•  10
    The existence of experts raises a host of interesting questions in social, legal, and political epistemology. This article introduces and discusses interested experts – people who are experts on some topic, but who also have a distinct set of values and preferences regarding that topic, so that they are not well-described as “disinterested” parties. Interested experts raise several distinct problems in social, legal, and political epistemology. Some general questions arise: can we rationally or …Read more
  •  10
    Alex Guerrero, Off The Beaten Track
    with Jean Kazez
    The Philosophers' Magazine 94 6-13. 2021.
  •  13
    Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
    Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (2): 100-101. 2021.
    Maybe you only have 1000 units of some resource, but 10,000 people need the resource or would benefit from it. One question: why do you control the resource? Leave that aside for now. A second question: how should you allocate the resource? If you are a decision-maker in a health system, and if the resource has to do with medicine or public health, we are in the world of the ethics of scarce resource allocation decisions in healthcare. Munthe et al 1 note that the ‘operational norms that guide a…Read more
  •  62
    Peter Unger: Science and the Possibility of Philosophy
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy 9 (1): 46-56. 2001.
  •  324
    The paradox of voting and the ethics of political representation
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (3): 272-306. 2010.
    This paper connects the question of the rationality of voting to the question of what it is morally permissible for elected representatives to do. In particular, the paper argues that it is rational to vote to increase the strength of the manifest normative mandate of one's favored candidate. I argue that, due to norms of political legitimacy, how representatives ought to act while in office is tied to how much support they have from their constituents, where a representative’s “support” is a …Read more
  •  467
    Don’t Know, Don’t Kill: Moral Ignorance, Culpability, and Caution
    Philosophical Studies 136 (1): 59-97. 2007.
    This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the "Ignorance Thesis," which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the "Moral Ignorance Thesis." Third, I argue for a principle--Don't Know, Don't Kill-…Read more
  •  177
    Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (2): 135-178. 2014.
    It is widely accepted that electoral representative democracy is better—along a number of different normative dimensions—than any other alternative lawmaking political arrangement. It is not typically seen as much of a competition: it is also widely accepted that the only legitimate alternative to electoral representative democracy is some form of direct democracy, but direct democracy—we are told—would lead to bad policy. This article makes the case that there is a legitimate alternative system…Read more
  •  92
    Deliberation, Responsibility, and Excusing Mistakes of Law
    Jurisprudence 6 (1): 81-94. 2015.
    In ‘Excusing Mistakes of Law’, Gideon Yaffe sets out to ‘vindicate’ the claim ‘that mistakes of law never excuse’ by ‘identifying the truth that is groped for but not grasped by those who assert that ignorance of law is no excuse’. Yaffe does not offer a defence of the claim that mistakes of law never excuse. That claim, Yaffe argues, is false. Yaffe’s article is, rather, an effort to assess what plausible thought might be behind the idea that mistakes of law often should not excuse. (Yaffe …Read more
  •  134
    Appropriately Using People Merely as a Means
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (4): 777-794. 2016.
    There has been a great deal of philosophical discussion about using people, using people intentionally, using people as a means to some end, and using people merely as a means to some end. In this paper, I defend the following claim about using people: NOT ALWAYS WRONG: using people—even merely as a means—is not always morally objectionable. Having defended that claim, I suggest that the following claim is also correct: NO ONE FEATURE: when it is morally objectionable to use people, this is for …Read more
  •  75
    In “Publicity and Measurement,” Marie Collins Swabey writes that “if democracy is not to be abandoned, some attempt must be made to devise ways in which what is of genuine public concern may be made to concern the public." Her article grapples with the problem of democratic governance in an age of policy complexity and voter ignorance, a problem that remains arguably the core problem of democracy today, with policy issues having become, if anything, substantially more complex. Unfortunately, de…Read more
  •  98
    Lawyers, Context, and Legitimacy: A New Theory of Legal Ethics
    Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 25 (1): 107-164. 2012.
    Even good lawyers get a bad rap. One explanation for this is that the professional rules governing lawyers permit and even require behavior that strikes many as immoral. The standard accounts of legal ethics that seek to defend these professional rules do little to dispel this air of immorality. The revisionary accounts of legal ethics that criticize the professional rules inject a hearty dose of morality, but at the cost of leaving lawyers unrecognizable as lawyers. This article suggests that t…Read more
  •  46
    Although the individual mandate was upheld and the Commerce Clause may have been cabined, the decision to strike down a significant element of the “Medicaid expansion” may prove to be the most significant aspect of the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), States were required to extend Medicaid coverage to all individuals under the age of 65 with incomes below 133 percent of the poverty line, a new “essential health benefits” package was required for…Read more