Post-doctoral Research Fellows

Taylor Matthews - Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Ethics of Doubt

Taylor Matthews

Taylor Matthews joined the Ethics of Doubt project after completing his PhD at the University of Nottingham. His main areas of research are in epistemology and ethics, especially where the two intersect. 

Much of Taylor’s research is in virtue and vice epistemology, but he has also written on the epistemology of AI, epistemic risk, and scepticism. Over the course of the project, he aims to investigate the role that intellectual vices might play in generating sceptical scenarios, as well as how virtues such as intellectual courage can help remedy them.  

Southampton Philosophy staff page

X: @Tays95

Cæcilie Varslev-Pedersen - Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Ethics of Doubt

Cæcilie Varslev-Pedersen

Cæcilie Varslev-Pederson holds an MA and a PhD from The New School for Social Research in New York City. Prior to joining the project, she held a temporary lectureship at the University of Copenhagen. Cæcilie works on post-Kantian thought; especially the ethical, existential, and political aspects of Søren Kierkegaard’s and GWF Hegel’s philosophy. 

For the Ethics of Doubt project, Cæcilie aims to reconstruct a Kierkegaardian account of existential scepticism with a special focus on Kierkegaard’s analyses of the reluctance to alter or renounce one’s perspective on the world and on oneself.æcilieVarslevPedersen

Isabel Kaeslin - Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Ethics of Doubt

Isabel Kaeslin

Isabel Kaeslin received her PhD from Columbia University in 2019, having worked on how non-cognitive feeling states can play a role in ethics and epistemology. Her book, entitled Emotion, Cognition, and the Virtue of Flexibility was published in autumn 2023. 

Previously, Isabel was a post-doctoral researcher on a philosophy of attention project at the University of Fribourg. Isabel is excited that the Ethics of Doubt project combines ethical and existential questions with epistemic ones. She wants to zoom in on the question in what ways knowledge requires courage, what character virtues are involved in dealing with doubt, and on whether conspiracy theories and scepticism are special forms of doubt. 

Isabel will be starting on the project in September 2024.

PhD Students

Peter Heath - PHD student, Ethics of Doubt

Peter Heath

Peter is a PhD student on the project. He joined after seven years of pastoral ministry and theological study at the Universities of Oxford and Nottingham.

Peter is excited to investigate how conspiracy theories might ease cognitive dissonance for some people, and how insights from Kierkegaard might prompt us to find other ways of handling this problem.

X: @pwjheath

Amin Mostajir - PHD student, Ethics of Doubt

Amin Mostajir

Amin joins the project as a PhD student, having received his MA in Iran. What excites him about the project is that it approaches epistemological problems in an existential way, linking scepticism to failures of character, diverging from mainstream theoretical epistemology. 

Amin intends to focus on exploring the connection between self-knowledge and intellectual courage – a subject that resonates with his personal experience growing up in an environment where voicing his own perspective required courage despite potential backlash. 

X: @aminmostajir