•  3
    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
  •  1
    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
  •  7
    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
  •  8
    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
  •  24
    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.
  •  10
    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
  •  24
    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.
  •  226
    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
  •  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.
  • 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
  •  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
  •  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.
  •  68
    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
  •  118
    Does Philosophy of Action Rest on a Mistake?
    Metaphilosophy 32 (5): 502-522. 2001.
    Philosophers of action tend to take for granted the concept of basic actions – actions that are done at will, or directly – as opposed to others that are performed in other ways. This concept does foundational work in action theory; many theorists, especially causalists, take part of their task to be showing that normal, complex actions necessarily stem from basic ones somehow. The case for the concept of basic actions is driven by a family of observations and a cluster of closely related anti-i…Read more
  •  22
    Taking Empirically Minded Moral Philosophy Seriously
    Dialogue 40 (3): 603-612. 2001.
    Wayne Fenske has recently offered an a posteriori interpretation and defense of the following
  •  220
    The familiar argument from disagreement has been an important focal point of discussion in contemporary meta-ethics. Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of interdisciplinary work between philosophers and psychologists about moral psychology. Working within this trend, John Doris and Alexandra Plakias have made a tentative version of the argument from disagreement on empirical grounds. Doris and Plakias present empirical evidence in support of premise 4, that ethics is beset by fund…Read more
  •  4
    It is fitting that The Daily Show had Harry Frankfurt as a guest: Frankfurt is the author of the popular “On Bullshit”, and one aim of The Daily Show, especially in its 1st and 2nd segments, is to call out bullshit as they see it. The assumption, both of the show and of its admirers, seems to be that identifying bullshit is always morally and politically significant (not to mention funny, but this aspect is not my focus). The aim of this paper is to show that, although this assumption is substan…Read more
  •  153
    Advertising and deep autonomy
    Journal of Business Ethics 33 (1). 2001.
    Concerns about advertising take one of two forms. Some people are worried that advertising threatens autonomous choice. Others are worried not about autonomy but about the values spread by advertising as a powerful institution. I suggest that this bifurcation stems from misunderstanding autonomy. When one turns from autonomous choice to autonomy of persons, or what is often glossed as self-rule, then one has reason to think that advertising poses a moral problem of a sort so far unrecognized. I …Read more
  •  15
    Action and Responsibility
    Springer. 2006.
    What makes an event count as an action? Typical answers appeal to the way in which the event was produced: e.g., perhaps an arm movement is an action when caused by mental states (in particular ways), but not when caused in other ways. I argue that this type of answer, which I call "productionism", is methodologically and substantially mistaken. In particular, productionist answers to this question tend to be either individualistic or foundationalist, or both, without explicit defence. Instead, …Read more
  •  50
    Communitarian and Liberal Themes in Moral Agency and Education
    with Mark Young
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1): 105-120. 2011.
    Philosophers and psychologists have been vigorously examining the psychological capacities that realize our moral agency. Our purpose is to take some of this work and present its implications for moral education. To connect recent work with more long-standing debates in moral education, we frame this discussion with Helen Haste’s 1996 examination of liberal and communitarian positions on moral agency and education. We argue that contemporary research does not confirm the descriptive theory of mo…Read more
  •  74
    Symbolic Value
    Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2): 395-413. 2016.
    We are familiar with the idea of symbolic value in everyday contexts, and philosophers sometimes help themselves to it when discussing other topics. However, symbolic value itself has not been sufficiently studied. What is it for something to have symbolic value? How important is symbolic value? The present purpose is to shed some light on the nature and significance of symbolic value. Two kinds of symbolic value are distinguished, called the ‘symbolic mode of valuing’ and ‘symbolism as a ground…Read more
  •  34
    Locating Happiness
    Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 49 77-81. 2008.
    Philosophers have long studied the nature of happiness and, as a consequence, have made recommendations about how to achieve it. The present paper argues that perhaps this has been a mistake. Empirical studies of happiness have been yielding important results in recent years, the implication of which is that happiness is more complex than philosophers have suspected. The crucial point is this: although very abstract and very individual-specific things can be said about happiness, there is nothin…Read more
  •  42
    Action: On Cause and Constitution
    Dialogue 43 (1): 157-. 2004.
    This is a response to Andrei Buckareff and Jing Zhu, who in "Causalisms Reconsidered" criticize my argument in, primarily, "Considering Causalisms" and, secondarily, in "Does Philosophy of Action Rest on a Mistake?".