•  658
    Epicurus seems to have thought that death is not bad for the one who dies, since its badness cannot be located in time. I show that Epicurus’ argument presupposes Presentism, and I argue that death is bad for its victim at all and only those times when the person would have been living a life worth living had she not died when she did. I argue that my account is superior to competing accounts given by Thomas Nagel, Fred Feldman and Neil Feit.
  •  425
    Against satisficing consequentialism
    Utilitas 18 (2): 97-108. 2006.
    The move to satisficing has been thought to help consequentialists avoid the problem of demandingness. But this is a mistake. In this article I formulate several versions of satisficing consequentialism. I show that every version is unacceptable, because every version permits agents to bring about a submaximal outcome in order to prevent a better outcome from obtaining. Some satisficers try to avoid this problem by incorporating a notion of personal sacrifice into the view. I show that these att…Read more
  •  380
    How bad is death?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1): 111-127. 2007.
    A popular view about why death is bad for the one who dies is that death deprives its subject of the good things in life. This is the “deprivation account” of the evil of death. There is another view about death that seems incompatible with the deprivation account: the view that a person’s death is less bad if she has lived a good life. In The Ethics of Killing, Jeff McMahan argues that a deprivation account should discount the evil of death for previous gains in life. I argue against discountin…Read more
  •  320
    Virtue consequentialism
    Utilitas 17 (3): 282-298. 2005.
    Virtue consequentialism has been held by many prominent philosophers, but has never been properly formulated. I criticize Julia Driver's formulation of virtue consequentialism and offer an alternative. I maintain that according to the best version of virtue consequentialism, attributions of virtue are really disguised comparisons between two character traits, and the consequences of a trait in non-actual circumstances may affect its actual status as a virtue or vice. Such a view best enables the…Read more
  •  306
    The Worst Time to Die
    Ethics 118 (2): 291-314. 2008.
    At what stage of life is death worst for its victim? I hold that, typically, death is worse the earlier it occurs. Others, including Jeff McMahan and Christopher Belshaw, have argued that it is worst to die in early adulthood. In this paper I show that McMahan and Belshaw are wrong; I show that views that entail that Student’s death is worse face fatal objections. I focus in particular on McMahan’s time-relative interest account (TRIA) of the badness of death. Manuscript in progress.
  •  287
    Benatar and the Logic of Betterness
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2): 1-6. 2010.
    David Benatar argues that creating someone always harms them. I argue that his master argument rests on a conceptual incoherence.
  •  272
    Well-Being and Death
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life …Read more
  •  267
    Two Concepts of Intrinsic Value
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2): 111-130. 2006.
    Recent literature on intrinsic value contains a number of disputes about the nature of the concept. On the one hand, there are those who think states of affairs, such as states of pleasure or desire satisfaction, are the bearers of intrinsic value (“Mooreans”); on the other hand, there are those who think concrete objects, like people, are intrinsically valuable (“Kantians”). The contention of this paper is that there is not a single concept of intrinsic value about which Mooreans and Kantians h…Read more
  •  245
    Desires
    Mind 117 (466): 267-302. 2008.
    We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those …Read more
  •  244
    Doing Away with Harm
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2): 390-412. 2012.
    I argue that extant accounts of harm all fail to account for important desiderata, and that we should therefore jettison the concept when doing moral philosophy.
  •  221
    Is intrinsic value conditional?
    Philosophical Studies 107 (1). 2002.
    Accoding to G.E. Moore, something''s intrinsic valuedepends solely on its intrinsic nature. Recently Thomas Hurka andShelly Kagan have argued, contra Moore, that something''s intrinsic valuemay depend on its extrinsic properties. Call this view the ConditionalView of intrinsic value. In this paper I demonstrate how a Mooreancan account for purported counterexamples given by Hurka and Kagan. I thenargue that certain organic unities pose difficulties for the ConditionalView.
  •  214
    Asymmetries in Benefiting, Harming and Creating
    The Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2): 37-49. 2013.
    It is often said that while we have a strong reason not to create someone who will be badly off, we have no strong reason for creating someone who will be well off. In this paper I argue that this asymmetry is incompatible with a plausible principle of independence of irrelevant alternatives, and that a more general asymmetry between harming and benefiting is difficult to defend. I then argue that, contrary to what many have claimed, it is possible to harm or benefit someone by bringing her into…Read more
  •  192
    “Doing and Allowing” and Doing and Allowing
    with Michael Stocker
    Ethics 115 (4): 799-808. 2005.
    We reply to Scheffler's "Doing and Allowing."
  •  165
    How Should We Feel About Death?
    Philosophical Papers 44 (1): 1-14. 2015.
    This paper examines the implications of the context-sensitivity of counterfactuals for the correctness of emotions and attitudes towards death. I argue that the correctness of an attitude such as fear must be explained by appeal to its causal relations to certain preferences
  •  164
    A paradox for some theories of welfare
    Philosophical Studies 133 (1). 2007.
    Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
  •  153
    Existential Terror
    The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4): 409-418. 2015.
    Many of us feel existential terror when contemplating our future nonexistence. I examine several attempts to rationally justify existential terror. The most promising of these appeals to the effects of future nonexistence on the meaningfulness of our lives. I argue that even this justification fails, and therefore existential terror is irrational.
  •  149
    The value of endangered species
    Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (1): 43-58. 2001.
    I argue against several extant views (Rolston, etc) about the value of endangered species. I argue that the best way to defend a non-anthropocentric view about the value of endangered species is to appeal to the intrinsic value of biological diversity.
  •  114
    Letter from the Editors
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (1). 2020.
  •  110
    Fischer on death and unexperienced evils (review)
    Philosophical Studies 158 (3): 507-513. 2012.
    Fischer on death and unexperienced evils Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9667-0 Authors Ben Bradley, Philosophy Department, Syracuse University, 541 Hall of Languages, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
  •  107
    Extrinsic value
    Philosophical Studies 91 (2): 109-126. 1998.
  •  106
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death (edited book)
    with Fred Feldman and Jens Johansson
    Oxford University Press USA. 2012.
    Death has long been a pre-occupation of philosophers, and this is especially so today. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death collects 21 newly commissioned essays that cover current philosophical thinking of death-related topics across the entire range of the discipline. These include metaphysical topics--such as the nature of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the nature of persons, and how our thinking about time affects what we think about death--as well as axiological topics, such …Read more
  •  91
    A Defense of Temporal Well-Being
    Res Philosophica 98 (1): 117-123. 2021.
  •  83
    Narrativity, Freedom, and Redeeming the Past
    Social Theory and Practice 37 (1): 47-62. 2011.
    Many philosophers endorse the view that global or “narrative” features of a life at least partly determine its value. For instance, a life in which the subject redeems her past failures and sacrifices with later successes is thought to be better, ceteris paribus, than one in which her later successes are unrelated to her previous failures. In this paper I distinguish some views about narrative value, including Fischer’s views about the importance of free will for narrative value, and raise a num…Read more
  •  71
    Doing Away with Harm1
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2): 390-412. 2012.
  •  40
    Goodness and Justice (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1): 233-243. 2012.
    In Goodness and Justice, Joseph Mendola defends three related views in normative ethics: a novel form of consequentialism, a Bentham-style hedonism about “basic” value, and a maximin principle about the value of a world. In defending these views he draws on his views in metaethics, action theory, and the philosophy of mind. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging book. I begin with a quick explanation of Mendola’s views, and then raise some problems
  •  40
    The Nature of Intrinsic Value
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2): 492-494. 2004.
    The concept of intrinsic value is central to ethical theory, yet in recent years high-quality book-length treatments of the subject have been scarce. This makes the arrival of Zimmerman’s book quite welcome. Zimmerman takes up several of the themes Moore was concerned with in Principia Ethica, but often reaches different conclusions; for example, Zimmerman argues that intrinsic goodness can be analyzed, and rejects Moore’s principle of organic unities. The book is rich with arguments, and I can …Read more
  •  39
    Intrinsic Value
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.