•  849
    Desire and What It’s Rational to Do
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4): 761-775. 2021.
    It is often taken for granted that our desires can contribute to what it is rational for us to do. This paper examines an account of desire—the ‘guise of the good’— that promises an explanation of this datum. I argue that extant guise-of-the-good accounts fail to provide an adequate explanation of how a class of desires—basic desires—contributes to practical rationality. I develop an alternative guise-of-the-good account on which basic desires attune us to our reasons for action in virtue of the…Read more
  •  327
    Desire and Satisfaction
    Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4). 2020.
    Desire satisfaction has not received detailed philosophical examination. Yet intuitive judgments about the satisfaction of desires have been used as data points guiding theories of desire, desire content, and the semantics of ‘desire’. This paper examines desire satisfaction and the standard propositional view of desire. Firstly, I argue that there are several distinct concepts of satisfaction. Secondly, I argue that separating them defuses a difficulty for the standard view in accommodating des…Read more
  •  300
    This paper evaluates the claim that some desires provide reasons in virtue of their connection with conscious affective experiences like feelings of attraction or aversion. I clarify the nature of affective desires and several distinct ways in which affective desires might provide reasons. Against accounts proposed by Ruth Chang, Declan Smithies and Jeremy Weiss, I motivate doubts that it is the phenomenology of affective experiences that explains their normative or rational significance. I outl…Read more
  •  192
    The Necessity of 'Need'
    Ethics 133 (3): 329-354. 2023.
    Many philosophers have suggested that claims of need play a special normative role in ethical thought and talk. But what do such claims mean? What does this special role amount to? Progress on these questions can be made by attending to a puzzle concerning some linguistic differences between two types of 'need' sentence: one where 'need' occurs as a verb, and where it occurs as a noun. I argue that the resources developed to solve the puzzle advance our understanding of the metaphysics of need, …Read more
  •  64
    Focus on slurs
    Mind and Language. forthcoming.
    Slurring expressions display puzzling behaviour when embedded, such as under negation and in attitude and speech reports. They frequently appear to retain their characteristic qualities, like offensiveness and propensity to derogate. Yet it is sometimes possible to understand them as lacking these qualities. A theory of slurring expressions should explain this variability. We develop an explanation that deploys the linguistic notion of focus. Our proposal is that a speaker can conversationally i…Read more
  •  36
    Ethics and the Emotions: An Introduction to the Special Issue
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (3): 193-201. 2022.
    This introduction provides brief outlines of the articles collected in this special issue of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies on the topic of Ethics and Emotions. It also announces the winners of the 2021 Robert Papazian and PERITIA prizes.