Research

Publications

  • Harmful Salience Perspectives, forthcoming in S. Archer, ed., Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry, Routledge.

Consider a terrible situation that too many women find themselves in: 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales alone every year. Many of these women do not bring their case to trial. There are multiple reasons that they might not want to testify in the courts. The incredibly low conviction rate is one. Another reason, however, might be that these women do not want the fact that they were raped to become the most salient thing about them. More specifically, they do not want it to be the thing that others attend to the most—that others find most noticeable and memorable. In this paper, I introduce the notion of ‘harmful salience perspectives’ to help to explain this and related phenomena. This refers either to attention on things that should not be salient, or not enough attention on things that deserve to be made salient. Following ideas within the feminist literature on objectification, I argue that we can be harmed when aspects of our identity that do not reflect our personhood – our agency, rationality, personality, and so on – are more prominent in the minds of others than aspects that do reflect our personhood. Crucially, these ways of attending do not need to implicate false beliefs and harmful ideologies to be harmful, but can be harmful in their own right. 

  • Invisible Labour in the Academy: The Politics of Working with Time, co-authored with Paulina Sliwa, Tyler Denmead, and Arathi Sriprakash. Forthcoming in K. Facer, J. Seibers, & B. Smith, eds., Time as Method, Routledge.

We argue that using a calendar-tracker to capture invisible labour in the academy comes with conceptual and ethical limitations, which might affect how successfully our tracker can provide academics with conceptual resources to understand their invisible work as work.

  • Book Review of J. Tabery’s ‘Beyond Versus: The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture, published in International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 2015, 29(3).

PhD

My PhD, undertaken at the University of Cambridge, developed the concept of a ‘salience perspective’. This refers to the structure and/or presentation of some (linguistic or mental) contents, to make some contents more prominent than others. For instance, we might structure some linguistic contents by talking about one content before another. We might structure some mental contents by better noticing and remembering certain contents over others. I argued that certain patterns of salience can both cause and constitute harm. For instance, a woman’s appearance might be made more salient than her talents: I argue that this salience pattern might causally activate harmful sexually objectifying beliefs about women, but also constitute a subtle and insidious form of objectification.