•  263
    Morality Under Risk
    Dissertation, . 2019.
    Many argue that absolutist moral theories -- those that prohibit particular kinds of actions or trade-offs under all circumstances -- cannot adequately account for the permissibility of risky actions. In this dissertation, I defend various versions of absolutism against this critique, using overlooked resources from formal decision theory. Against the prevailing view, I argue that almost all absolutist moral theories can give systematic and plausible verdicts about what to do in risky cases. In …Read more
  •  66
    The Problem of Ignorance
    Ethics. forthcoming.
    Holly Smith (2014) contends that subjective deontological theories – those that hold that our moral duties are sensitive to our beliefs about our situation – cannot correctly determine whether one ought to gather more information before acting. Against this contention, I argue that deontological theories can use a decision-theoretic approach to evaluating the moral importance of information. I then argue that this approach compares favourably with an alternative approach proposed by Philip Swens…Read more
  •  58
    Axiological Absolutism and Risk
    with Seth Lazar
    Noûs 53 (1): 97-113. 2019.
    Consider the following claim: given the choice between saving a life and preventing any number of people from temporarily experiencing a mild headache, you should always save the life. Many moral theorists accept this claim. In doing so, they commit themselves to some form of ‘moral absolutism’: the view that there are some moral considerations that cannot be outweighed by any number of lesser moral considerations. In contexts of certainty, it is clear what moral absolutism requires of you. Howe…Read more
  •  47
    Moral priorities under risk
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6): 793-811. 2018.
    Many moral theories are committed to the idea that some kinds of moral considerations should be respected, whatever the cost to ‘lesser’ types of considerations. A person’s life, for instance, should not be sacrificed for the trivial pleasures of others, no matter how many would benefit. However, according to the decision-theoretic critique of lexical priority theories, accepting lexical priorities inevitably leads us to make unacceptable decisions in risky situations. It seems that to operate i…Read more