My name is Nick Hughes. I’m a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford.
My research interests lie primarily within epistemology and ethics, but extend to issues in the philosophy of action, the philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and the theory of rationality. Most of my work to date has focused on the nature and limits of normative guidance, ‘ought-implies-can’ principles, questions about what normative and metaphysical roles knowledge plays, and the relationship between knowledge and rationality. Recently I’ve published a number of papers about the possibility, nature, and scope of epistemic dilemmas: situations in which one faces conflicting, and so jointly unsatisfiable, epistemic requirements. In ethics I’m currently working on a project about the significance of humanity in the universe, a project on Objectivism vs. Perspectivalism about moral obligations, and a project investigating what an ethical theory should look like in light of empirical work on our cognitive tendencies, biases, and limitations. In epistemology I’m working on a project about the epistemology of what I call ‘The Unruly Mind’ – aspects of cognition that agent’s don’t necessarily have control over, endorse, or feel ownership of (things like emotions, cognitive biases, aliefs, unconscious beliefs, and unconscious prejudices). I’m also working a paper about non-ideal epistemic rationality, and a paper arguing that normative epistemology is using the wrong concepts. At the intersection of ethics and epistemology, I’m working on a project arguing that it is a mistake to think of epistemology as a branch of ethics – the ethics of believing.
I can be contacted at nickhowellhughes (at) gmail (dot) com