•  11
    Disagreement, Anti-Realism about Reasons, and Inference to the Best Explanation
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1-17. forthcoming.
    I defend an inference to the best explanation argument for anti-realism about reasons for acting based on the history of intractable disagreement in moral philosophy. The four key premises of the argument are: 1. If there were objective reasons for action, epistemically-well-situated observers would eventually converge upon them after two thousand years; 2. Contemporary philosophers, as the beneficiaries of two thousand years of philosophy, are epistemically well-situated observers; 3. Contempor…Read more
  • Law and Objectivity
    In Jules Coleman & Scott J. Shapiro (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law, Oxford University Press. 2002.
  • Nietzsche's Theory of the Will
    In Ken Gemes & Simon May (eds.), Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy, Oxford University Press. 2009.
  •  2
    Marx and Marxism
    with Lawrence Dallman
    In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. pp. 88-96. 2020.
    Many kinds of relativism have been attributed to Karl Marx. We discuss three broad areas of Marx’s thinking: his theories of history, science, and morality. Along the way, we show that Marx is committed to a version of philosophical naturalism that privileges the results of genuine science over alternative ways of understanding the world. This outlook presupposes the possibility of objective knowledge of the world. It follows that Marx is no relativist (at least in the senses we consider). Unlik…Read more
  •  17
    Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist
    Mind 105 (419): 487-491. 1996.
  •  52
    The Death of God and the Death of Morality
    The Monist 102 (3): 386-402. 2019.
    Nietzsche famously proclaimed the “death of God,” but in so doing it was not God’s death that was really notable—Nietzsche assumes that most reflective, modern readers realize that “the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable” —but the implications of that belief becoming unbelievable, namely, “how much must collapse now that this faith has been undermined,” in particular, “the whole of our European morality”. What is the connection between the death of God and the death of morality?…Read more
  • Nietzsche and the Morality Critics
    In John Richardson & Brian Leiter (eds.), Nietzsche, Oxford University Press. 2001.
  •  5
    Moral Psychology with Nietzsche
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    Brian Leiter draws on empirical psychology to defend a set of radical ideas from Nietzsche: there is no objectively true morality, there is no free will, no one is ever morally responsible, and our conscious thoughts play almost no significant role in our actions. Nietzsche emerges as not just a great philosopher but a prescient psychologist.
  •  41
    Rorty’s Rejection of Philosophy
    Analyse & Kritik 41 (1): 23-30. 2019.
    I argue that the real puzzle about Richard Rorty’s intellectual development is not why he gave up on ‘analytic’ philosophy-he had never been much committed to that research agenda, even before it became moribund-but why, beginning with Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, he gave up on the central concerns of philosophy going back to antiquity. In addition to Rorty’s published works, I draw on biographical information about Rorty’s undergraduate and graduate education to support this assessment,…Read more
  •  80
    The Truth Is Terrible
    Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49 (2): 151. 2018.
    Nietzsche famously says, in his unusual autobiography EH and elsewhere in his corpus,1 that “the truth is terrible,” and I would like to begin by canvassing the various considerations in support of that conclusion, both ones that Nietzsche explicitly acknowledged, and also others, offered in a Nietzschean spirit, that support his verdict.First, for Nietzsche, as for Schopenhauer before him, there are the terrible existential truths about the human situation. The fact that all of us are destined …Read more
  •  41
    The innocence of becoming: Nietzsche against guilt
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (1): 70-92. 2019.
    ABSTRACTI offer an interpretation of Nietzsche's striking idea of ‘the innocence of becoming’, and a partial defense of its import, namely, that no one is ever morally responsible or guilty for what they do and that many of the so-called reactive attitudes are misplaced. I focus primarily, though not exclusively, on the arguments as set out in Twilight of the Idols. First, there is Nietzsche's hypothesis, partly psychological and partly historical or anthropological, that the ideas of ‘free’ act…Read more
  •  17
    A teoria nietzschiana da vontade
    Cadernos Nietzsche 38 (3): 17-49. 2017.
  • Oxford Studies in Legal Philosophy, vol. 2 (edited book)
    with L. Green
    Oxford UP. 2013.
  •  14
    Nietzsche's Naturalism and Nineteenth-Century Biology
    Journal of Nietzsche Studies 48 (1): 71-82. 2017.
    Christian Emden has written an informative if sometimes philosophically frustrating book about Nietzsche’s engagement with both neo-Kantian philosophers 1 and the life sciences from the 1840s onward. Emden documents the preceding with an eye to shedding light not only on Nietzsche’s naturalism, on “what does it mean to ‘translate humanity back into nature’” as Nietzsche put it in BGE, but also on what Emden calls “the problem of normativity,” variously stated as how to “obtain an understanding o…Read more
  •  2
    Nietzsche on Morality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3): 729-740. 2005.
  •  9
    Nietzsche's Metaethics: Against the Privilege Readings
    European Journal of Philosophy 8 (3): 277-297. 2000.
  •  4
    23. Moralities Are a Sign-Language of the Affects
    In Bartholomew Ryan, Maria Joao Mayer Branco & João Constancio (eds.), Nietzsche and the Problem of Subjectivity, De Gruyter. pp. 574-596. 2015.
  • In Chapters I-III, I argue that Nietzsche is a critic of "morality" in the sense of any system of values that has one or both of the following features: it presupposes the truth of certain descriptive claims about human agency, in the sense that for the evaluative categories to be intelligibly applied to persons these claims must be true ; it favors the interests of the "lowest" at the expense of the "highest" men, the embodiments of human excellence. I illustrate, in particular, how this latter…Read more
  •  30
    Realism, Hard Positivism, and Conceptual Analysis
    Legal Theory 4 (4): 533-547. 1998.
    The American Legal Realists, as I read them, are tacit legal positivists: they presuppose views about the criteria of legality that have affinities with positivist accounts of law in the sense that they employ primarily pedigree tests of legal validity. Ever since Ronald Dworkin's well-known critique of H.L.A. Hart's positivism a generation ago, however, it has been hotly contested whether there is anything about positivism as a legal theory that requires that tests of legal validity be pedigree…Read more
  •  72
    Nietzsche's theory of the will
    In Ken Gemes & Simon May (eds.), Philosophical Topics, Oxford University Press. pp. 119-137. 2005.
    The essay offers a philosophical reconstruction of Nietzsche's theory of the will, focusing on (1) Nietzsche's account of the phenomenology of "willing " an action, the experience we have which leads us (causally) to conceive of ourselves as exercising our will; (2) Nietzsche's arguments that the experiences picked out by the phenomenology are not causally connected to the resulting action (at least not in a way sufficient to underwrite ascriptions of moral responsibility); and (3) Nietzsche's a…Read more
  •  73