•  401
    Whether causing flash crashes in financial markets, purchasing illegal drugs, or running over pedestrians, AI is increasingly engaging in activity that would be criminal for a natural person, or even an artificial person like a corporation. We argue that criminal law falls short in cases where an AI causes certain types of harm and there are no practically or legally identifiable upstream criminal actors. This Article explores potential solutions to this problem, focusing on holding AI directly …Read more
  •  221
    Bealer and the autonomy of philosophy
    Synthese 172 (3). 2010.
    George Bealer has provided an elaborate defense of the practice of appealing to intuition in philosophy. In the present paper, I argue that his defense fails. First, I argue that Bealer’s theory of determinate concept possession, even if true, would not establish the “autonomy” of philosophy. That is, even if he is correct about what determinate concept possession consists in, it would not follow that it is possible to answer the central questions of philosophy by critical reflection on our intu…Read more
  •  220
    Internalism about a person’s good: don’t believe it
    Philosophical Studies 154 (2): 161-184. 2011.
    Internalism about a person's good is roughly the view that in order for something to intrinsically enhance a person's well-being, that person must be capable of caring about that thing. I argue in this paper that internalism about a person's good should not be believed. Though many philosophers accept the view, Connie Rosati provides the most comprehensive case in favor of it. Her defense of the view consists mainly in offering five independent arguments to think that at least some form of inter…Read more
  •  174
    Desire Satisfactionism and Time
    Utilitas 25 (2): 221-245. 2013.
    In this article, I aim to clarify how Actual Desire Satisfactionism should accommodate the ways in which desire and time are connected. In particular, I argue that Weak Concurrentism represents the most promising way for the Desire Satisfactionist to capture the temporal nature of desire. I consider the Desire Satisfactionist's other main options, but argue that none succeeds. This leaves Weak Concurrentism looking attractive. However, Weak Concurrentism might also be thought to have some implau…Read more
  •  160
    Multi‐Component Theories of Well‐being and Their Structure
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4): 439-471. 2012.
    The ‘adjustment strategy’ currently seems to be the most common approach to incorporating objective elements into one's theory of well‐being. These theories face a certain problem, however, which can be avoided by a different approach – namely, that employed by ‘partially objective multi‐component theories.’ Several such theories have recently been proposed, but the question of how to understand their mathematical structure has not been adequately addressed. I argue that the most mathematically …Read more
  •  130
    The willful ignorance doctrine says defendants should sometimes be treated as if they know what they don't. This book provides a careful defense of this method of imputing mental states. Though the doctrine is only partly justified and requires reform, it also demonstrates that the criminal law needs more legal fictions of this kind. The resulting theory of when and why the criminal law can pretend we know what we don't has far-reaching implications for legal practice and reveals a pressing need…Read more
  •  76
    What's wrong with megalopsychia?
    Philosophy 83 (2): 231-253. 2008.
    This paper looks at two accounts of Aristotle's views on the virtue of megalopsychia. The first, defended by Christopher Cordner, commits Aristotle to two claims about the virtuous person that might seem unpalatable to modern readers. The second account, defended by Roger Crips, does not commit Aristotle to these claims. Some might count this as an advantage of Crisp's account. However, I argue that Cordner's account, not Crisp's, is actually the better interpretation of Aristotle. Nonetheless, …Read more
  •  73
    Blameworthiness and Time
    Legal Theory 18 (2): 101-137. 2012.
    Reactive emotion accounts hold that blameworthiness should be analyzed in terms of the familiar reactive emotions. However, despite the attractions of such views, we are not persuaded that blameworthiness is ultimately a matter of correctly felt reactive emotion. In this paper, we draw attention to a range of little-discussed considerations involving the moral significance of the passage of time that drive a wedge between blameworthiness and the reactive emotions: the appropriateness of the reac…Read more
  •  63
    Double Effect and the Criminal Law
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3): 453-479. 2017.
    American criminal law is committed to some version of the doctrine of double effect. In this paper, I defend a new variant of the agent-centered rationale for a version of DDE that is of particular relevance to the criminal law. In particular, I argue for a non-absolute version of DDE that concerns the relative culpability of intending a bad or wrongful state of affairs as opposed to bringing it about merely knowingly. My aim is to identify a particular feature of the former in virtue of which i…Read more
  •  49
    Willful ignorance in law and morality
    Philosophy Compass 13 (5). 2018.
    This article introduces the main conceptual and normative questions about willful ignorance. The first section asks what willful ignorance is, while the second section asks why—and how much—it merits moral or legal condemnation. My approach is to critically examine the criminal law's view of willful ignorance. Doing so not only reveals the range of positions one might take about the phenomenon but also sheds light on foundational questions about the nature of culpability and the relation between…Read more
  •  44
    Two Objections to Yaffe on the Criminalization of Attempts
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (3): 569-587. 2014.
    In his recent book Attempts, Gideon Yaffe suggests that attempts should be criminalized because of a principle he dubs the “Transfer Principle.” This principle holds that if a particular form of conduct is legitimately criminalized, then the attempt to engage in that form of conduct is also legitimately criminalized. Although Yaffe provides a powerful defense of the Transfer Principle, in this paper I argue that Yaffe’s argument for it ultimately does not succeed. In particular, I formulate two …Read more
  •  42
    This dissertation is structured in such a way as to gradually home in on the true theory of welfare. I start with the whole field of possible theories of welfare and then proceed by narrowing down the options in a series of steps. The first step, undertaken in chapter 2, is to argue that the true theory of welfare must be what I call a partly response independent theory. First I reject the entirely response independent theories because there are widely-shared intuitions suggesting that some psyc…Read more
  •  34
    Hausman and McPherson defend welfare economics by claiming that even if welfare does not consist in preference satisfaction, preferences still provide good, if fallible, evidence of welfare. I argue that this strategy does not yet fully solve the problems for welfare economics stemming from the preference satisfaction theory of welfare. More work is needed to show that our self-interested preferences are sufficiently reliable, or in some other sense our best, evidence of well-being. Thus, my aim…Read more
  •  33
    This book review sketches the main arguments of Findlay Stark’s book, and then goes on to develop an objection to Stark’s account of one of the core notions in the book—namely, awareness of risk.
  •  33
    The criminal law declines to punish merely for bad attitudes that are not properly manifested in action. One might try to explain this on practical grounds, but these attempts do not justify the law’s commitment to never punishing unmanifested mental states in worlds relevantly similar to ours. Instead, a principled explanation is needed. A more promising explanation thus is that one cannot be criminally culpable merely for unmanifested bad attitudes. However, the leading theory of criminal culp…Read more
  •  28
    Ignorance Lost: A Reply to Yaffe on the Culpability of Willful Ignorance
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1): 107-124. 2018.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Gideon Yaffe provides an expected utility model of culpability in order to explain why willfully ignorant misconduct sometimes is just as culpable as knowing misconduct. Although promising, I argue here that challenges remain for Yaffe’s view. First, I argue that Yaffe’s proof of the equal culpability of willful ignorance and knowledge is not watertight in certain realistic cases. Next, I argue that Yaffe’s view of culpability is motive-sensitive in a way that …Read more
  •  23
    Courts commonly allow willful ignorance to satisfy the knowledge element of a crime. The traditional rationale for this doctrine is that willfully ignorant misconduct is just as culpable as knowing misconduct. But it is not obvious that this “equal culpability thesis” holds across the board. Is it true in all cases of willful ignorance or only some? This is the question I investigate here. Specifically, I argue against several common versions of the equal culpability thesis before defending my o…Read more
  •  9
    There are sometimes good reasons to define a criminal offense in a way that is over-inclusive, in the sense that the definition will encompass conduct that is not otherwise wrongful. But are these reasons ever sufficient? When, if ever, can such laws justifiably be made and enforced? When, if ever, can they permissibly be violated? In The Realm of Criminal Law, Antony Duff tackles this challenge head on. We find Duff’s strategy promising in many ways as an effort to reconcile over-inclusive offe…Read more
  •  4
    Skepticism About Corporate Punishment Revisited
    In Larry Alexander & Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law, Springer Verlag. pp. 213-238. 2019.
    Some societies used to impose liability on inanimate objects, a practice we’d now regard as silly and confused. When we punish corporations today, are we making similar mistakes? Here I consider some important sources of philosophical skepticism about imposing criminal liability on corporations, and I argue that they admit of answers, which places punishing corporations on stronger footing than punishing inanimate objects. First, I consider the eligibility challenge, which asserts that corporati…Read more