I am interested in choice. Every day we make a multitude of small choices. Many days, I choose not to go for a jog (despite knowing I should) and choose to eat chocolate (despite knowing I shouldn't). Then every now and then we make larger choices. We might choose a romantic partner, decide whether to have children, or engage in the important act of deciding whether to buy a front-loader or top-loader washing machine. And from these small choices and these large choices, we construct a life. Choice is kind of a big deal.
Currently, I'm a philosophy research fellow at St. John's College at Cambridge University. In my PhD thesis, I reflected on a theoretical debate about choice: the debate between proponents of causal decision theory and proponents of evidential decision theory. Here, I argued for a pluralist view, according to which both sides of this debate capture part of the truth about rational choice. In fact, rational permissibility is sometimes indeterminate (or so say I), with the causal and evidential perspectives each representing one sharpening of this vague concept. Those who think this description cryptically short might want to check out my papers.
I am also interested in various more practical questions about choice and morality. In terms of choice, I am interested in how our philosophical theories of choice can guide us in our day-to-day decision making. In order to do so, I will investigate the role that practical wisdom plays in choice, as well as investigating attempts to relax the assumptions made by formal theories of decision making.
Beyond choice, I'm also interested in the question of whether diagnostic manuals for mental health (like the DSM) create and perpetuate injustice and in questions about how we, as individuals and as a society, should navigate death and the end of life.
Beyond philosophy, I like to travel, read, go for walks and drink wine and cider in strict accordance with government-endorsed public health standards.
Jenna Kapaun (Home Page and Header)
Shyane Siriwardena (Above Photo)