•  78
    Philosophy Compass 13 (3). 2018.
    It is a recognizable feature of commonsense morality that some actions are beyond the call of duty or supererogatory. Acts of supererogation raise a number of interesting philosophical questions and debates. This article will provide an overview of three of these debates. First, I will provide an overview of the debate about whether or not acts of supererogation exist. Next, I will investigate the issue of how to define the supererogatory. I will finish by examining a problem known as the Parado…Read more
  •  45
    Exemplars and nudges: Combining two strategies for moral education
    with Engelen Bart, Thomas Alan, and van de Ven Niels
    Journal of Moral Education 47 (3): 346-365. 2018.
    This article defends the use of narratives about morally exemplary individuals in moral education and appraises the role that ‘nudge’ strategies can play in combination with such an appeal to exemplars. It presents a general conception of the aims of moral education and explains how the proposed combination of both moral strategies serves these aims. An important aim of moral education is to make the ethical perspective of the subject—the person being educated—more structured, more salient and t…Read more
  •  18
    What limits should there be on the areas of life that are governed by market forces? For many years, no one seriously defended the buying and selling votes for political elections. In recent years, however, this situation has changed, with a number of authors defending the permissibility of vote markets. One popular objection to such markets is that they would lead to a tyranny of wealth, where the poor are politically dominated by the rich. In a recent paper, Taylor :313–328, 2017. doi: 10.1007…Read more
  •  96
    Sporting supererogation and why it matters
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (3): 359-373. 2017.
    A commonly accepted feature of commonsense morality is that there are some acts that are supererogatory or beyond the call of duty. Recently, philosophers have begun to ask whether something like supererogation might exist in other normative domains such as epistemology and esthetics. In this paper, I will argue that there is good reason to think that sporting supererogation exists. I will then argue that recognizing the existence of sporting supererogation is important because it highlights the…Read more
  •  46
    In defence of biodiversity
    Biology and Philosophy 32 (6): 969-997. 2017.
    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by introducing two arguments for eliminating the concept of biodiversity from conservation biology, both of which have been put forward in a recent paper by Santana. The first argument is against the concept’s …Read more
  •  102
    This paper defends two claims. First, we will argue for the existence of aesthetic demands in the realm of everyday aesthetics, and that these demands are not reducible to moral demands. Second, we will argue that we must recognise the limits of these demands in order to combat a widespread form of gendered oppression. The concept of aesthetic supererogation offers a new structural framework to understand both the pernicious nature of this oppression and what may be done to mitigate it.
  •  217
    The problem with moralism
    Ratio 342-350. 2018.
    Moralism is often described as a vice. But what exactly is wrong with moralism that makes it aptly described as a character flaw? This paper will argue that the problem with moralism is that it downgrades the force of legitimate moral criticism. First, I will argue that moralism involves an inflated sense of the extent to which moral criticism is appropriate. Next, I will examine the value of legitimate moral criticism, arguing that its value stems from enabling us to take a stand against immora…Read more
  •  131
    Divine moral goodness, supererogation and The Euthyphro Dilemma
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (2): 147-160. 2016.
    How can we make sense of God’s moral goodness if God cannot be subject to moral obligations? This question is troubling for divine command theorists, as if we cannot make sense of God’s moral goodness then it seems hard to see how God’s commands could be morally good. Alston argues that the concept of supererogation solves this problem. If we accept the existence of acts that are morally good but not morally required then we should accept that there is no need for an act to fulfill a moral oblig…Read more
  •  597
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to this problem. I will then investigate Kamm…Read more
  •  383
    Is socialism morally preferable to free market capitalism? G. A. Cohen (2009) has argued that even when the economic inequalities produced by free markets are not the result of injustice, they nevertheless ought to be avoided because they are community undermining. As free markets inevitably lead to economic inequalities and Socialism does not, Socialism is morally preferable. This argument has been the subject of recent criticism. Chad Van Schoelandt (2014) argues that it depends on a conceptio…Read more
  •  132
    The heroism paradox: another paradox of supererogation
    Philosophical Studies 172 (6): 1575-1592. 2015.
    Philosophers are by now familiar with “the” paradox of supererogation. This paradox arises out of the idea that it can never be permissible to do something morally inferior to another available option, yet acts of supererogation seem to presuppose this. This paradox is not our topic in this paper. We mention it only to set it to one side and explain our subtitle. In this paper we introduce and explore another paradox of supererogation, one which also deserves serious philosophical attention. Peo…Read more
  •  535
    Saints, Heroes and Moral Necessity
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 77 105-124. 2015.
    Many people who perform paradigmatic examples of acts of supererogation claim that they could not have done otherwise. In this paper I will argue that these self-reports from moral exemplars present a challenge to the traditional view of supererogation as involving agential sacrifice. I will argue that the claims made by moral exemplars are plausibly understood as what Bernard Williams calls a ‘practical necessity’. I will then argue that this makes it implausible to view these acts as involving…Read more
  •  94
    Integrity and the Value of an Integrated Self
    Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3): 435-454. 2017.
    What is integrity and why is it valuable? One account of the nature of integrity, proposed by John Cottingham amongst others, is The Integrated Self View. On this account integrity is a formal relation of coherence between various aspects of a person. One problem that has been raised against this account is that it isn’t obvious that it can account for the value of integrity. In this paper I will respond to this problem by providing an account of the value of an integrated self. I will do so by …Read more
  •  420
    Are Acts of Supererogation Always Praiseworthy?
    Theoria 82 (3): 238-255. 2016.
    It is commonly assumed that praiseworthiness should form part of the analysis of supererogation. I will argue that this view should be rejected. I will start by arguing that, at least on some views of the connection between moral value and praiseworthiness, it does not follow from the fact that acts of supererogation go beyond what is required by duty that they will always be praiseworthy to perform. I will then consider and dismiss what I will call the Argument from Stipulation in favour of hol…Read more
  •  240
    On Sporting Integrity
    Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (2): 117-131. 2016.
    It has become increasingly popular for sports fans, pundits, coaches and players to appeal to ideas of ‘sporting integrity’ when voicing their approval or disapproval of some aspect of the sporting world. My goal in this paper will be to examine whether there is any way to understand this idea in a way that both makes sense of the way in which it is used and presents a distinctly ‘sporting’ form of integrity. I will look at three recent high-profile sporting incidents that caused sporting integr…Read more
  •  33
    Do We Need to Make Room for Quasi-Supererogation?
    Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2): 341-351. 2016.
  •  252
    It is plausible to think that there exist acts of supererogation. It also seems plausible that there is a close connection between what we are morally required to do and what it would be morally good to do. Despite being independently plausible these two claims are hard to reconcile. My aim in this article will be to respond to a recent solution to this puzzle proposed by Dale Dorsey. Dorsey's solution to this problem is to posit a new account of supererogation. I will argue that Dorsey's accoun…Read more
  •  758
    Supererogation, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Duty
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3): 333-354. 2016.
    It is often claimed that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. This claim is made because it is thought that it is the level of sacrifice involved that prevents these acts from being morally required. In this paper, I will argue against this claim. I will start by making a distinction between two ways of understanding the claim that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. I will then examine some purported counterexamples to the view that supererogation always involves sacrifice an…Read more
  •  622
    Moral Enhancement and Those Left Behind
    Bioethics 30 (7): 500-510. 2016.
    Opponents to genetic or biomedical human enhancement often claim that the availability of these technologies would have negative consequences for those who either choose not to utilize these resources or lack access to them. However, Thomas Douglas has argued that this objection has no force against the use of technologies that aim to bring about morally desirable character traits, as the unenhanced would benefit from being surrounded by such people. I will argue that things are not as straightf…Read more
  •  461
    Aesthetic Supererogation
    Estetika 54 (1): 102-116. 2017.
    Many aestheticians and ethicists are interested in the similarities and connections between aesthetics and ethics (Nussbaum 1990; Foot 2002; Gaut 2007). One way in which some have suggested the two domains are different is that in ethics there exist obligations while in aesthetics there do not (Hampshire 1954). However, Marcia Muelder Eaton has argued that there is good reason to think that aesthetic obligations do exist (Eaton 2008). We will explore the nature of these obligations by asking whe…Read more
  •  1086
    Moral Rationalism without Overridingness
    Ratio 27 (1): 100-114. 2014.
    Moral Rationalism is the view that if an act is morally required then it is what there is most reason to do. It is often assumed that the truth of Moral Rationalism is dependent on some version of The Overridingness Thesis, the view that moral reasons override nonmoral reasons. However, as Douglas Portmore has pointed out, the two can come apart; we can accept Moral Rationalism without accepting any version of The Overridingness Thesis. Nevertheless, The Overridingness Thesis serves as one of tw…Read more
  •  582
    Evil and moral detachment: further reflections on The Mirror Thesis
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (2): 201-218. 2016.
    A commonly accepted claim by philosophers investigating the nature of evil is that the evil person is, in some way, the mirror image of the moral saint. In this paper I will defend a new version of this thesis. I will argue that both the moral saint and the morally evil person are characterized by a lack of conflict between moral and non-moral concerns. However, while the saint achieves this unity through a reconciliation of the two, the evil person does so by eliminating moral concerns from her…Read more
  •  41
    What role should a motivation to do the right thing, read de dicto, play in the life of a virtuous agent? According to a prominent argument from Michael Smith, those who are only motivated by such a desire are moral fetishists. Since Smith’s argument, a number of philosophers have examined what role this desire would play in the life of the morally virtuous agent. My primary aim in this paper is an historical one. I will show that much of this discussion can be found in Adam Smith’s The Theory o…Read more
  •  433
    Aesthetic judgements and motivation
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6): 1-22. 2017.
    Are aesthetic judgements cognitive, belief-like states or non-cognitive, desire-like states? There have been a number of attempts in recent years to evaluate the plausibility of a non-cognitivist theory of aesthetic judgements. These attempts borrow heavily from non-cognitivism in metaethics. One argument that is used to support metaethical non-cognitivism is the argument from Motivational Judgement Internalism. It is claimed that accepting this view, together with a plausible theory of motivati…Read more
  •  611
    Motivational Judgement Internalism and The Problem of Supererogation
    Journal of Philosophical Research 41 601-621. 2016.
    Motivational judgement internalists hold that there is a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. There is, though, an important lack of clarity in the literature about the types of moral evaluation the theory is supposed to cover. It is rarely made clear whether the theory is intended to cover all moral judgements or whether the claim covers only a subset of such judgements. In this paper I will investigate which moral judgements internalists should hold their theory to appl…Read more
  •  328
    Against Vote Markets: A Reply To Freiman
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2): 1-5. 2014.