My research in philosophy is motivated by two things. First, I would like to help shed light into the darkest corners of the social sciences by using the tools of analytic philosophy. Second, I want to hone the methods of philosophy by drawing upon the successes of the social sciences.

My current work is on the subject of tacit norms in the philosophy of law, or ‘unwritten law’. (Click here for a preliminary sense of how the research is motivated.) In addition, I am working on projects in moral and political philosophy, meta-ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of the social sciences.

I have a populist stance on teaching philosophy. I believe that the health and well-being of the citizens of the future will require them to successfully learn philosophical theories and methods. To that end, I am both an independent course instructor in philosophy, and actively blog to a broad audience at the Talking Philosophy Blog. At least on some occasions my blogging has received attention in the press (New York Times, Daily Beast, 3 Quarks Daily).

I hold an Honors Bachelor in philosophy with sociology from Western Ontario. I am currently pursuing a Doctorate from the University of Waterloo. As part of my doctorate I have earned a diploma in cognitive science and a diploma in teaching university level courses.

I can be reached by email at bsnelson at or by posting on this blog. CV is not online, but is available upon request.