In my dissertation I argue that it is not only permissible but sometimes epistemically and ethically required to defer to another’s moral testimony. Specifically, I focus on marginalized testifiers when they testify about the harms that they, themselves, have experienced as a member of a marginalized group. I contend that people who are not members of the relevant identity group have a prima facie duty to defer to those who are when the testifier is 1) a member of a marginalized group and 2) testifying about the identity-harms that they, themselves, have experienced.

Projects In Progress

  • “Experiential Deference: A Reason for Optimism About Moral Deference,” in which I argue that a certain kind of moral deference (where the testifier has both empirical and normatively-laden phenomenological information that the receiver lacks) avoids the traditional worries.
  • “Solidarity Over Charity: Mutual Aid as a Moral Alternative to Effective Altruism,” where I discuss the benefits of partial community-building compared with impartial, international aid.
  • “Signaling Vice, Status, and Nonmoral Virtues,” in which Ricky Mouser and I argue that vice signaling can highlight nonmoral virtues and statuses whose normative force is social, practical, aesthetic, or epistemic.

Future Projects

  • “Gendering AI and the Womanification of Digital Personas,” in which I explore ethical questions relating to the anthropomorphizing of AI as women to manage traditionally female-coded labor tasks.
  • “Privileged Positionality: Asymmetrical Identity Harms:” White Americans often accuse defenders of Affirmative Action or Black Lives Matter of participating in reverse racism. In this paper I provide a philosophical analysis that targets this false equivalence.
  • “Is Deference Owed?”: In the same way that we sometimes owe it to our friends and family members to believe them, because of their status as our friend, our family I argue that receivers of relative privilege owe it to marginalized testifiers to epistemically defer to them when they testify about their own identity-harms.