Research

Most simply, I am interested in communication. More specifically, my interests focus in three areas:

Modeling non-ideal conversations
Most models that philosophers of language and linguists use to model conversational communication are designed to account for simple pragmatic inferences. Often, scalar implicatures (i.e. when a speaker utters “I have three children,” a hearer can infer that she means “I have three and only three children,” despite that her utterance is consistent with her having more) are easily explained, but rarely do theorists consider what happens when the derivation is more complicated, or when the speaker and the hearer have different expectations about the situation. I use a Bayesian model to consider how to relational dynamics, such as power dynamics and structural inequalities, that come to bear on communication.

Consent
Consent is, in the most straightforward cases, a communicative phenomenon. Yet consent has been explored very little in philosophy of language. I attempt to understand the communicative nature of consent, including the phenomenon I call “ambiguous consent.” Ambiguous consent occurs when one party takes all other relevant parties to have consented to an activity, but at least one other party does not take themselves to have consented.