Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to peek someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
The nature of normativity, expressivism, moral epistemology, moralism
Graduate Student Supervision
Master's Student Supervision (2010-2017)
This thesis investigates the prospects of a position in metaethics called moral naturalism. Moral naturalism can be summarized as two claims. First, moral naturalism is a form of moral realism, which states that there are true moral claims that hold irrespectively of a person’s attitudes or beliefs. Second, moral naturalism claims that these moral claims are about properties that are part of the natural world. The central challenge facing moral naturalism is to explain how these moral properties fit into the natural world. Are moral properties reducible to, or identical with, natural properties? If so, is there a semantic explanation for why moral properties are related to some natural properties, and not others? Two major arguments, the Open Question Argument and the Moral Twin Earth Argument, have suggested that such a semantic explanation is not possible, which would make moral naturalism an implausible position to hold. This thesis investigates the prospects for moral naturalism by assessing the success of these arguments.The conclusions offered in this thesis are conservative. Both arguments turn out to depend on controversial, yet plausible, assumptions. In the case of the Open Question Argument, I argue that the success of the argument is sensitive to the form of moral naturalism under consideration; while it is fairly clear that it succeeds against reductive moral naturalism, it is less clear that it undermines non-reductive moral naturalism. It is clearer that the Moral Twin Earth Argument is successful, but it cannot categorically rule out every semantic explanation that the moral naturalist might advance.