Presidential Address of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association, 2017
In this paper I examine the puzzle of moral deference, reject a number of proposed solutions, and offer a promising proposal of my own. In brief, moral deference is problematic when the subject fails to think about an important question for herself. Wrestling with tough questions, like ethical questions, is of value. That said, I also argue that deference is epistemically appropriate. Even after having thought about a question for oneself, one should defer to the experts in cases of consensus or suspend judgment in cases of controversy.
Winner of the Gerritt and Edith Schipper Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Paper at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association
The question of the fundamental structures of experience is essential in the phenomenology of the Continental tradition. In this paper, I respond by rejecting and replacing it. First, I give a brief history of responses to this question by Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, and Levinas. I use Derrida’s response to Levinas as a way to transition the reader into putting this question under question. By further leveraging the work of Derrida and Gasché, I recast the question into 'What are the infrastructures for phenomena?' To speak of 'infrastructures' in the context of phenomenology entails that we must focus on the dynamic framework of systems that host phenomena instead of some grounding phenomenon that others experiences would supposedly derive from. The purpose of this paper is not to give a conclusive answer to this new question, but rather to render it as such, and open the field towards a process-oriented, systems phenomenology.