•  104
    What ability can do
    Philosophical Studies 175 (3): 703-723. 2018.
    One natural way to argue for the existence of some subjective constraint on agents’ obligations is to maintain that without that particular constraint, agents will sometimes be obligated to do that which they lack the ability to do. In this paper, I maintain that while such a strategy appears promising, it is fraught with pitfalls. Specifically, I argue that because the truth of an ability ascription depends on an (almost always implicit) characterization of the relevant possibility space, diffe…Read more
  •  80
    There are cases of ineffable learning — i. e., cases where an agent learns something, but becomes certain of nothing that she can express — where it is rational to update by Jeffrey conditionalization. But there are likewise cases of ineffable learning where updating by Jeffrey conditionalization is irrational. In this paper, we first characterize a novel class of cases where it is irrational to update by Jeffrey conditionalization. Then we use the d-separation criterion to develop a causal unde…Read more
  •  67
    Why Decision-making Capacity Matters
    Journal of Moral Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Decision-making Capacity (DMC) matters to whether a patient’s decision should determine her treatment. But why it matters in this way isn’t clear. The standard story is that DMC matters because autonomy matters. And this is thought to justify DMC as a gatekeeper for autonomy—whereby autonomy concerns arise if but only if a patient has DMC. But appeals to autonomy invoke two distinct concerns: concern for authenticity—concern that a choice is consistent with an individual’s commitments; and conce…Read more
  •  35
    Wrongfulness rewarded?
    Synthese 1-20. forthcoming.
    In this paper, we raise and discuss a puzzle about the relationships among goods, reasons, and deontic status. Suppose you have it within your power to give someone something they would enjoy. The following claims seem platitudinous: you can use this power to reward whatever kind of option you want, thereby making that option better and generating a reason for that person to perform it; this reason is then weighed alongside and against the other reasons at play; and altogether, the reasons deter…Read more
  •  17
    It is natural to think that there is a tight connection between whether someone is responsible for some outcome and whether it is appropriate to hold her accountable for that outcome. And this natural thought naturally extends to health: if someone is responsible for her health, then, all else being equal, she is accountable for it. Given this, some have thought that responsibility for health has an important role to play in distributing the benefits and burdens of healthcare. But there is a rea…Read more