•  331
    Is Blameworthiness Forever?
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2): 204-224. 2018.
    Many of those working on moral responsibility assume that "once blameworthy, always blameworthy." They believe that blameworthiness is like diamonds: it is forever. We argue that blameworthiness is not forever; rather, it can diminish through time. We begin by showing that the view that blameworthiness is forever is best understood as the claim that personal identity is sufficient for diachronic blameworthiness. We argue that this view should be rejected because it entails that blameworthiness f…Read more
  •  128
    Blameworthiness and Wrongness
    Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (2): 135-146. 2011.
    It is commonly held that agents can be blameworthy only for acts that are morally wrong. But the claim, when combined with a plausible assumption about wrongness, leads to an implausible view about blameworthiness. The claim should be rejected. Agents can be blameworthy for acts that are not morally wrong. We will take up the claim in terms of three initially appealing, but jointly inconsistent propositions. The significance of noting the inconsistency is motivated by a consideration of a number…Read more
  •  114
    Synchronic and Diachronic Responsibility
    Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 735-752. 2013.
    This paper distinguishes between synchronic responsibility (SR) and diachronic responsibility (DR). SR concerns an agent’s responsibility for an act at the time of the action, while DR concerns an agent’s responsibility for an act at some later time. While most theorists implicitly assume that DR is a straightforward matter of personal identity, I argue instead that it is grounded in psychological connectedness. I discuss the implications this distinction has for the concepts of apology, forgive…Read more
  •  90
    Responsibility, Tracing, and Consequences
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4): 187-207. 2012.
    Some accounts of moral responsibility hold that an agent's responsibility is completely determined by some aspect of the agent's mental life at the time of action. For example, some hold that an agent is responsible if and only if there is an appropriate mesh among the agent's particular psychological elements. It is often objected that the particular features of the agent's mental life to which these theorists appeal (such as a particular structure or mesh) are not necessary for responsibility.…Read more
  •  86
    Manipulation and mitigation
    Philosophical Studies 168 (1): 283-294. 2014.
    Manipulation arguments are commonly deployed to raise problems for compatibilist theories of responsibility. These arguments proceed by asking us to reflect on an agent who has been manipulated to perform some (typically bad) action but who still meets the compatibilist conditions of responsibility. The incompatibilist argues that it is intuitive that the agent in such a case is not responsible even though she met the compatibilist conditions. Thus, it is argued, the compatibilist has not provid…Read more
  •  58
    The objects of moral responsibility
    Philosophical Studies 175 (6): 1357-1381. 2018.
    It typically taken for granted that agents can be morally responsible for such things as, for example, the death of the victim and the capture of the murderer in the sense that one may be blameworthy or praiseworthy for such things. The primary task of a theory of moral responsibility, it is thought, is to specify the appropriate relationship one must stand to such things in order to be morally responsible for them. I argue that this common approach is problematic because it attempts to explain …Read more
  •  46
    Criminal Attempts and the Penal Lottery
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4): 779-792. 2018.
    In most penal systems, success is punished more than failure. For example, murder is punished more severely than attempted murder. But success or failure is often determined by luck. It thus appears that punishment is allotted on the basis of arbitrary factors. The problem of criminal attempts is the question of how to best resolve this apparent tension. One particularly sophisticated attempt at resolution, first developed by David Lewis, holds that such differential punishment is not unjust whe…Read more
  •  44
    Building on Peter French’s important work, this chapter draws three distinctions that arise in the context of attributions of moral responsibility, understood as the extent to which an agent is blameworthy or praiseworthy. First, the subject of an attribution of responsibility may be an individual agent or a collective agent. Second, the object of the responsibility attribution may be an individual action (or consequence) or a collective action (or consequence). The third distinction concerns th…Read more
  •  33
    Erratum to: Manipulation and mitigation (review)
    Philosophical Studies 168 (1): 295-295. 2014.
    The online version of the original article can be found under doi:10.1007/s11098-013-0125-7.
  •  25
    Moral Responsibility
    Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (4): 573-575. 2014.
    The essays in this volume are illustrative of the variety of issues that arise when thinking about moral responsibility. From metaphysical concerns about free will and determinism to normative interest in the nature of our social practices, the philosophy of moral responsibility seems to have something to offer philosophers of nearly any taste or temperament. It is, in part, this pervasive and diverse significance that sparked and has sustained my own interest in the topic. I hope the essays in …Read more