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Last Updated: May 2023

Welcome to my personal website. Here you’ll find information about me, my work, and my interests. 

As of Fall 2022 I am pursuing a second PhD in Information at the University of Arizona’s School of Information, after my first PhD in Philosophy from the University of Miami in Fall 2014. Before this I was an assistant then associate professor of philosophy at the Lebanese American University. I decided to leave the position because of the rapidly degrading situation in Lebanon (for more, see the social engagement tab, or feel free to start here), but also because of my increasing interest in learning to work hands-on with virtual reality (VR). 

In philosophy I have three main research areas: the philosophy of mind, the early 20th century phenomenological movement, and the philosophy of technology. 

In the philosophy of mind my primary focus is perception. I accept a version of naive realism, and much of my work focuses on misperception which seems in tension with the view. Rather than adopt disjunctivism, I argue for a view on which hallucinations are a type of perception. I’ve defended this view in my dissertation, published, and forthcoming work. I’m also completing a monograph that details this view, and which more generally focuses on the limits of perception. 

I’m mainly trained in the analytic tradition but I have a strong interest in the phenomenological movement. I’ve taught phenomenology regularly, from Husserl to Levinas, and occasionally taught contemporary phenomenology. I am particularly interested in Emmanuel Levinas, whose work remains largely unknown in analytic philosophy. I find his work insightful and plan to write a book on Totality & Infinity one day. 

As part of the generation that saw the introduction of home computers, video games, and the internet, I spent a lot of time in the virtual world and with computer technology. So naturally I’ve had an interest in digital technology. Although many technological developments interest me, I’m particularly fascinated by VR and more broadly extended reality (XR) technology, which I began experimenting with in 2016. At the Lebanese American University I helped prepare an XR lab as part of a USAID fund, and after some years of dabbling with VR design informally I decided to pursue this second Ph.D. 

My current work on XR is at the intersection of my philosophical interests in misperception, phenomenology, and technology. Philosophically I’ve written on the ethics of virtual contexts, and I’m now preparing work on the nature of the virtual. My current Ph.D. aims to extend this work in an empirical direction. Tentatively my dissertation will focus on providing an experimentally informed account of the sense of presence induced by VR technology.

When I’m not doing philosophy or tinkering with VR, I spend most of my time engaged in either art or activism. Between 2015 and 2019 I was part of Beirut Madinati, a grass-roots political group in Beirut that ran for municipal then parliamentary elections. Its priorities included environmentally sustainable development, equality for women and other marginalized groups, religious coexistence, political transparency, accountability, and a policy of non-involvement in regional conflicts. Having left Beirut l now spend a lot more time with art. I particularly love the visual and performance arts, and I’m now building some VR games that combine these two interests. For more, please check out the different pages on my website.