My research falls in the intersection of psychology, philosophy, and linguistics, and fits most easily within the broader umbrella of cognitive science. Much of the work I've done is related in one way or another to the psychological representation of modality — the way our minds represent possibilities. I have also done research on theory of mind, causal reasoning, moral judgment, formal semantics, and happiness.

I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology and Philosophy at Yale in 2015, and I'm currently housed in Harvard's Moral Psychology Research Lab.

Selected Publications

Causation and norms of proper functioning: Counterfactuals are (still) relevant.

Phillips, J., Kominsky, J. (2017) Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society

OSF repository

Submitted / Working Papers

Non-Reducibility with Knowledge wh

Phillips, J. & George, B.R. (accepted) Journal of Semantics


Do children believe immoral events are possible?

Phillips, J. & Bloom, P. (submitted)

New horizons for a theory of epistemic modals

Khoo, J. and Phillips, J. (submitted)


Factive Theory of Mind

Phillips, J. & Norby, A. (submitted)

Moral bias in children's predictions of others

Phillips, J. & Bloom, P. (working paper)