Research Overiew

One of the reasons I love philosophy is that it gives me the freedom to pursue a plurality of intellectual enterprises, both in philosophy and the sciences. For example, I have published on non-epistemic values in conservation biology and contributed to projects on open-ended evolution. But most of my work is on topics that intersect with modeling as a methodological approach.  Thinking about how you would build beings or systems can provide us a great deal of insight into the nature of our minds, the epistemic relationships between us, and feedbacks between us and the world (and how they can be improved).

For example, my research in epistemology and opinion dynamics studies phenomena such as echo chambers and polarization that emerge from interacting contributors that unfold over time. I look at how social practices arise from individual decision making, evaluate how well they do in transmitting knowledge (or true beliefs), as well as feedbacks between these practices and environmental systems.  To do this I use agent-based modeling, a computational technique that lets me simulate different ways that people could share information with each other. I can then analyze the models and use them to inform my philosophical thinking. A sample of my modeling work can be found in venues such as Synthese (penultimate draft: TrichBeliefModel) and The Journal of Mathematical Sociology (penultimate draft: Polarization). Check out my CV for the complete list of publications.