• Language Ethics (edited book)
    with Yael Peled
    Mcgill-Queen's University Press. 2020.
    Language is central to political philosophy, yet until now there has been little in the way of a common framework capable of bridging disciplines that share an interest in language, power, and ethics. Studies are predominantly carried out in isolated disciplinary silos - notably linguistics, philosophy, political science, public administration, and education. This volume proposes a new vision for understanding the political ethics of language, particularly in linguistically diverse societies, an…Read more
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    Harm Reduction: A Research Agenda
    Health Care Analysis 28 (4): 299-301. 2020.
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    The post-confinement phase of the COVID-19 pandemic will require that governments navigate more complex ethical questions than had occurred in the initial, ‘curve-flattening’ phase, and that will occur when the pandemic is in the past. By looking at the unavoidable harms involved in the confinement and quarantine methods employed during the initial phase of the pandemic, we can develop a harm reduction approach to managing the phase during which society will be gradually reopened in a context of…Read more
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    Natural Law and Public Reason in Kant’s Political Philosophy
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3): 389-411. 1996.
    My intention in this essay will be to explore the role that consent-based arguments perform in Kant's political and legal philosophy. I want to uncover the extent to which Kant considered that the legitimacy of the State and of its laws depends upon the outcome of intersubjective deliberation. Commentators have divided over the following question: Is Kant best viewed as a member of the social contract tradition, according to which the legitimacy of the state and of the laws it promulgates derive…Read more
  • Should We Change How We Vote?: Evaluating Canada's Electoral System (edited book)
    with Andrew Potter and Peter Loewen
    Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017.. 2017.
    An evaluation of the current electoral system in response to calls for its reform.
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    The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2015.
    The political philosophy of liberalism was first formulated during the Enlightenment in response to the growth of the modern nation-state and its authority and power over the individuals living within its boundaries. Liberalism is now the dominant ideology in the Western world, but it covers a broad swathe of different ideas and traditions and its essential features can be hard to define. The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism offers a rich and accessible exploration of liberalism as a tradition …Read more
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    The political ethics of health
    Les Ateliers de L’Ethique 5 (1): 105-118. 2010.
    This paper seeks to provide an overview of some of the main areas of debate that have emerged in recent years at the interface between theories of justice and health care. First, the paper consi- ders various positions as to what the index of justice with respect to health ought to be. It warns on practical and principled grounds against conceptual inflation of the notion of "health" as it appears in theories of distributive justice. Second, it considers how various standards according to which …Read more
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    Making Sense of Mill (review)
    Dialogue 35 (4): 791-804. 1996.
    Wendy Donner's The Liberal Self: John Stuart Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy is an important and thought-provoking addition to the growing body of literature seeking to rescue Mill's practical philosophy from the rather lowly place it occupied in the estimation of many philosophers earlier this century, and to present him as a philosopher whose views form a coherent, systematic whole that can still contribute significantly to numerous moral and political debates. The book proposes an inter…Read more
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    Prospects for Transnational Citizenship and Democracy
    Ethics and International Affairs 15 (2): 53-66. 2001.
    Many of the problems that would be faced in setting up transnational institutions mirror problems that have already been addressed by appropriate institutional mechanisms in the establishment of the modern nation-state.
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    Toward a Proceduralist Theory of Secession
    Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 13 (2): 251-262. 2000.
    Substantive theorists of secession face a problem explaining why the international community ought on their view to withhold recognition from secessions which involve a loss in terms of the substantive criteria they privilege; this is so because the normal electoral politics giving rise to such a loss should not in their opinion meet with any adverse international reaction. The substantive theory of David Miller uses criteria for the legitimacy of secessions which give rise to strangely amoral c…Read more
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    Review of Alain Renaut, Qu'est-Ce Qu'un Peuple Libre?: Libéralisme Ou Républicanisme (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (1). 2007.
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    Éthique et politique : Introduction
    Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 7 (3): 5-6. 2012.
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    On the Complementarity of the Ages of Life
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (S1): 47-59. 2018.
    In a pair of influential papers, Tamar Schapiro argues that childhood is a ‘predicament’, in that children lack stable characters that allow them to be subjects of ascriptions of moral responsibility. Comparing childhood to the political ‘state of nature’, Schapiro holds that childhood is a stage of life from which agents must be liberated. I argue that the comparison to the state of nature gives rise to the implication that ‘instantaneous adulthood’ would be a desirable state. Canvassing the na…Read more
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    Libéraux et communautariens (review)
    Dialogue 37 (4): 844-846. 1998.
    Le débat entre libéraux et communautariens a fait coulé des fleuves d’encre depuis le début des années 1980 dans le domaine de la philosophie politique d’expression anglaise. Le coup d’envoi de ce débat fut sans doute la Théorie de la justice de John Rawls, publiée en 1971. Le livre suscita de la part des auteurs communautariens une vive réaction, dont les moments les plus forts furent probablement Liberalism and the Limits of Justice de Michael Sandel, Spheres of Justice de Michael Walzer, et A…Read more
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    On the possibility of principled moral compromise
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (4): 537-556. 2013.
    No abstract
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    National Partiality: Confronting the Intuitions
    The Monist 82 (3): 516-541. 1999.
    Recent defenders of nationalism have pointed to the fact that most people feel that their obligations towards their compatriots are either more numerous or more stringent than those which bind them to people from other countries. They point to this fact as evidence that something is seriously amiss with the universalism which allegedly underpins liberal theory. That people believe quite strongly that they have such special obligations is taken as a datum for which different theories of justice m…Read more
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    On Partisan Compromise
    Political Theory 47 (1): 90-96. 2019.
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    National Partiality
    The Monist 82 (3): 516-541. 1999.
    Recent defenders of nationalism have pointed to the fact that most people feel that their obligations towards their compatriots are either more numerous or more stringent than those which bind them to people from other countries. They point to this fact as evidence that something is seriously amiss with the universalism which allegedly underpins liberal theory. That people believe quite strongly that they have such special obligations is taken as a datum for which different theories of justice m…Read more
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    Libéralisme, nationalisme et pluralisme culturel
    Philosophiques 19 (2): 117-144. 1992.
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    Motivating the global Demos
    Metaphilosophy 40 (1): 92-108. 2009.
    Abstract: Debates about the possibility of global democracy and justice are plagued by a fallacious assumption made by all parties. That assumption is that there is a "naturalness" to relations among fellow nationals to which a global demos could never aspire. In fact, nation builders employed a great many tools that mobilized the psychological and moral susceptibilities of individuals in order to create a sense of solidarity out of initially heterogeneous elements. Two such tools are described …Read more
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    There is an underappreciated disconnect between the ultimate values that lie at the heart of contemporary theories of distributive justice, and the practice of state institutions. State institutions deliver “intermediate goods” – goods such as health-care, education, housing, transportation, and the like – that are instrumental to a society being distributively just, but that do not in an of themselves constitute criteria of justice. Researchers who have emphasized the “social determinants of he…Read more
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    Pour certains philosophes pluralistes politiques, accepter la thèse de pluralisme des valeurs entraîne le rejet de l’autonomie libérale en faveur d’une forme de libéralisme fondée sur l’idéal de la tolérance. Cette idée est fausse. D’abord le pluralisme des valeurs partage avec le relativisme la difficulté inhérente à toute tentative de tirer une conclusion normative d’une thèse descriptive. Chercher à soutenir l’argument en comblant les prémisses manquantes montre que le pluralisme des valeurs …Read more