Patricio A. Fernandez will spend his fellowship year studying the connection between practical moral cognition—the moral knowledge of ordinary agents--and philosophical ethical knowledge—the moral knowledge of philosophers--with the goal of producing a series of articles and eventually a book. Following Aristotle’s lead, his project is crucially guided by the conviction that questions concerning the sort of universality that belongs to the ethical knowledge of morally excellent people and questions about the kind of systematicity or generality proper to a philosophical inquiry into ethical matters are to be answered together, as part of the same investigation.
Fernandez is a philosopher and an economist who has published in ancient philosophy, action theory, ethics, and the economic analysis of law. He is currently an associate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and he previously held a Humboldt research fellowship at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His recent research has focused on the nature of practical reasoning and its connection to action, and on how the right understanding of those topics bears on a general picture of the human mind and of the normative standards that apply to it. He has a standing interest in harnessing the Aristotelian tradition about those issues in such a way as to bring it into dialogue with recent theorizing about agency and ethics.