•  98
    Police-Generated Killings: The Gap between Ethics and Law
    Political Research Quarterly. forthcoming.
    This article offers a normative analysis of some of the most controversial incidents involving police—what I call police-generated killings. In these cases, bad police tactics create a situation where deadly force becomes necessary, becomes perceived as necessary, or occurs unintentionally. Police deserve blame for such killings because they choose tactics that unnecessarily raise the risk of deadly force, thus violating their obligation to prioritize the protection of life. Since current law in…Read more
  •  12
    Apocalypse, it seems, is everywhere. Preachers with vast followings proclaim the world's end and apocalyptic fears grip even the non-religious amid climate change, pandemics, and threats of nuclear war. But as these ideas pervade popular discourse, grasping their logic remains elusive. Ben Jones argues that we can gain insight into apocalyptic thought through secular thinkers. He starts with a puzzle: Why would secular thinkers draw on Christian apocalyptic beliefs--often dismissed as bizarre--t…Read more
  •  44
    Police Ethics after Ferguson
    In Ben Jones & Eduardo Mendieta (eds.), The Ethics of Policing: New Perspectives on Law Enforcement, New York University Press. pp. 1-22. 2021.
    In 2014, questionable police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice sparked mass protests and put policing at the center of national debate. Mass protests erupted again in 2020 after the brutal police killing of George Floyd. These and other incidents have put a spotlight on a host of issues that threaten the legitimacy of policing—excessive force, racial bias, over-policing of marginalized communities, historic injustices that remain unaddressed, and new technology that increase…Read more
  •  123
    The devastating impact of the COVID‐19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is prompting renewed scrutiny of practices that heighten the risk of infectious disease. One such practice is refusing available vaccines known to be effective at preventing dangerous communicable diseases. For reasons of preventing individual harm, avoiding complicity in collective harm, and fairness, there is a growing consensus among ethicists that individuals have a duty to get vaccinated. I argue that these same grou…Read more
  •  19
    From George Floyd to Breonna Taylor, the brutal deaths of Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement have brought race and policing to the forefront of national debate in the United States. In The Ethics of Policing, Ben Jones and Eduardo Mendieta bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars across the social sciences and humanities to reevaluate the role of the police and the ethical principles that guide their work. With contributors such as Tracey Meares, Michael Walzer, and Fran…Read more
  •  178
    Political Activism and Research Ethics
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (2): 233-248. 2020.
    Those who care about and engage in politics frequently fall victim to cognitive bias. Concerns that such bias impacts scholarship recently have prompted debates—notably, in philosophy and psychology—on the proper relationship between research and politics. One proposal emerging from these debates is that researchers studying politics have a professional duty to avoid political activism because it risks biasing their work. While sympathetic to the motivations behind this proposal, I suggest sever…Read more
  •  408
    The natural kingdom of God in Hobbes’s political thought
    History of European Ideas 45 (3): 436-453. 2019.
    ABSTRACTIn Leviathan, Hobbes outlines the concept of the ‘Kingdome of God by Nature’ or ‘Naturall Kingdome of God’, terms rarely found in English texts at the time. This article traces the concept back to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which sets forth a threefold understanding of God’s kingdom – the kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory – none of which refer to civil commonwealths on earth. Hobbes abandons this Catholic typology and transforms the concept of the natural kingdom of God to…Read more
  •  95
    The challenges of ideal theory and appeal of secular apocalyptic thought
    European Journal of Political Theory 19 (4): 465-488. 2020.
    Why do thinkers hostile or agnostic toward Christianity find in its apocalyptic doctrines—often seen as bizarre—appealing tools for interpreting politics? This article tackles that puzzle. First, i...
  •  204
    Drones and Dirty Hands
    with John M. Parrish
    In Kerstin Fisk & Jennifer Ramos (eds.), Preventive Force: Drones, Targeted Killings, and the Transformation of Contemporary Warfare, New York University Press. pp. 283-312. 2016.
    The period known as the “War on Terror” has prompted a revival of interest in the idea of moral dilemmas and the problem of “dirty hands” in public life. Some contend that a policy of targeted killing of terrorist actors is (under specified but not uncommon circumstances) an instance of a dirty-handed moral dilemma – morally required yet morally forbidden, the least evil choice available in the circumstances, but one that nevertheless leaves an indelible moral stain on the character of the perso…Read more
  •  152
    Authenticity in Political Discourse
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2): 489-504. 2016.
    Judith Shklar, David Runciman, and others argue against what they see as excessive criticism of political hypocrisy. Such arguments often assume that communicating in an authentic manner is an impossible political ideal. This article challenges the characterization of authenticity as an unrealistic ideal and makes the case that its value can be grounded in a certain political realism sensitive to the threats posed by representative democracy. First, by analyzing authenticity’s demands for politi…Read more