•  22
    Psychopaths and blame: The argument from content
    Philosophical Psychology 27 (3): 351-367. 2014.
    The recent debate over the moral responsibility of psychopaths has centered on whether, or in what sense, they understand moral requirements. In this paper, I argue that even if they do understand what morality requires, the content of their actions is not of the right kind to justify full-blown blame. I advance two independent justifications of this claim. First, I argue that if the psychopath comes to know what morality requires via a route that does not involve a proper appreciation of what i…Read more
  •  67
    Determinist deliberations
    Dialectica 60 (4): 453-459. 2006.
    Many incompatibilists, including most prominently Peter Van Inwagen, have argued that deliberation presupposes a belief in libertarian freedom. They therefore suggest that deliberating determinists must have inconsistent beliefs: the belief they profess in determinism, as well as the belief, manifested in their deliberation, that determinism is false. In response, compatibilists have advanced alternative construals of the belief in freedom presupposed by deliberation, as well as cases designed t…Read more
  •  140
    It is sometimes objected that we cannot adopt skepticism about moral responsibility, because the criminal justice system plays an indispensable social function. In this paper, I examine the implications of moral responsibility skepticism for the punishment of those convicted of crime, with special attention to recent arguments by Saul Smilansky. Smilansky claims that the skeptic is committed to fully compensating the incarcerated for their detention, and that this compensation would both be too …Read more
  •  86
    The author comments on the article “The Neurobiology of Addiction: Implications for Voluntary Control of Behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. Hyman’s article suggests that addicted individuals have impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The author agrees with Hyman’s view that addiction weakens the addict’s ability to align his actions with his judgments. The author states that neuroethics may focus on brains and highlight key aspects of behavior but we still risk missing explanatory elements. Acce…Read more
  •  59
    Agents and mechanisms: Fischer's way (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226). 2007.
  •  88
    Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century
    Cambridge University Press. 2007.
    Neuroscience has dramatically increased understanding of how mental states and processes are realized by the brain, thus opening doors for treating the multitude of ways in which minds become dysfunctional. This book explores questions such as when is it permissible to alter a person's memories, influence personality traits or read minds? What can neuroscience tell us about free will, self-control, self-deception and the foundations of morality? The view of neuroethics offered here argues that m…Read more
  •  19
    Respecting rights … to death
    Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (10): 608-611. 2006.
    Ravelingien et al1 argue that, given the restrictions that must be imposed on recipients of xenotransplanted organs, we should conduct clinical trials of xenotransplantation only on patients in a persistent vegetative state. I argue that there is no ethical barrier to using terminally ill patients instead. Such patients can choose to waive their rights to the liberties that xenotransplantation would probably restrict; it is surely rational to prefer to waive your rights rather than to die, and p…Read more
  •  32
    Good character: Too little, too late
    Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19 (2). 2004.
    The influence of virtue theory is spreading to the professions. I argue that journalists and educators would do well to refrain from placing too much faith in the power of the virtues to guide working journalists. Rather than focus on the character of the journalist, we would do better to concentrate on institutional constraints on unethical conduct. I urge this position in the light of the critique of virtue ethics advanced, especially, by Gilbert Harman (1999). Harman believed that the empiric…Read more
  •  11
    Autonomy and Addiction
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3): 427-447. 2006.
    Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010, Australia and.
  •  3
    Morality on the brain (review)
    The Philosophers' Magazine 54 108-109. 2011.
  •  129
    Cultural Membership and Moral Responsibility
    The Monist 86 (2): 145-163. 2003.
    Can our cultural membership excuse us from responsibility for certain actions? Ought the Aztec priest be held responsible for murder, for instance, or does the fact that his ritual sacrifice is mandated by his culture excuse him from blame? Our intuitions here are mixed; the more distant, historically and geographically, we are from those whose actions are in question, the more likely we are to forgive them their acts, yet it is difficult to pinpoint why this distance should excuse. Up close, hi…Read more
  • Explaining the differences
    Metaphilosophy 1 (34). 2003.
  •  48
    Deafness, culture, and choice
    Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (5): 284-285. 2002.
    We should react to deaf parents who choose to have a deaf child with compassion not condemnationThere has been a great deal of discussion during the past few years of the potential biotechnology offers to us to choose to have only perfect babies, and of the implications that might have, for instance for the disabled. What few people foresaw is that these same technologies could be deliberately used to ensure that children would be born with disabilities. That this is a real possibility, and not …Read more
  •  74
    Countering Cova: Frankfurt-Style Cases are Still Broken
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3): 523-527. 2014.
    In his “Frankfurt-style cases user manual”, Florian Cova (2013) distinguishes two kinds of Frankfurt-style arguments against the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), and argues that my attack on the soundness of Frankfurt-style cases succeeds, at most, only against one kind. Since either kind of argument can be used to undermine PAP, Cova suggests, the fact that my attack fails against at least one means that it does not succeed in rescuing PAP from the clutches of Frankfurt enthusiasts…Read more
  •  9
    Ethics and Rules
    Philosophy Today 42 (1): 79-84. 1998.
  •  19
    What evolves when morality evolves?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3): 612-620. 2006.
  •  453
    Book review: Understanding blindness (review)
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (3): 315-324. 2004.
  •  53
    Symposium on free will and luck : Introduction
    with Michael Mckenna
    Philosophical Explorations 10 (2). 2007.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  43
    Untimely Meditations
    Symposium 2 (1): 61-75. 1998.
    Most accounts of recent French intellectual history are organized around a fundamental rupture, which divides thought and thinkers into two eras: ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’. But the attempts to identify the features which characterise these eras seem, at best, inconclusive. In this paper, I examine this rupture, by way of a comparison of two thinkers representative of the divide. Sartre seems as uncontroversially modern (and therefore out of date) as any twentieth-century can be, while Foucault’s…Read more
  •  155
    Against Philanthropy, Individual and Corporate
    Business and Professional Ethics Journal 21 (3/4): 95-108. 2002.
  •  67
    Open-Mindedness and the Duty to Gather Evidence
    Public Affairs Quarterly 20 (1): 55-66. 2006.
    Most people believe that we have a duty to gather evidence on both sides of central moral and political controversies, in order to fulfil our epistemic responsibilities and come to hold justified cognitive attitudes on these matters. I argue, on the contrary, that to the extent to which these controversies require special expertise, we have no such duty. We are far more likely to worsen than to improve our epistemic situation by becoming better informed on these questions. I suggest we do better…Read more