Prior to coming to UNC, Michael taught as a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles. This is also where he also earned his Bachelor’s degree, and where he was awarded the Donald Kalish Prize for Intellectual Excellence. Michael’s Master’s thesis, titled “Metaethical Revisionism: A Response to Error Theory”, was supervised by Guy Kahane at Oxford University. At Oxford Michael was the recipient of the Ethics Scholarship from St. Anne’s College, and received an examination distinction in political philosophy.
Michael believes that both philosophy and society would be better off if philosophers were more engaged with the public. Consequently, he runs a blog called The Practical Philosopher, which applies the tools of academic philosophy to topics of ordinary interest. He also volunteers for the Senior Outreach Initiative of the department’s outreach program.
Michael’s primary research interests are in metaethics, political philosophy, and a relatively new sub-field called “conceptual engineering”. (He has a paper on conceptual engineering forthcoming in Inquiry.) He is also very interested in wellbeing: both what it is, and how we can promote it. Michael is a terrible snob about coffee, roasting his own coffee beans, and committed to a lifetime of consensual espresso addiction. He is also an amateur powerlifter, minimalist, and loves to travel.