•  4
    This book offers a comprehensive study of the nature and significance of offense and offensiveness. It incorporates insights from moral philosophy and moral psychology to rationally reconstruct our ordinary ideas and assumptions about these notions. When someone claims that something is offensive, others are supposed to listen. Why? What is it for something to be offensive? Likewise, it’s supposed to matter if someone claims to have been offended. Is this correct? In this book, Andrew Sneddon ar…Read more
  •  3
    Polysemy in the Public Square. Racist Monuments in Diverse Societies
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 10 (2). 2020.
    Monuments commemorating racists are theoretically and practically controversial. Just what these monuments represent is interpreted, in part, on grounds of identity. Since the public nature of such monuments renders them polysemous, ways of reasonably thinking about the relevant identity-based claims are needed. A distinction between an individualistic, psychological notion of identity and an interpersonal, way-of-living notion of identity is drawn. The former notion is illegitimate as a basis o…Read more
  •  8
    Self vs Other? Social Cognition, Extended Minds, and Self-Rule
    In Tadeusz Ciecierski & Paweł Grabarczyk (eds.), Context Dependence in Language, Action, and Cognition, De Gruyter. pp. 99-118. 2021.
    Humans are individuals qua objects, organisms and, putatively, minds. We are also social animals. We tend to value self-rule—i.e., the possession and exercise of the capacity or capacities that allow individuals to govern their lives. However, our sociality can call the possibility and value of such autonomy into question. The more we seem to be social animals, the less we seem to be capable of running our own lives. Empirical psychology has revealed surprising details about the extent to which …Read more
  •  9
    Fiona Woollard claims that negative facts are parts of sequences leading to upshots when they are contrary to the presuppositions of the local community. There are three problems with Woollard’s use of presuppositions. The first is that it fails to capture an important part of our everyday understanding of doing and allowing. The second is that negative facts can be suitable to be parts of sequences even when they accord with presuppositions. The third is that even when negative facts are contra…Read more
  •  25
    Alternative motivation and lies
    Analysis 81 (1): 46-52. 2021.
    An array of new cases of lies is presented in support of the idea that lying does not require an intention to be deceptive. The crucial feature of these cases is that the agents who lie have some sort of motivation to lie alternative to an intention to be deceptive. Such alternative motivation comes in multiple varieties, such that we should think that the possibility of lying without an intention to be deceptive is common.
  •  12
    Indeterminacy of identity and advance directives for death after dementia
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (4): 705-715. 2020.
    A persistent question in discussions of the ethics of advance directives for euthanasia is whether patients who go through deep psychological changes retain their identity. Rather than seek an account of identity that answers this question, I argue that responsible policy should directly address indeterminacy about identity directly. Three sorts of indeterminacy are distinguished. Two of these—epistemic indeterminacy and metaphysical indeterminacy—should be addressed in laws/policies regarding a…Read more
  •  16
    Why do ethicists eat their greens?
    Philosophical Psychology 33 (7): 902-923. 2020.
    Eric Schwitzgebel, Fiery Cushman, and Joshua Rust have conducted a series of studies of the thought and behavior of professional ethicists. They have found no evidence that ethical reflection yields distinctive improvements in behavior. This work has been done on English-speaking ethicists. Philipp Schönegger and Johannes Wagner replicated one study with German-speaking professors. Their results are almost the same, except for finding that German-speaking ethicists were more likely to be vegetar…Read more
  •  9
    American Philosophy of Technology: The Empirical Turn (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 56 (2): 409-410. 2002.
    American Philosophy of Technology: The Empirical Turn is an introduction to the thought about technology by Albert Borgmann, Hubert Dreyfuss, Andrew Feenberg, Donna Haraway, Don Ihde, and Langdon Winner. Each position is presented in a medium-length essay, along with a little biographical information and some criticism. Each essay is written by a different Dutch philosopher. The book is largely a translation of a 1997 Dutch publication. However, the essays on Borgmann, Feenberg, and Ihde have be…Read more
  •  25
    Well‐Being Blindness
    Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2): 130-155. 2019.
    Why are we still studying well-being? After more than two thousand years of Western philosophy, why do we lack a settled account of the good life for humans? Philosophical problems in general are perennial, and the nature of human well-being is one such problem. However, we seem to stand in an epistemic relationship to this topic that is not shared by other ones. We have a vested interest in understanding the good life, and the relevant data seem to be accessible to us all. The challenge is to e…Read more
  •  18
    No Hands, No Paradox
    Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (1): 125-144. 2019.
    The “dirty hands paradox” is found where it seems that we must do something wrong in order to act rightly. This paradox is generated by particular descriptions of states of affairs, particularly ones involving political power, in which hard choices have to be made. Other descriptions of these situations are available, and these do not generate the paradox. I argue that the descriptions that generate the dirty hands paradox are indefensible, and hence the paradox should be seen as a sign of a mi…Read more
  •  28
    Questions open and closed: lessons from metaethics for identity arguments for the existence of god
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1-18. 2017.
    Identity arguments for the existence of god offer an intriguing blend of conceptual and existential claims. As it happens, this sort of blend has been probed for more than a century in metaethics, ever since G.E. Moore formulated the Open Question Argument against metaethical naturalism. Moore envisaged naturalism as offering identity claims between good and natural properties. His central worry was that such identity claims should render certain questions closed and hence meaningless. However, …Read more
  •  26
    Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism, written by Sarah Conly (review)
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (5): 619-622. 2016.
  •  227
    abstract Debate about physician‐assisted suicide has typically focused on the values of autonomy and patient wellbeing. This is understandable, even reasonable, given the import‐ance of these values in bioethics. However, these are not the only moral values there are. The purpose of this paper is to examine physician‐assisted suicide on the basis of the values of equality and justice. In particular, I will evaluate two arguments that invoke equality, one in favour of physician‐assisted suicide, …Read more
  • Agents and Actions: Causation and Responsibility
    Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada). 1999.
    I address the questions "What is an agent?" and "What is an action?" from the standpoint of reconciliatory naturalism: I am committed to the commensurability of the moral and natural scientific perspectives on the world. I treat humans as natural beings, subject to naturalistic inquiry. Yet I examine "action" and "agent" as primarily moral concepts, linked by the concept of responsibility : we attribute responsibility to agents for their actions. Taking our moral practice of attributing responsi…Read more
  •  13
    Action: On Cause and Constitution
    Dialogue 43 (1): 157-164. 2004.
    As Andrei Buckareff and Jing Zhu say in “Causalisms Reconsidered,” I, in my “Considering Causalisms”, considered two sorts of causalism, and I argued that we should only hold one of these varieties. I argued that Donald Davidson’s arguments in “Actions, Reasons, and Causes” provided reason for us to accept what I called causalismR, i.e., a causal understanding of reasons explanations. Insofar as we think reasons can be causes, we are causalists of this restricted sort. I argued, however, that Da…Read more
  •  65
    Rawlsian Decisionmaking and Genetic Engineering
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 15 (1): 35-41. 2006.
    This paper evaluates Sara Goering’s recent attempt to use the Rawlsian notion of the veil of ignorance as a tool for distinguishing permissible from impermissible forms of genetic engineering. I argue that her article fails due to a failure to include vital contextual information in the right way
  •  37
    Two views of emotional perception
    In Luc Faucher & Christine Tappolet (eds.), The Modularity of Emotions, University of Calgary Press. 2008.
    One stream in contemporary philosophical and psychological study of the emotions argues that they are perceptual capacities. The present project is to compare and contrast two possible models of emotional perception. The central difference between these models is the notion of modularity, and the corresponding overall view of the nature of the mind, that they use. One model uses classic, Fodorian modules, which S.L. Hurley characterizes as “vertical”. The other model uses “horizontal” modules. I…Read more
  •  50
    Prichard, Strawson, and Two Objections to Moral Sensibility Theories
    Journal of Philosophical Research 29 289-314. 2004.
    Stephen Darwall, Allan Gibbard, and Peter Railton formulate two objections to moral sensibility theories in their overview of twentieth-century moral theory, “Toward Fin de siècle Ethics: Some Trends.” Instead of using the work of sensibility theorists John McDowell and David Wiggins to address these objections, I turn to H. A. Prichard and P. F. Strawson. The reason for doing so is that the objections misunderstand the importance of the idea of the autonomy of the moral domain. Prichard…Read more
  •  20
    Considering Causalisms
    Dialogue 40 (2): 343. 2001.
    Depuis 1963, le causalisme a été l'approche dominante en théorie de l'action. Il est possible, cependant, de distinguer diverses sortes de causalisme. La version dominante, que j'appelle CTA, essaie de trouver une analyse causale de l'action. Une version plus restreinte — le causalismeR — se montre récalcitrante à ce genre d'entreprise et se contente d'essayer d'expliquer en quel sens on peut traiter comme causales les explications par les raisons. J'examine ici les motivations sous-jacentes à C…Read more
  •  78
    Internalists argue that there is a necessary connection between motivation and moral judgment. The examination of cases plays an important role in philosophical debate about internalism. This debate has focused on cases concerning the failure to act in accordance with a moral judgment, for one reason or another. I call these failure cases . I argue that a different sort of case is also relevant to this debate. This sort of case is characterized by (1) moral judgment and (2) behavior that accords…Read more
  •  74
    Thick Concepts and Holism about Reasons
    Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4): 461-468. 2010.
    Thick moral concepts are a topic of particular disagreement in discussions of reasons holism. These concepts, such as justice, are called “thick” because they have both evaluative and descriptive aspects. Thin moral concepts, such as good, are purely evaluative. The disagreement concerns whether the fact that an action is, for example, just always a reason in favor of performing that action. The present argument follows Jonathan Dancy’s strategy of connecting moral reasons and concepts to those …Read more
  •  80
    The depths and shallows of psychological externalism
    Philosophical Studies 138 (3). 2008.
    This paper examines extant ways of classifying varieties of psychological externalism and argues that they imply a hitherto unrecognized distinction between shallow and deep externalism. The difference is between starting points: shallowly externalist hypotheses begin with the attribution of psychological states to individuals, just as individualistic hypotheses do, whereas deeply externalistic hypotheses begin with agent-environment interaction as the basis of cognitive processes and attribute …Read more
  •  150
    Moral psychologists have recently turned their attention to a phenomenon they call 'moral dumbfounding'. Moral dumbfounding occurs when someone confidently pronounces a moral judgment, then finds that he or she has little or nothing to say in defense of it. This paper addresses recent attempts by Jonathan Haidt and Marc Hauser to make sense of moral dumbfounding in terms of their respective theories of moral judgment; Haidt in terms of a 'social intuitionist' model of moral judgment, and Hauser …Read more
  •  45
    Two Views of Emotional Perception: Some Empirical Suggestions
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (5S): 161-183. 2006.
    Two models of modularity are presented in analysis of perceptual theories of emotion. Empirical tests for assessing whether either model is apt for emotion are suggested. The paper concludes by standing back and assessing the stakes of the issue.
  •  41
    Such thinkers as John Stuart Mill, Gerald Dworkin, and Richard Doerflinger have appealed to the value of freedom to explain both what is wrong with slavery and what is wrong with selling oneself into slavery. Practical ethicists, including Dworkin and Doerflinger, sometimes use selling oneself into slavery in analogies intended to illustrate justifiable forms of paternalism. I argue that these thinkers have misunderstood the moral problem with slavery. Instead of being a central value in itself,…Read more
  • Autonomy
    Bloomsbury Academic. 2013.
    Philosophers have various reasons to be interested in individual autonomy. Individual self-rule is widely recognized to be important. But what, exactly, is autonomy? In what ways is it important? And just how important is it? This book introduces contemporary philosophical thought about the nature and significance of individual self-rule. Andrew Sneddon divides self-rule into autonomy of choice and autonomy of persons. Unlike most philosophical treatments of autonomy, Sneddon addresses empirical…Read more
  •  9
    Prichard, Strawson, and Two Objections to Moral Sensibility Theories
    Journal of Philosophical Research 29 289-314. 2004.
    Stephen Darwall, Allan Gibbard, and Peter Railton formulate two objections to moral sensibility theories in their overview of twentieth-century moral theory, “Toward Fin de siècle Ethics: Some Trends.” Instead of using the work of sensibility theorists John McDowell and David Wiggins to address these objections, I turn to H. A. Prichard and P. F. Strawson. The reason for doing so is that the objections misunderstand the importance of the idea of the autonomy of the moral domain. Prichard and Str…Read more
  •  11
    The debate has continued in these terms to the present day. In Like-Minded, Andrew Sneddon argues that "reason" and "passion" do not satisfactorily capture all the important options for explaining the psychological foundations of morality.
  •  70
    A New Kantian Response to Maxim-Fiddling
    Kantian Review 16 (1): 67-88. 2011.
    There has long been a suspicion that Kant's test for the universalizability of maxims can be easily subverted: instead of risking failing the test, design your maxim for any action whatsoever in a manner guaranteed to pass. This is the problem of maxim-fiddling. The present discussion of this problem has two theses: 1] That extant approaches to maxim-fiddling are not satisfactory;2] That a satisfactory response to maxim-fiddling can be articulated using Kantian resources, especially the first tw…Read more