• The Normativity of Morality
    Dissertation, University of California, San Diego. 2000.
    The goal of this dissertation is to offer an account of the normativity of morality that is consistent with the commitments of philosophical naturalism. The issue of normativity can be divided into two parts: motivation and authority. In chapter 1 I attempt to explain the motivational efficacy of a moral system by arguing that it is the natural, biological function of the moral system to produce beliefs about norms, the general observance of which is mutually advantageous and to regulate behavio…Read more
  •  62
    The rational character of belief and the argument for mental anomalism
    Philosophical Studies 103 (3): 258-314. 2001.
      If mental anomalism is to be interpreted as a thesisunique to psychology, the anomalousness must begrounded in some feature unique to the mental,presumably its rational nature. While the ground forsuch arguments from normativity has been notoriouslyslippery terrain, there are two recently influentialstrategies which make the argument precise. The firstis to deny the possibility of psychophysical bridgelaws because of the different constitutive essences ofmental and physical laws, and the secon…Read more
  •  18
    Can Humeans Ask "Why Be Rational?"
    American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2). 2006.
  •  20
    with Sam Black
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (Supplement): 7-40. 2007.
  •  2
    Kantian Freedom (edited book)
    with Dai Heide
    Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  149
    Deflationary normative pluralism
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (5). 2007.
  •  17
    Introduction: Moral Philosophy Does Not Rest on a Mistake: Reasons to be Moral Revisited
    with Sam Black
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (Supplement): 7-40. 2007.
  •  104
    Semantics San Diego Style
    Journal of Philosophy 96 (8): 416. 1999.
  •  32
    A Functional Account of Moral Motivation
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4): 601-625. 2003.
  •  15
    Deflationary Normative Pluralism
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (Supplement): 231-262. 2007.
  •  2
    H.A. Prichard argued that the “why should I be moral?” question is the central subject matter of moral theory. Prichard famously claimed to have proved that all efforts to answer that question are doomed. Many contributors to this volume of contemporary papers attempt to reconstruct Prichard’s argument. They claim either explicitly or implicitly that Prichard was mistaken, and philosophy can contribute to meaningful engagement with the ‘why be moral?’ question. A theme to emerge from these paper…Read more
  •  129
    Why Be an Agent?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2). 2012.
    Constitutivism is the view that it is possible to derive contentful, normatively binding demands of practical reason and morality from the constitutive features of agency. Whereas much of the debate has focused on the constitutivist's ability to derive content, David Enoch has challenged her ability to generate normativity. Even if one can derive content from the constitutive aims of agency, one could simply demur: ?Bah! Agency, shmagency?. The ?Why be moral?? question would be replaced by the ?…Read more
  •  34
    Choosing freedom: basic desert and the standpoint of blame
    Philosophical Explorations 16 (2): 1-17. 2013.
    One can think of the traditional logic of blame as involving three intuitively plausible claims: blame is justified only if one is deserving of blame, one is deserving of blame only if one is relevantly in control of the relevant causal antecedents, and one is relevantly in control only if one has libertarian freedom. While traditional compatibilism has focused on rejecting either or both of the latter two claims, an increasingly common strategy is to deny the link between blame and desert expre…Read more
  •  65
    How Kantian must Kantian constructivists be?
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (6). 2006.
    Kantian constructivists locate the source of normativity in the rational nature of valuing agents. Some further argue that accepting this premise thereby commits one to accepting the intrinsic or unconditioned value of rational nature itself. Whereas much of the critical literature on this “regress on conditions” argument has focused either on the cogency of the inference from the value-conferring capacity of the will to the unconditional value of that capacity itself or on the plausibility of t…Read more
  •  127
  •  77
    What is essential about indexicals?
    Philosophical Studies 100 (1): 35-50. 2000.