Research

Here is an overview of the various topics I am currently working on. Please email me for drafts of papers in progress, comments would be very much appreciated!

Species classification & Taxonomic disorder

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Taxonomists agree that species are independently evolving lineages, but use a wide range of different methods and criteria for operationalising this notion. The result is that species classification may turn out vastly different depending on the particular methodological choices of taxonomists, and that species are not comparable. The resulting state of disorder directly affects users of taxonomy, such as conservation biologists, evolutionary biologists and law makers, who assume the comparability of species. I use text and data mining to investigate patterns in this disorder. In addition, I investigate the implications of this disorder and the feasibility of the solutions that have been proposed to resolve it.

Values in Science

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Questions about the appropriate role for values in science have recently received much attention from philosophers of science. However, most of this research focuses on the role of values in inference, theory choice and scientific models. I am interested in the ways norms and values play a role in scientific classification, and try to connect the literature on values in science to the extensive philosophical literature on scientific classification and natural kinds.

Metaphilosophy

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I am interested in the functioning of philosophy as an academic discipline. This includes the status of philosophical concepts as well as the role of bias in philosophy.

  • Against natural kind eliminativism (Published in Synthese)

  • Liberalism, moral realism, and bias in moral philosophy (under review, email for draft)

  • Isolation, significance, and progress in philosophy (under review, email for draft)

Research Funding

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I am part of the KU Leuven working group on research funding. I am also interested in how currently used mechanisms for allocating research funds impact science, how effective and efficient they are, which alternatives we should consider, and how these mechanisms incentivize questionable scientific practices.

  • Grant writing and grant review as ethically questionable research practices (in progress, email for draft)

  • Would it be better to burn research funding than to distribute it? (in dutch) (published in Karakter, email for draft)

  • Towards an optimal distribution of research funding at KU Leuven (in dutch), report of the KU Leuven working group on research funding (to be released soon)