Ph.D.Philosophy-Neuroscience-PsychologyWashington University in St. Louis
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at St. Norbert College.
I investigate the role of emotion in various mental processes like evaluation, motivation, mindreading, and imagination. Then, I apply these findings towards understanding the nature of human agency (i.e., the ability to make sense of our experience and organize our lives). In my dissertation I argue that, pace the venerable “reason versus passions” dichotomy, affect plays an important role in a large number of mental processes, ranging from feelings of mental effort (Synthese, 2019) and the unity of consciousness (Philosophical Psychology, 2020), to attributing mental states to oneself and others (Synthese, forthcoming). In particular, I show that affect plays a key role in determining what we feel to be actionable, how we interpret our mental states and the mental states of others, and the type of normative and psychological pressures we exert during interpersonal interaction.
Affect’s pervasive role in interpersonal and intrapersonal psychological processes creates large regulative demands on the agent. The way we negotiate these demands during self-interpretation and interpretation of others sheds light on the psychological processes behind oppressive interpersonal dynamics.
I was born in the Soviet Union to a Ukrainian mother and a Tajiki father. They were an odd couple of a classical pianist and a rocket scientist. I grew up playing classical piano, painting, and reading Dostoevsky. Once my family immigrated to Los Angeles, I developed an interest in understanding the mind in a more systematic fashion. When I am not doing philosophy or painting, I am out gardening or hiking with my four pets.