•  305
    Disability as Inability
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1): 23-48. 2020.
    If we were to write down all those things that we ordinarily categorise as disabilities, the resulting list might appear to be extremely heterogeneous. What do disabilities have in common? In this paper I defend the view that disabilities should be understood as particular kinds of inability. I show how we should formulate this view, and in the process defend the view from various objections. For example, I show how the view can allow that common kinds of inability are not disabilities, can allo…Read more
  •  264
    Disability and Well-Being
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, . forthcoming.
    This entry discusses the relationship between disability and well‐being. Disabilities are commonly thought to be unfortunate, but whether this is true is unclear, and, if it is true, it is unclear why it is true. The entry first explains the disability paradox, which is the apparent discrepancy between the level of well‐being that disabled people self‐report, and the level of well‐being that nondisabled people predict disabled people to have. It then turns to an argument that says that disabilit…Read more
  •  141
    Why Do Desires Rationalize Actions?
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5. 2018.
    I begin the paper by outlining one classic argument for the guise of the good: that we must think that desires represent their objects favourably in order to explain why they can make actions rational (Quinn 1995; Stampe 1987). But what exactly is the conclusion of this argument? Many have recently formulated the guise of the good as the view that desires are akin to perceptual appearances of the good (Oddie 2005; Stampe 1987; Tenenbaum 2007). But I argue that this view fails to capitalize on th…Read more
  • Under contract with Oxford University Press. The book defends desire-as-belief, according to which the word “desire” just picks out a special subset of our beliefs: beliefs about reasons. On this view, wanting to do something is just the same thing as believing that there is reason to do it. This view allows us to see how human behaviour should be explained: by appeal to our desires, which is to say, our beliefs about reasons. This view also allows us to see how desires matter for rationality: b…Read more
  •  80
    Are All Normative Judgments Desire-Like?
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1): 29-55. 2017.
    In this paper I first argue against one attractive formulation of the motivation argument, and against one attractive formulation of noncognitivism. I do so by example: I suggest that other-regarding normative judgments do not seem to have motivational powers and do not seem to be desires. After defending these two claims, I argue that other views can accommodate the motivational role of normative judgment without facing this objection. For example, desire-as-belief theories do so, since such th…Read more
  •  114
    How Verbal Reports of Desire May Mislead
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4): 241-249. 2017.
    In this paper I highlight two noteworthy features of assertions about our desires, and then highlight two ways in which they can mislead us into drawing unwarranted conclusions about desire. Some of our assertions may indicate that we are sometimes motivated independently of desire, and other assertions may suggest that there are vast divergences between our normative judgements and our desires. But I suggest that some such assertions are, in this respect, potentially misleading, and have in fac…Read more
  •  709
    Hedonism
    In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Wellbeing, Routledge. 2015.
    An overview of the hedonistic theory of wellbeing.
  •  311
    What is This Thing Called Happiness? by Fred Feldman (review)
    Mind 122 (487). 2013.
    A review of Feldman's "What is this thing called happiness"?
  •  410
    Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?
    In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire, Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217. 2017.
    This paper examines the view that desires are beliefs about normative reasons for action. It describes the view, and briefly sketches three arguments for it. But the focus of the paper is defending the view from objections. The paper argues that the view is consistent with the distinction between the direction of fit of beliefs and desires, that it is consistent with the existence of appetites such as hunger, that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs about reasons are…Read more
  •  187
    Normative reasons as good bases
    Philosophical Studies 173 (9): 2291-2310. 2016.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a good basis, and argue that RGB has various attractive features: it has …Read more
  •  253
    A very good reason to reject the buck-passing account
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2): 287-303. 2014.
    This paper presents a new objection to the buck-passing account of value. I distinguish the buck-passing account of predicative value from the buck-passing account of attributive value. According to the latter, facts about attributive value reduce to facts about reasons and their weights. But since facts about reasons’ weights are themselves facts about attributive value, this account presupposes what it is supposed to explain. As part of this argument, I also argue against Mark Schroeder's rece…Read more
  •  207
    Changing Direction on Direction of Fit
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5): 603-614. 2012.
    In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason to change in light of the worl…Read more
  •  331
    The Guise of Reasons
    American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1): 63-72. 2013.
    In this paper it is argued that we should amend the traditional understanding of the view known as the guise of the good. The guise of the good is traditionally understood as the view that we only want to act in ways that we believe to be good in some way. But it is argued that a more plausible view is that we only want to act in ways that we believe we have normative reason to act in. This change – from formulating the view in terms of goodness to formulating it in terms of reasons – is signifi…Read more
  •  153
    A review of Finlay's Confusion of Tongues.