University of Arizona
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2010
Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America
  •  832
    Civil Liberties in a Lockdown: The Case of COVID-19
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1-24. forthcoming.
    In response to the spread of COVID-19, governments across the world have, with very few exceptions, enacted sweeping restrictive lockdown policies that impede citizens’ freedom to move, work, and assemble. This paper critically responds to the central arguments for restrictive lockdown legislation. We build our critique on the following assumption: public policy that enjoys virtually unanimous support worldwide should be justified by uncontroversial moral principles. We argue that that the vi…Read more
  •  204
    Sufficientarians claim that what matters most is that people have enough. I develop and defend a revised sufficientarian conception of justice. I claim that it furnishes the best specification of a general humanitarian ideal of social justice: our main moral concern should be helping those who are badly off in absolute terms. Rival humanitarian views such as egalitarianism, prioritarianism and the difference principle face serious objections from which sufficientarianism is exempt. Moreover, a r…Read more
  •  150
    Liberalism or Immigration Restrictions, But Not Both
    with Javier Hidalgo
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2): 1-22. 2016.
    This paper argues for a dilemma: you can accept liberalism or immigration restrictions, but not both. More specifically, the standard arguments for restricting freedom of movement apply equally to textbook liberal freedoms, such as freedom of speech, religion, occupation and reproductive choice. We begin with a sketch of liberalism’s core principles and an argument for why freedom of movement is plausibly on a par with other liberal freedoms. Next we argue that, if a state’s right to self-determ…Read more
  •  135
    Vote Markets
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4): 759-774. 2014.
    This paper argues for the legalization of vote markets. I contend that the state should not prohibit the sale of votes under certain institutional conditions. Jason Brennan has recently argued for the moral permissibility of vote selling; yet, thus far, no philosopher has argued for the legal permissibility of vote selling. I begin by giving four prima facie reasons in favour of legalizing vote markets. First, vote markets benefit both buyers and sellers. Second, citizens already enjoy significa…Read more
  •  113
    The self-ownership thesis asserts, roughly, that agents own their minds and bodies in the same way that they can own extra-personal property. One common strategy for defending the self-ownership thesis is to show that it accords with our intuitions about the wrongness of various acts involving the expropriation of body parts. We challenge this line of defense. We argue that disgust explains our resistance to these sorts of cases and present results from an original psychological experiment in su…Read more
  •  102
    Goodness and Moral Twin Earth
    Erkenntnis 79 (2): 445-460. 2014.
    Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons’s “Moral Twin Earth” thought experiment allegedly undercuts virtually any form of naturalist moral realism. I argue that a neo-Aristotelian conception of moral properties defeats Moral Twin Earth. Developing themes in the work of Peter Geach, Philippa Foot, and Rosalind Hursthouse, I sketch an Aristotelian moral semantics that is unique in construing terms like ‘right’ and ‘good’ exclusively as attributive adjectives that denote relational properties. On this view, …Read more
  •  90
    Priority and position
    Philosophical Studies 167 (2): 341-360. 2014.
    Positional goods are goods whose relative amount determines their absolute value. Many goods appear to have positional aspects. For example, one’s relative standing in the distribution of education and wealth may determine one’s absolute condition with respect to goods like employment opportunities, self-respect, and social inclusion. Positional goods feature in recent arguments from T.M. Scanlon, Brian Barry, and Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift that assert that we should favor egalitarian distri…Read more
  •  76
    How Neuroscience Can Vindicate Moral Intuition
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5): 1011-1025. 2015.
    Imagine that an anthropologist returns from her study of a group of people and reports the following:They refuse to kill one person even to avert the death of all involved—including that one person;They won’t directly push someone to his death to save the lives of five others, but they will push a lever to kill him to save five others;They punish transgressors because it feels right, even when they expect the punishment to cause far more harm than good—and even when the harm done by the punishme…Read more
  •  63
    Why Be Immoral?
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2): 191-205. 2010.
    Developing themes in the work of Thomas Hill, I argue that servility is an underappreciated but pervasive reason for moral transgression. Recognizing servility as a basic cause of immorality obliges us to reconsider questions about the rationality of morality. Traditional answers to the problem of the immoralist, which tend to be stated in terms of enlightened self-interest, fail to properly engage the problems posed by 'servile immorality.' In response to these problems, I develop a Humean vers…Read more
  •  54
    Analogical Arguments for Egalitarianism
    Ratio 27 (2): 222-237. 2014.
    Egalitarians sometimes analogize socioeconomic opportunities to starting gates, playing fields, and the results of a lottery. A fair game is one in which all have an equal opportunity to succeed; egalitarians propose that the same is true of a fair society. A second type of argument for egalitarianism appeals to intuitions about the distribution of found resources. A just division of manna discovered on a strange planet seems to be an equal one. Both types of argument share a crucial feature: th…Read more
  •  43
    Utilitarianism and Public Justification
    Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (3): 250-269. 2013.
  •  41
    Moral philosophy's moral risk
    Ratio 33 (3): 191-201. 2020.
    Ratio, EarlyView.
  •  36
    If You’re an Egalitarian, You Shouldn’t be so Rich
    The Journal of Ethics 25 (3): 323-337. 2020.
    G.A. Cohen famously claims that egalitarians shouldn’t be so rich. If you possess excess income and there is little chance that the state will redistribute it to the poor, you are obligated to donate it yourself. We argue that this conclusion is correct, but that the case against the rich egalitarian is significantly stronger than the one Cohen offers. In particular, the standard arguments against donating one’s excess income face two critical, unrecognized problems. First, we show that these ar…Read more
  •  28
    Poverty, partiality, and the purchase of expensive education
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (1): 25-46. 2017.
    Prioritarianism doesn’t value equality as such – any reason to equalize is due to the benefits for the worse off. But some argue that prioritarianism and egalitarianism coincide in their implications for the distribution of education: Equalizing educational opportunities improves the socioeconomic opportunities of the worse off. More specifically, a system that prohibits parents from making differential private educational expenditures would result in greater gains to the worse off than a system…Read more
  •  26
    Cosmopolitanism Within Borders: On Behalf of Charter Cities
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (1): 40-52. 2013.
    Economist Paul Romer proposes the establishment of charter cities. Charter cities would resemble special economic zones; that is, small regions that experiment with economic rules that differ from those governing their larger ‘host’ countries. Yet unlike a special economic zone, a charter city would also experiment with its own legal and political rules. The rules, in turn, can be enforced by a third-party coalition of representatives of foreign countries that enforce these rules at home. Host c…Read more
  •  26
    Equal political liberties
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2): 158-174. 2012.
    Formal guarantees of political equality are compatible with inequalities in the value of political liberties, as individuals may convert their socioeconomic advantages into political advantages. Perhaps the predominant strategy for limiting substantive political inequalities recommends limiting inequalities in the means of acquiring political power for private gain – most notably, economic means. I express a worry that measures instituted to restrict economic inequalities may do more to frustrat…Read more
  •  19
    Environmental Virtue Ethics (review)
    Ethics and the Environment 11 (1): 133-138. 2006.
  •  17
    Goodwill Toward Nature
    Environmental Values 18 (3): 343-359. 2009.
    It is sometimes claimed that an ethical relationship with nature is analogous to Aristotelian friendship. Aristotle claims that friends are valuable principally in virtue of providing reflections of ourselves; yet extant accounts of environmental friendship do not explain how nonhuman organisms can satisfy this role. Recent work in neo-Aristotelian metaethics delineates a theory of value that underscores the similarities between the biological evaluations we make of living things and the moral e…Read more
  •  16
    The Case for Markets in Citizenship
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (1): 124-136. 2017.
    A number of countries sell citizenship rights to foreign buyers. Gary Becker makes an economic case for the state's sale of citizenship; more recently, Javier Hidalgo has offered a moral defence. However, the private sale of citizenship on a market remains largely unexplored and undefended. This article argues that under certain conditions states ought to permit their citizens to swap citizenship rights with foreigners in exchange for payment. I begin by offering two defeasible reasons to legali…Read more
  •  14
    David Schmidtz and Christopher Freiman
    In David Estlund (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 411. 2012.
  •  12
    Is Desert in the Details?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1): 121-133. 2011.
  •  10
    Against parental licensing
    Journal of Social Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  8
    Drug War Reparations
    Res Philosophica 97 (2): 141-168. 2020.
    Public officials should compensate the victims of wrongful conviction and enforcement. The same considerations in favor of compensating people for wrongful conviction and enforcement in other cases support officials’ payment of reparations to the victims of unjust enforcement practices related to the drug war. First, we defend the claim that people who are convicted and incarcerated because of an unjust law are wrongfully convicted. Although their convictions do not currently qualify as wrongful…Read more
  •  6
    A Defense of Open Borders
    In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, Springer Verlag. pp. 161-171. 2018.
    This chapter defends open borders on the grounds that people have a right to immigrate and that increased immigration would enrich the world significantly, with large gains going to the global poor. I consider three major objections: immigration can create economic and social costs for citizens of destination countries, citizens ought to prioritize the interests of their compatriots over those of immigrants, and nations possess rights of self-determination that permit them to restrict immigratio…Read more
  •  2
    Unequivocal Justice
    Routledge. 2017.
    _Unequivocal Justice_ challenges the prevailing view within political philosophy that broadly free market regimes are inconsistent with the basic principles of liberal egalitarian justice. Freiman argues that the liberal egalitarian rejection of free market regimes rests on a crucial methodological mistake. Liberal egalitarians regularly assume an ideal "public interest" model of political behavior and a nonideal "private interest" model of behavior in the market and civil society. Freiman argue…Read more
  •  1
    The Marginal Cases Argument for Open Immigration
    Public Affairs Quarterly 29 (3): 257-75. 2015.