I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at Stanford University, working primarily on the ethics of motivation.
In my dissertation, I emphasize the intrinsic significance of an agent’s motives. But unlike virtue ethics, which seeks to replace rule-based and consequence-based approaches to ethics, I favor a motive-based approach that complements (rather than competes with) existing rule- and consequence-based approaches. This dualism of approaches at once reframes and illuminates several longstanding issues in ethics, such as: how it is that ethics asks so much of deeply deficient humans (the problem of ‘ought’ implies ‘can’); how ethics is to go past the theoretical and guide us in practical ways (the problem of action-guidance); and how ethical guidance is to take place without taking over our personal relationships, making us detached and alienated (the problem of moral schizophrenia).
My heritage and background play a role in related philosophical interests. Having been raised between Mexican and US cultures, I’m interested in social philosophy, especially Latin American philosophy. My academic background in computer science inspires work in the ethical and legal implications of technology. Lastly, I have interests in metaethics and in philosophy of religion.
When away from philosophy, I’m probably either: (a) trying to crush the will of family and friends in some competitive game or other; or (b) enjoying storytelling in one of its many forms, especially music.