Alisabeth Ayars

Graduate Prize Fellow
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Alisabeth Ayars is a fourth year student in the Department of Philosophy. Her interests range from ethics and metaphysics, including population ethics, to contractualism, personal identity and essence and grounding. Her current ethics projects focus on the proper understanding of contractualist moral theory and the relevance of contractualism to longstanding issues in population ethics. One of her projects defends an interpretation of contractualism, in which animals, infants, and cognitively impaired adults are all included on equal footing in the scope of contractualist justification. In another project, she argues that certain puzzles in population ethics can be resolved by conceiving of person-affecting considerations as deontic restrictions sourced in the obligation to act in ways that are justifiable to all. In metaphysics, Ayars developed an account of metaphysical grounding as an explanation mediated by the natures of things, and defended the existence of a kind of metaphysical explanation that is distinct from metaphysical grounding.