•  34
    Moral Deliberation and Desire Development: Herman on Alienation
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2): 283-308. 2009.
    In Chapter 9 of The Practice of Moral Judgment and her later article Making Room for Character, Barbara Herman offers a distinctive response to a familiar set of concerns with the room left for character and personal relationships in Kantian ethics. She begins by acknowledging the shortcomings of her previous response on this issue and by distancing herself from a standard kind of indirect argument for the importance of personal commitments according to which these have moral weight in virtue of…Read more
  •  492
    Abortion, Persons, and Futures of Value
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2): 86-97. 2007.
    Don Marquis argues that his “future of value” account of the ethics of killing affords us a persuasive argument against abortion that avoids difficult questions about the moral status of the fetus. I argue that Marquis’ account is missing essential detail required for the claimed plausibility of the argument and that any attempt to provide this needed detail can be expected to undercut the claim of plausibility. I argue that this is the case because attempts to provide the missing detail are tan…Read more
  •  55
    Balancing commitments: Own-happiness and beneficence
    Contemporary Studies in Kantian Philosophy 2017. 2017.
    There is a familiar problem in moral theories that recognize positive obligations to help others related to the practical room these obligations leave for ordinary life, and the risk that open-ended obligations to help others will consume our lives and resources. Responding to this problem, Kantians have tended to emphasize the idea of limits on positive obligations but are typically unsatisfactorily vague about the nature and extent of these limits. I argue here that aspects of Kant’s discussi…Read more
  •  282
    Norms of Truthfulness and Non-Deception in Kantian Ethics
    In Pablo Muchnik Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant Volume 4, Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 111-134. 2015.
    Questions about the morality of lying tend to be decided in a distinctive way early in discussions of Kant’s view on the basis of readings of the false promising example in his Groundwork of The metaphysics of morals. The standard deception-as-interference model that emerges typically yields a very general and strong presumption against deception associated with a narrow and rigorous model subject to a range of problems. In this paper, I suggest an alternative account based on Kant’s discussion …Read more
  •  1
    Categories of Duty and Universalization in Kant's Ethics
    Dissertation, University of Southern California. 1998.
    Rather than approaching Kant's moral theory in the normal way through a consideration of The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and The Critique of Practical Reason, I do so from the perspective of an extended analysis of other aspects of his work that bear on his moral philosophy . Consideration of the Doctrine of Right suggests that the universal principle of Right Kant identifies is a restricted version of the CI applied to the limited domain of relations between persons at issue in this…Read more
  •  100
    Kant and the marriage right
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1). 2004.
    The provision of a marriage right is a distinctive aspect of Kant ’s political philosophy and seems, initially, difficult to reconcile with the general concern with ensuring external freedom of action apparent in the universal principle of Right and the sole innate right said to follow from this principle. I claim that this provision can be regarded as consistent with this general focus and that Kant ’s treatment of issue suggests an interesting secular argument for the institution of marriage
  •  50
    Middle Theory, Inner Freedom, and Moral Health
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 24 (4). 2007.
    In her influential book, The Practice of Moral Judgment, Barbara Herman argues that Kantian ethics requires a “middle theory” applying formal rational constraints on willing to the particular circumstances and nature of human existence. I claim that a promising beginning to such a theory can be found in Kant’s discussion of duties of virtue in The Metaphysics of Morals. I argue that Kant’s distinction between perfect and imperfect duties of virtue should be understood as a distinction between du…Read more