Princeton University
Department of Philosophy
Ithaca, New York, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Law
  •  243
    There are No Easy Counterexamples to Legal Anti-positivism
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1). 2020.
    Legal anti-positivism is widely believed to be a general theory of law that generates far too many false negatives. If anti-positivism is true, certain rules bearing all the hallmarks of legality are not in fact legal. This impression, fostered by both positivists and anti-positivists, stems from an overly narrow conception of the kinds of moral facts that ground legal facts: roughly, facts about what is morally optimific—morally best or morally justified or morally obligatory given our social p…Read more
  •  195
    Supervenience, Repeatability, & Expressivism
    Noûs 54 (3): 578-599. 2020.
    Expressivists traditionally explain normative supervenience by saying it is a conceptual truth. I argue against this tradition in two steps. First, I show the modal claim that stands in need of explanation has been stated imprecisely. Classic arguments in metaethics for normative supervenience and those that rely on it as a premise presuppose a constraint on the supervenience base that is rarely (if ever) made explicit: the repeatability of the non-normative properties on which the normative sup…Read more
  •  92
    How to be impartial as a subjectivist
    Philosophical Studies 173 (3): 757-779. 2016.
    The metaethical subjectivist claims that there is nothing more to a moral disagreement than a conflict in the desires of the parties involved. Recently, David Enoch has argued that metaethical subjectivism has unacceptable ethical implications. If the subjectivist is right about moral disagreement, then it follows, according to Enoch, that we cannot stand our ground in moral disagreements without violating the demands of impartiality. For being impartial, we’re told, involves being willing to co…Read more
  •  71
    On Ground as a Guide to Realism
    Ratio 31 (2): 165-178. 2018.
    According to Fine (among others), a nonbasic factual proposition must be grounded in facts involving those of its constituents that are both real and fundamental. But the principle is vulnerable to several dialectically significant counterexamples. It entails, for example, that a logical Platonist cannot accept that true disjunctions are grounded in the truth of their disjuncts; that a Platonist about mathematical objects cannot accept that sets are grounded in their members; and that a color pr…Read more
  •  63
    Review of "Natural Law & the Nature of Law" by Jonathan Crowe (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2020. 2020.
    Commentary on Crowe's metaethics and his theory of law as a goodness-fixing kind.
  •  18
    Legal Obligation & Its Limits
    Law and Philosophy 38 (2): 109-147. 2019.
    Judges decide cases by appeal to rules of general application they deem to be law. If a candidate rule resolves the case and is, ex ante and independently of the judge’s judgment, the law, then the judge has a legal obligation to declare it as such and follow it. That, at any rate, is conventional wisdom. Yet the principle is false – a rule’s being law or the judge’s believing it to be law is neither necessary nor even sufficient for a judge being legally obliged to follow it. The principle’s fa…Read more