About me (Confidential, no sharing)

I’m a philosopher in the Department of Magical Theory, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where I also help edit The Ilvermorny Review of Magical Theory & Philosophy. I passed my O.W.L. and N.E.W.T exams at Hufflepuff House, Hogwarts.

My research centers on the philosophy and theory of magic, often drawing on contemporary muggle philosophy. My primary interest is in the ontology of magic: What, if anything, is magic? Conventionally, this question has been phrased by way of a reductionist project, that is, whether magic is reducible to (muggle-)physical terms. However, I think this is hugely unhelpful, if not misleading. Instead, I suggest we should formulate the question in terms of grounding, and focus more narrowly on magical abilities rather than on this umbrella term “magic.” In my view, it is both our biology and our social relations that ground our magical abilities. I’m working closely with my colleagues here at Ilvermorny on an interdisciplinary research program that aims to identify the biological correlates of magic (BCM), which, if successful, will provide plausible candidates for the grounds of our magical abilities. But I’m also very interested in how our magical abilities are at least in part (and I think, in fact, constitutively) socially constructed. Of course, a muggle without the relevant biological structures can’t acquire magical abilities, but more importantly, someone with the relevant biological structures still can’t acquire magical abilities, unless they are related in the right kind of way to other wizarding people and the social structures of the wizarding world.

Many of my other works focus on the widespread racism, ableism, sexism, heterosexism and cisgenderism in the wizarding world, and the oppression and sometimes outright slavery of magical creatures (including house-elves).

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