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Paul is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the 2013 - 2014 year. He received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Virginia in May of 2013. In his dissertation he argued for a new way of thinking about the fundamental features of the world--the basic properties that together make up the qualitative way the world is. One interesting consequence of his arguments is that certain important features of the world turn out to be fundamental--features which many philosophers have denied are fundamental. These include the features of modality--i.e., possibility and necessity—along with intentionality and morality, among others.
As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Paul will be researching and writing for a book project on science and morality. The key question of this project is whether the methods of science can tell us what is right and wrong, good and bad, and how we should live. Both historical and contemporary approaches will be examined.
In addition to metaphysics and the history of the science of morality, Paul's research interests include the nature of free will, the nature of doubt, and issues in epistemology and philosophical methodology.