(1)  “Tracking Intentionalism and the Phenomenology of Mental Effort”, Synthese, (2019). DOI: 

I argue that the phenomenology of mental effort or the feeling of working hard mentally is not a matter of representing features in a certain way.  I hope to extend these findings towards outlining the psychological processes behind self-interpretation. If feelings of mental effort come and go rather haphazardly, they should not be taken as sure signs of mental agency or “naturalness” during self-interpretation. That is, feelings of mental effort or lack thereof during self-interpretation should not be taken as a sign that a given self-conception is somehow more “natural” or authentic.

(2) “Emotion’s Role in the Unity of Consciousness”, Philosophical Psychology (2021). DOI:

I argue that emotion plays a key role in ensuring a unified agential and phenomenal perspective on the world. For example, while a depressed traveler perceives the top of a steep hill as unreachable, an excited child perceives it as just “a hop away”. That is, empirical findings reveal that affect functions akin to attention in organizing our experience and dictating what is actionable. As a result, split-brain patients (patients who have suffered losses to the unity to the brain areas responsible for higher-order cognition but retain undamaged emotional centers in the brain) manage to retain a unified phenomenal and agential perspective on the world.  I hope to extend these findings towards outlining the psychological processes behind self-interpretation and motivation. In particular, “affect-colored glasses” could determine our felt ability to change our circumstances and imagine a different way of being. For example, ingroup pride in the context of oppression could contribute to closemindedness or inability to imagine a different layout of the world. In turn, feelings of shame in the context of oppression could contribute to “learned helplessness” or inability to see past one’s circumstances.

(3) “Mindreading, Emotion-Regulation, and Oppression”,  Synthese (2022) DOI: 

I extend the practical account of mindreading (i.e., the view that we engage in attribution of propositional attitudes to ourselves and others in order to shape mental states in accordance with social norms), to outline the psychological mechanisms behind oppressive interpersonal dynamics. I synthesize empirical findings to show that while theorizing fosters emotional distance by “reframing” affective cues from a 3rd  person point of view, simulation fosters feelings of interpersonal intimacy and psychological continuity. As a result, theorizing and simulation play distinct roles in socio-emotional regulation and maintenance of oppressive power hierarchies. While theorizing allows oppressors to maintain emotional distance during self and other interpretation, simulation compromises the oppressed’ abilities to maintain emotional distance and look past their circumstances . I aim to extend these findings towards outlining empirically detailed interventions to oppressive interpersonal dynamics. For example, therapeutic interventions for perpetrators of oppression would involve de-emphasizing the use of theorizing and practicing simulative skills. Controlled exercises in assuming “low-ranking” roles in interpersonal interactions would trigger simulative processes and ultimately compromise their ability to remain emotionally insulated from their actions.

In Preparation 

I argue that while emotions often reveal important truths about the world (e.g., feeling sad at your friend’s departure reveals that you care about your friend), the expectancy value theory of emotion posits that people enact emotions they expect to be useful to them (e.g., athletes often drum up feelings of anger to obscure feelings of pain). The tension between these two functions of emotion helps explain closemindedness during oppression. Since oppressors grow to enjoy the use of certain emotions in everyday life (e.g., anger obscures feelings of inadequacy), they are unwilling to question whether their targets really merit this anger. I aim to extend these findings towards outlining an empirically detailed account for therapeutic interventions. In particular, I aim to show that alleviating closemindedness requires developing self-complexity (i.e., developing self-conceptions that have little conceptual and associative overlap). In this way, the overall emotion regulatory instrumentality achieved by any single self-conscious emotion would be diffused, leaving more “emotional room” for justificatory interrogation.

Refereed Conference Presentations

"Agential Skills and Self-Control”

  • Consciousness/Skill/Agency, University of Barcelona (2021)(invited)   
  • Colloque de Recherche en Philosophie Series, University of Neuchâtel (2020) (invited)
  • Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2020)
  • NYU-Columbia Graduate Conference (2019)

“Mindreading, Emotion-Regulation, and Propositional Attitudes”

  • European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2018)
  • St. Louis University Graduate Conference (2018)
  • APA Central Division (2018)

“The Role of Emotion in Moral Reasoning”

  • Cognitio Affective Minds: The Cognitive Science of Emotions and Affects (2017)
  • Omaha Workshop in the Philosophy of Emotion (2017)

“Emotion’s Role in the Unity of Consciousness"

  • Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2017)
  • University of Missouri Graduate Conference (2017)
  • Waterloo PGSA Graduate Conference (2016)

“Tracking Intentionalism and the Phenomenology of Mental Effort”

  • APA Eastern Division – Symposium (2017)
  • Southeast Graduate Philosophy Conference (2016)
  • UAPA 9th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference (2016)
  •  Australasian Association of Philosophy (2013)