•  34
    Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics. forthcoming.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean argumen…Read more
  •  116
    People sometimes knowingly undermine the achievement of their own goals by, e.g., playing the lottery or borrowing from loan sharks. Are these agents acting irrationally? The standard answer is “yes”. But, in a recent award-winning paper, Jennifer Morton argues “no”. On her view, the norms of practical reasoning an agent ought to follow depend on that agent’s resource context (roughly, how rich or poor they are). If Morton is correct, the orthodox view that the same norms of practical rationalit…Read more
  •  179
    One of the deepest and longest-lasting debates in ethics concerns a version of the Euthyphro question: are choiceworthy things choiceworthy because agents have certain attitudes toward them or are they choiceworthy independent of any agents’ attitudes? Reasons internalists, such as Bernard Williams, Michael Smith, Mark Schroeder, Sharon Street, Kate Manne, Julia Markovits, and David Sobel answer in the first way. They think that all of an agent’s normative reasons for action are grounded in fact…Read more
  •  218
    We provide a novel defense of the possibility of level-splitting beliefs and use this defense to show that the steadfast response to peer disagreement is not, as it is often claimed to be, unnecessarily dogmatic. To provide this defense, a neglected form of moral disagreement is analysed. Within the context of this particular kind of moral disagreement, a similarly neglected form of level-splitting belief is identified and then defended from critics of the rationality of level-splitting beliefs.…Read more
  •  916
    The Self-Undermining Arguments from Disagreement
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14 23-46. 2019.
    Arguments from disagreement against moral realism begin by calling attention to widespread, fundamental moral disagreement among a certain group of people. Then, some skeptical or anti-realist-friendly conclusion is drawn. Chapter 2 proposes that arguments from disagreement share a structure that makes them vulnerable to a single, powerful objection: they self-undermine. For each formulation of the argument from disagreement, at least one of its premises casts doubt either on itself or on one of…Read more
  •  280
    Against Scanlon's Theory of the Strength of Practical Reasons
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3): 1-6. 2015.
    We often say that one reason is stronger, or weightier, than another. These are metaphors. What does normative strength or weight really consist in? Scanlon (2014) offers a novel answer to this question. His answer appeals to counterfactuals of various kinds. I argue that appealing to counterfactuals leads to deep problems for his view.
  •  824
    On Believing the Error Theory
    with Alexander Hyun
    Journal of Philosophy 111 (11): 631-640. 2014.
    In his recent article entitled ‘Can We Believe the Error Theory?’ Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible (for anyone, anywhere) to believe the error theory. This might sound like a problem for the error theory, but Streumer argues that it is not. He argues that the un-believability of the error theory offers a way for error theorists to respond to several objections commonly made against the view. In this paper, we respond to Streumer’s arguments. In particular, in sections 2-4, we offer sev…Read more
  •  1921
    Parsimony and the Argument from Queerness
    Res Philosophica 91 (4): 609-627. 2014.
    In his recent book Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence, Jonas Olson attempts to revive the argument from queerness originally made famous by J.L. Mackie. In this paper, we do three things. First, we eliminate four untenable formulations of the argument. Second, we argue that the most plausible formulation is one that depends crucially upon considerations of parsimony. Finally, we evaluate this formulation of the argument. We conclude that it is unproblematic for proponents of moral non-natu…Read more