Publications

Book

Games: Agency as Art (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). Games occupy a unique and valuable place in our lives. Game designers do not simply create worlds; they design temporary selves. Game designers set what our motivations are in the game and what our abilities will be. Thus: games are the art form of agency. By working in the artistic medium of agency, games can offer a distinctive aesthetic value. They support aesthetic experiences of deciding and doing.

And the fact that we play games shows something remarkable about us. Our agency is more fluid than we might have thought. In playing a game, we take on temporary ends; we submerge ourselves temporarily in an alternate agency. Games turn out to be a vessel for communicating different modes of agency, for writing them down and storing them. Games create an archive of agencies. And playing games is how we familiarize ourselves with different modes of agency, which helps us develop our capacity to fluidly change our own style of agency.

 

Papers

Aesthetics

The Uses of Aesthetic Testimony (British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1), 2017: 19-36). On what how much we actually do trust each other on aesthetic matters, and what that means for the objectivity of aesthetic judgment.

Epistemology

Cognitive Islands and Runaway Echo Chambers (Synthese, forthcoming). In some domains, we must exercise our own abilities in order to decide which experts to trust. This leads us vulnerable to a runaway bootstrapping effect, where flawed abilities compound themselves through the choice of bad experts.

Escape the Echo Chamber (Aeon Magazine). “Epistemic bubbles” are informational networks that leave out relevant voices. “Echo chambers” are social structures where insiders are taught to systematically distrust outside voices. Echo chambers can only be fixed by repairing broken trust.

Autonomy, Understanding, and Moral Disagreement (Philosophical Topics 38 (2), 2010: 111-29). On why doubting your moral beliefs based on disagreement doesn’t violate moral autonomy.

“Hyper-Specialization and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Autonomy” (Philosophical Inquiries, forthcoming). The way we have to trust experts shows that there are several distinct conceptions of intellectual autonomy.

“From Disagreement to Humility” (forthcoming, Wright and Snow (eds.), Humility: It’s Nature and Function. OUP.) Why the right response to moral disagreement is usually humility and self-doubt.

An Ethics of Uncertainty (2011). My dissertation on the relationship between moral self-trust, disagreement, and self-doubt.

Philosophy of Games

(there’s an annotated explanation of my philosophy of games work)

Philosophy of Games (Philosophy Compass, 12 (8), 2017)

Competition as Cooperation (Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (1), 2017: 123-37)

The Forms and Fluidity of Game Play (forthcoming, Hurka (ed.) Suits and Games. OUP.)

“Games and the Moral Transformation of Violence” (forthcoming, Tavinor and Robson (ed.) The Aesthetics of Videogames. Routledge.)

Good Violence, Bad Violence: The Ethics of Competition in Multiplayer Games, with Jose Zagal (DiGRA/FDG ’16 – Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG)

 

Short pieces

The Aesthetics of Rock Climbing (Philosopher’s Magazine, 78, 2017: 37-43)

An Aesthetics of Games (brief item for the American Society of Aesthetics Newsletter 34 (1), 2016)

What’s Missing From Cookbook Reviews  (AFB). On why cookbook reviews don’t talk about how it feels to cook, and the general exclusion of the eater’s movement

Algorithmic Satire (AFB). On comedy by bot, where the algorithm is the point