•  447
    Accountability and Parenthood in Locke's Theological Ethics
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 31 (2): 101-118. 2014.
    According to John Locke, the conditions of human happiness establish the content of natural law, but God’s commands make it morally binding. This raises two questions. First, why does moral obligation require an authority figure? Second, what gives God authority? I argue that, according to Locke, moral obligation requires an authority figure because to have an obligation is to be accountable to someone. I then argue that, according to Locke, God has a kind of parental authority inasmuch as he is…Read more
  •  447
    Robust Deliberative Democracy
    Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (3-4): 494-516. 2016.
    Deliberative democracy aspires to secure political liberty by making citizens the authors of their laws. But how can it do this in the face of deep disagreement, not to mention imperfect knowledge and limited altruism? Deliberative democracy can secure political liberty by affording each citizen an equal position as a co-author of public laws and norms. Moreover, fundamental deliberative democracy—in which institutional design is ultimately accountable to public deliberation but not necessarily …Read more
  •  177
    Boyle’s Reductive Occasionalism
    Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1): 2. 2019.
    Was Robert Boyle an occasionalist? And if so, what kind of occasionalist was he? These questions have long troubled commentators, as Boyle’s texts often seem to offer both endorsements of occasionalism and affirmations of bodies’ causal powers. I argue that Boyle’s position is best understood as reductive occasionalism, according to which bodily powers are relations between bodies and God’s action in the world, and there is no causal efficacy in bodies that is not strictly identical to God’s nom…Read more
  •  136
    Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic
    Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (1): 1-6. 2016.
    Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski reject expressive objections to markets on the grounds that market symbolism is culturally contingent, and contingent cultural symbols are less important than the benefits markets offer. I grant and, but I deny that these points suffice as grounds to dismiss expressive critiques of markets. For many plausible expressive critiques of markets are not symbolic critiques at all. Rather, they are critiques grounded in the idea that some market transactions embody mora…Read more
  •  73
    The Compatibility of Locke's Waste Restriction
    Locke Studies 12 183-200. 2012.
    John Locke held that every person has a natural duty to use her property efficiently, and that consent is required for legitimate political power. On the face of it, these two positions seem to be in tension. This is because, (1) according to Locke, it is nearly impossible to use resources efficiently unless one lives within a political community, and (2)the waste restriction is enforceable. Consequently, it might seem that persons living outside civil society may be forced to submit to civil po…Read more
  •  37
    The Fair Value of Economic Liberty
    Res Publica 21 (4): 413-428. 2015.
    In Free Market Fairness, John Tomasi tries to show that ‘thick’ economic liberties, including the right to own productive property, are basic liberties. According to Tomasi, the policy-level consequences of protecting economic liberty as basic are essentially libertarian in character. I argue that if economic liberties are basic, just societies must guarantee their fair value to all citizens. And in order to secure the fair value of economic liberty, states must guarantee that citizens of roughl…Read more
  •  25
    Sufficiency and freedom in Locke’s theory of property
    European Journal of Political Theory 17 (2): 152-173. 2018.
    It is traditional to ascribe to Locke the view that every person who acquires natural property rights by labouring on resources is obligated to leave sufficient resources for everyone else. But during the last several decades, a number of authors have contributed to a compelling textual case against this reading. Nevertheless, Locke clearly indicates that there is something wrong with distributions in which some suffer while others thrive. But if he does not endorse the traditional proviso, what…Read more
  •  4
    Capitalism in the western world is currently facing a crisis of legitimacy in the face of rampant and growing inequality. In response, people are challenging the status quo and demanding their economic rights. But what economic rights do we have, and why? This book explores how four remarkable thinkers answered these questions during the nineteenth century's industrial revolution and how their ideas can provide a blueprint for economic justice today.