• Affective injustice and fundamental affective goods
    Journal of Social Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
  • Sexual Desire and Structural Injustice
    Tom O’Shea
    Journal of Social Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Is it unjust that some people are less sexually desired than others? We might have sympathy for the sexually undesired but supposing they suffer an outright injustice can seem absurd. Mere disadvantage is not injustice. However, I argue that political injustices can sometimes arise from the distribution and character of our sexual desires, and that we can be held responsible for correcting these injustices. I draw on a conception of structural injustice to diagnose unjust patterns of sexual attr…Read more
  • Tainted political symbols ought to be confronted, removed, or at least recontextualized. Despite the best efforts to achieve this, however, official actions on tainted symbols often fail to take place. In such cases, I argue that political vandalism—the unauthorized defacement, destruction, or removal of political symbols—may be morally permissible or even obligatory. This is when, and insofar as, political vandalism serves as fitting counter-speech that undermines the authority of tainted symbo…Read more
  • Fame
    American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1). 1984.
  • In this paper, I examine the role played by the emotion of admiration in formulating moral judgments. First, I discuss whether and when admiration is a reliable source of moral knowledge, or, on the contrary, it misleads the subject, leaving her prey to forms of uncritical devotion to unworthy objects of admiration. To do so, I try to elucidate which underlying theory of emotions best allows one to characterize admiration as a reliable source of moral knowledge. Second, I introduce the notion of…Read more
  • Social Constraints On Moral Address
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1): 167-189. 2019.
    The moral community is a social community, and as such it is vulnerable to social problems and pathologies. In this essay I identify a particular way in which participation in the moral community can be constrained by social factors. I argue that features of the social world—including power imbalances, oppression, intergroup conflict, communication barriers, and stereotyping—can make it nearly impossible for some members of the moral community to hold others responsible for wrongdoing. Specifica…Read more
  • Are we able to do everything we ought to do? According to the important but controversial Ought Implies Can principle, the answer is yes. In this book Alex King sheds some much-needed light on this principle. She argues that it is flawed because we are obligated to perform some actions that we cannot perform, and goes on to present a suggested theory for anyone who would deny the principle. She examines the traditional motivations for Ought Implies Can, and finds that they to a large degree do n…Read more
  • Reasoning under Scarcity
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3): 543-559. 2017.
    Practical deliberation consists in thinking about what to do. Such deliberation is deemed rational when it conforms to certain normative requirements. What is often ignored is the role that an agent's context can play in so-called ‘failures’ of rationality. In this paper, I use recent cognitive science research investigating the effects of resource-scarcity on decision-making and cognitive function to argue that context plays an important role in determining which norms should structure an agent…Read more
  • Is it wrong to topple statues and rename schools?
    Journal of Political Theory and Philosophy 1 (1): 59-88. 2017.
    In recent years, campaigns across the globe have called for the removal of objects symbolic of white supremacy. This paper examines the ethics of altering or removing such objects. Do these strategies sanitize history, destroy heritage and suppress freedom of speech? Or are they important steps towards justice? Does removing monuments and renaming schools reflect a lack of parity and unfairly erase local identities? Or can it sometimes be morally required, as an expression of respect for the mem…Read more