah (2014-2020)
Areas of Specialization: Ancient Philosophy (especially Aristotle)
Philosophy of Biology
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Ph.D. in Philosophy, January 2015
Dissertation: Hylomorphism in Aristotle’s Metaphysics:
Constituent Ontology without Derivative Diversification
Advisor: Michael Loux
Committee: Sean Kelsey, Peter van Inwagen, David
With ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle) and metaphysics as my areas of specialization, along with a growing interest in philosophy of biology, my research pursues metaphysical issues in Aristotle in a systematic way and explores their relevance for contemporary metaphysical and scientific discourse.
My central focus is on the nature of matter for Aristotle, with respect to its role in both the coming to be and the being of organisms. This interest has fueled my critiques of views that see the diversity of co-specific organisms in Aristotle as derived from the diversity of their matter or form. I argue instead that organisms have their diversity non-derivatively, a thesis I take to be supported by Aristotle’s metaontology as well as other key Aristotelian metaphysical themes. My current focus is on the implications of this vision of Aristotelian organisms for the nature of Aristotelian matter, centrally in the context of organismal generation (and derivatively in the context of elemental transformation and non-substantial changes). On the contemporary front, I am researching how the very different metaontological assumptions predominant today generate different ontological problems (e.g. problems about compositional unity and change) from the ontological problems Aristotle focused on. More generally, I am interested in the nature of metaphysics for Aristotle, including how it relates to metaphysics today and to Aristotle's philosophy of science.
My anti-reductive project on Aristotle's metaphysics dovetails with my research on homology in contemporary Philosophy of Biology, supporting an account of the homology of biological traits within organisms that references the context of the organism as a whole.