About Me

(Page en français)

I’m a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University until December 2021. I work under the supervision of Selim Berker. My current research focuses on the (ir)relevance of ideals in ethics and epistemology.

In 2022, I will be joining l’École de technologie supérieure (Montréal, CA).

In 2019, I completed my Ph.D. in Philosophy at Université de Montréal, working under the supervision of Daniel Laurier. My dissertation tries to determine whether rationality is normative.

Email: mk.daoust@live.ca

Research projects

I am interested in normative problems that combine ethics and epistemology. For example, what is the relevance of ideals in ethics and epistemology? Should we base our decisions on rational beliefs? In societies like ours, why should we promote diversity?

In addition to my current research on the recourse to ideals in epistemology and ethics, I have mostly worked on the following two projects:

The Normativity of Rationality

Is rationality normative? In other words, do we fall under an obligation to be rational? Rationality requires various things of agents. Presumably, rationality has to do with coherence, but also with how well we respond to the reasons we have.

My contributions to this debate fall into two categories. First, I have tried to figure out the extent to which we can tie rationality to coherence requirements. Second, I have tried to figure out the interactions there are between coherence requirements and requirements of responsiveness to reasons, and how these interactions matter for vindicating the normativity of rationality.

Scientific Neutrality and Deliberation

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Scientific neutrality refers to various accounts of science, such as the value-free ideal defended by positivists or the Weberian account of axiological neutrality. Roughly, the issues are (1) whether science should be guided by contextual (ethical or political) values and (2) whether there is a justified procedure for choosing them.

My contribution to this debate has been to explore the relationship between norms of value-free science and norms of good deliberation.