•  1246
    Pleased and afflicted: Hume on the paradox of tragic pleasure
    Hume Studies 30 (2): 213-236. 2004.
    How fast can you run? As fast as a leopard. How fast are you going to run?
  •  260
    Truly funny: Humor, irony, and satire as moral criticism
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (1): 1-17. 2011.
    Comparatively speaking, philosophy has not been especially long-winded in attempting to answer questions about what is funny and why we should think so. There is the standard debate of many centuries’ standing between superiority and incongruity accounts of humor, which for the most part attempt to identify the intentional objects of our amusement.1 There is the more recent debate about humor and morality, about whether jokes themselves may be regarded as immoral or about whether it can in certa…Read more
  •  140
  •  134
    Ideal Presence: How Kames Solved the Problem of Fiction and Emotion
    Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1): 115-133. 2011.
    The problem of fiction and emotion is the problem of how we can be moved by the contemplation of fictional events and the plight of fictional characters when we know that the former have not occurred and the latter do not exist. I will give a general sketch of the philosophical treatment of the issue in the present day, and then turn to the eighteenth century for a solution as effective as the best that are presently on offer. The solution is to be found in the account of ideal presence given by…Read more
  •  102
    Literature, Ethical Thought Experiments, and Moral Knowledge
    Southwest Philosophy Review 29 (1): 195-209. 2013.
  •  76
    Rape, evolution, and pseudoscience: Natural selection in the academy
    with William L. Andrews, Courtney Lewis, and Marissa Stroud
    Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (1): 75-96. 2009.
    No Abstract
  •  66
    Not Moderately Moral: Why Hume Is Not a "Moderate Moralist"
    with Jeanette Bicknell
    Philosophy and Literature 37 (2): 330-342. 2013.
    If philosophers held popularity contests, David Hume would be a perennial winner. Witty, a bon vivant, and champion of reason over bigotry and superstition, it is not surprising that many contemporary thinkers want to recruit him as an ally or claim his views as precursors to their own. In the debate over the moral content of artworks and its possible relevance for artistic and aesthetic value, the group whose views are known variously as “ethicism,” “moralism,” or “moderate moralism” has claime…Read more
  •  57
    Post-abortion syndrome: Creating an affliction
    with William L. Andrews
    Bioethics 24 (9): 445-452. 2010.
    The contention that abortion harms women constitutes a new strategy employed by the pro-life movement to supplement arguments about fetal rights. David C. Reardon is a prominent promoter of this strategy. Post-abortion syndrome purports to establish that abortion psychologically harms women and, indeed, can harm persons associated with women who have abortions. Thus, harms that abortion is alleged to produce are multiplied. Claims of repression are employed to complicate efforts to disprove the …Read more
  •  55
    A compelling exploration of the convergence of Jane Austen’s literary themes and characters with David Hume’s views on morality and human nature. Argues that the normative perspectives endorsed in Jane Austen's novels are best characterized in terms of a Humean approach, and that the merits of Hume's account of ethical, aesthetic and epistemic virtue are vividly illustrated by Austen's writing. Illustrates how Hume and Austen complement one another, each providing a lens that allows us to expand…Read more
  •  50
    Form Affects Content: Reading Jane Austen
    Philosophy and Literature 32 (2): 315-329. 2008.
    What does it mean to hold that the significant aspects of a literary passage cannot be captured in a paraphrase? Does a change in the description of an act "risk producing a different act" from the one described? Using Jane Austen as an example, we'll consider whether her use of metaphor and symbol really amounts to calling someone a prick, whether her narrative voice changes what it is that is expressed, and whether comedy can hold just as much significance as tragedy without all the heavy brea…Read more
  •  41
    Ink, Art and Expression: Philosophical Questions about Tattoos
    Philosophy Compass 10 (11): 739-753. 2015.
    This essay offers an overview of the reasons why tattoos are philosophically interesting. Considered here will be a partial survey of potential areas of philosophical interest with respect to tattoos, fortified by a little historical context. Claims about the ethical significance of tattoos and about the significance of tattoos for self-expression and as expressions of identity will be canvassed in the first two sections, as will questions about what they express or signify, how they might do so…Read more
  •  40
    Post‐Abortion Syndrome: Creating an Affliction
    with William L. Andrews
    Bioethics 24 (9). 2010.
    The contention that abortion harms women constitutes a new strategy employed by the pro-life movement to supplement arguments about fetal rights. David C. Reardon is a prominent promoter of this strategy. Post-abortion syndrome purports to establish that abortion psychologically harms women and, indeed, can harm persons associated with women who have abortions. Thus, harms that abortion is alleged to produce are multiplied. Claims of repression are employed to complicate efforts to disprove the …Read more
  •  32
    Index to Volume 45
    with Dina Zoe Belluigi, Michael Belshaw, Michael Benton, Deborah Bradley, Bert Cardullo, Janine Certo, Wayne Brinda, Leslie Cunliffe, and Rhett Diessner
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (4). 2011.
  •  30
    Comments on Deborah K. Heikes' "Let's Be Reasonable
    Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (2): 31-35. 2009.
  •  28
    Comment on “Still in Hot Water” by Duncan Purves
    Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (2): 57-61. 2011.
  •  27
    Kames on Ideal Presence
    Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1): 17-25. 2010.
    The problem of fiction and emotion is the problem of how we can be moved by the contemplation of fi ctional events and the plight of fictional characters when we know that the former have not occurred and the latter do not exist. I will give a general sketch of the philosophical treatment of the issue in the present day, and then turn to the eighteenth century for a solution as effective as the best that are presently on offer. The solution is to be found in the account of ideal presence given b…Read more
  •  27
    The beautiful and the good: A common sense and point of view
    Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1): 99-106. 1999.
  •  25
    Comments on Deborah K. Heikes'
    Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (2): 31-35. 2009.
  •  22
    Knowing setter
    Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (1): 35-44. 2005.
  •  22
    Beatrice. Jane Tennison. Elizabeth Bennett. Arya Stark. Katniss Everdeen. None of them is real. All of them appear not only to engage our interest but also to move us. Some of them might even be thought to affect us further—to inspire us to do things, or at least to regard things in a different light. The set of problems typically grouped under the designation “paradox of fiction” raises questions about an apparent contradiction, about our responding emotionally to entities and events in the exi…Read more
  •  21
    Of two minds
    Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (1): 185-192. 2002.
  •  21
    Pleased and Afflicted: Hume on the Paradox of Tragic Pleasure
    Hume Studies 30 (2): 213-236. 2004.
    How fast can you run? As fast as a leopard. How fast are you going to run?
  •  20
    Hume, Halos, and Rough Heroes: Moral and Aesthetic Defects in Works of Fiction
    Philosophy and Literature 41 (1): 91-102. 2017.
    The starting point of this paper is a recent exchange in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism1 that pits moderate moralism against robust immoralism and has Humean antecedents. I will proceed by agreeing in part with both, but fully with neither, thereby annoying as many people as possible in one go. I believe, with Anne Eaton, the proponent of robust immoralism, that fictions which valorize what she calls "rough heroes" can arouse both aesthetically compelling and morally troubling react…Read more
  •  18
    Comedy and Tragedy as Two Sides of the Same Coin: Reversal and Incongruity as Sources of Insight
    with Daniel Lüthi
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 52 (2): 81. 2018.
    In Umberto Eco’s classic novel The Name of the Rose, we are introduced to a decidedly Platonic fear of laughter. According to the blind librarian Jorge de Burgos, “[l]aughter is weakness, corruption, the foolishness of our flesh. It is the peasant’s entertainment, the drunkard’s license;... laughter remains base, a defense for the simple, a mystery desecrated for the plebeians.”1 Laughter could not accompany insight or clarity or revelation. By destroying the last known copy of the second part o…Read more