Last Updated: November 2022
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. Before this I was an associate professor at the Lebanese American University, but decided to leave because of the rapidly degrading situation (see the social engagement tab for more, or feel free to start here). I completed my first PhD in philosophy at the University of Miami in Fall 2014.
I have three main research areas in philosophy: 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 as a result 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 defend this view in my dissertation, published and forthcoming work, and a currently incomplete monograph.
I’m mainly trained in the analytic tradition but I have a strong interest in the phenomenological movement. I am particularly interested in Emmanuel Levinas, whose work remains largely unknown in the analytic tradition. I find his work to contain meaningful insights that are worth dwelling on, and am currently preparing a new paper on his work.
As part of the generation that saw the introduction of home computers and the internet, I spent a lot of time tinkering in the virtual world. Many technological developments interest me, but in 2016 I formed a particular interest in extended reality (XR) technologies. After years of working with XR devices informally, and helping build an XR lab at the Lebanese American University, I decided to pursue a second Ph.D. with the aim of developing my research on this fascinating technology.
My work on XR technologically intersects with my philosophical research on misperception, but I also write on the ethics of XR technology. Along with AI, XR technology will have a profound impact on the way humans live and conceive of their reality. So I believe our best chance of successfully navigating these large changes is to think carefully about them now.
In my current Ph.D. I hope to extend my work to include empirical research on XR technology. My current focus is on becoming proficient at designing XR experiences, AI, and using natural language processing techniques. In the future I hope to create integrated XR experiences for education, work on technology policy, and study subjects in XR contexts alongside my philosophical work. Tentatively my dissertation will focus on providing an empirical and conceptual account of the sense of presence induced by virtual reality technology.
When I’m not doing philosophy or fiddling with technology, I spend my time with art or activism. Between 2015 and 2019 I was part of Beirut Madinati, a grass-roots political group in Beirut that prioritized environmentally sustainable development, equality for women and other marginalized groups, religious coexistence, political transparency and accountability, and a policy of non-involvement in regional conflicts. The little free time I have now in Tucson is spent designing virtual reality experiences or exploring the city. For more, check out the different pages on my website.