•  403
    Course Description: Science appears to be extraordinarily successful is two crucial respects. First, science apparently serves as an extremely reliable vehicle for arriving at the truth (as contrasted with astrology or palm reading). Second, the methodology of science seems eminently rational (again as opposed to the methodologies of astrology or palm reading). Philosophers have been quite interested in these two apparent virtues of science. Some philosophers think that the two virtues are illus…Read more
  •  361
    A Defense of Torture
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2): 243-264. 2005.
    In this paper, I argue for the permissibility of torture in idealized cases by application of separation of cases: if torture is permissible given any of the dominant moral theories (and if one of those is correct), then torture is permissible simpliciter and I can discharge the tricky business of trying to adjudicate among conflicting moral views. To be sure, torture is not permissible on all the dominant moral theories as at least Kantianism will prove especially recalcitrant to granting moral…Read more
  •  265
    Neuroscience and metaphysics
    with Chris Buford
    American Journal of Bioethics 5 (2). 2005.
    In “Imaging or Imagining? A Neuroethics Challenge In- The assumption at issue here is the assumption that the formed by Genetics,” Judy Illes and Eric Racine (see this ismind literally is the brain (i.e., is numerically identical to sue) argue that “traditional bioethics analysis” (TBA), as de-.
  •  216
    Terrorism and torture
    In Timothy Shanahan (ed.), International Journal of Applied Philosophy, Open Court. pp. 121-134. 2005.
    After the events of 9/11, the concept of torture has emerged as one that is both pertinent and provoking. National polls have shown that some Americans support torture in some situations, though the majority still stand opposed. Torture has not received a tremendous amount of discussion in the philosophical literature, though I suspect that the leftward slant of academia would, for the most part, ensure limited support for torture. In this paper, I would like to first discuss why torture is an i…Read more
  •  211
    The Evolution of the Moral Sentiments and the Metaphysics of Morals
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1): 97-114. 2009.
    So-called evolutionary error theorists, such as Michael Ruse and Richard Joyce, have argued that naturalistic accounts of the moral sentiments lead us to adopt an error theory approach to morality. Roughly, the argument is that an appreciation of the etiology of those sentiments undermines any reason to think that they track moral truth and, furthermore, undermines any reason to think that moral truth actually exists. I argue that this approach offers us a false dichotomy between error theory an…Read more
  •  185
    Terrorism and Torture
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1): 121-134. 2003.
    This paper investigates the moral permissibility of torture. After briefly considering some empirical evidence, it discusses the conflict between deontological and consequentialist approaches to torture. It is argued that, even if we are to take rights seriously, torture should at least be allowed if some conditions are satisfied. Finally, the paper discusses what those conditions should be and what sorts of torture are morally permissible
  •  171
    Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers
    with Patrick Lin, James Moor, and John Weckert
    Law and Ethics of Human Rights 4 (1). 2010.
    This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and-answer pair is largely self-contain…Read more
  •  160
    Germ-line genetic enhancement and Rawlsian primary goods
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (1): 39-56. 2005.
    : Genetic interventions raise a host of moral issues and, of its various species, germ-line genetic enhancement is the most morally contentious. This paper surveys various arguments against germ-line enhancement and attempts to demonstrate their inadequacies. A positive argument is advanced in favor of certain forms of germ-line enhancements, which holds that they are morally permissible if and only if they augment Rawlsian primary goods, either directly or by facilitating their acquisition
  •  158
    Fashion - Philosophy for Everyone: Thinking with Style (edited book)
    with Jessica Wolfendale and Jeanette Kennett
    Wiley. 2011.
    If you just can't decide what to wear, this enlightening guide will lead you through the diverse and sometimes contradictory aspects of fashion in a series of lively, entertaining and thoughtful essays from prominent philosophers and writers. A unique and enlightening insight into the underlying philosophy behind the power of fashion Contributions address issues in fashion from a variety of viewpoints, including aesthetics, the nature of fashion and fashionability, ethics, gender and identity po…Read more
  •  153
    What Are Applied Ethics?
    Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (1): 1-19. 2011.
    This paper explores the relationships that various applied ethics bear to each other, both in particular disciplines and more generally. The introductory section lays out the challenge of coming up with such an account and, drawing a parallel with the philosophy of science, offers that applied ethics may either be unified or disunified. The second section develops one simple account through which applied ethics are unified, vis-à-vis ethical theory. However, this is not taken to be a satisfying …Read more
  •  145
    This article provides of review of the book A World without Values: Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory, edited by Richard Joyce and Simon Kirchin.
  •  143
    Ethics of Human Enhancement: An Executive Summary (review)
    Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (2): 201-212. 2011.
    With multi-year funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), a team of researchers has just released a comprehensive report detailing ethical issues arising from human enhancement (Allhoff et al. 2009). While we direct the interested reader to that (much longer) report, we also thank the editors of this journal for the invitation to provide an executive summary thereof. This summary highlights key results from each section of that report and does so in a self-standing way; in other w…Read more
  •  142
    Untangling the debate: The ethics of human enhancement (review)
    NanoEthics 2 (3): 251-264. 2008.
    Human enhancement, in which nanotechnology is expected to play a major role, continues to be a highly contentious ethical debate, with experts on both sides calling it the single most important issue facing science and society in this brave, new century. This paper is a broad introduction to the symposium herein that explores a range of perspectives related to that debate. We will discuss what human enhancement is and its apparent contrast to therapy; and we will begin to tease apart the myriad …Read more
  •  135
    Business bluffing reconsidered
    Journal of Business Ethics 45 (4). 2003.
    On the one hand, bluffing in business seems to bear a strong resemblance to lying, and therefore might be thought to be prima facie impermissible. On the other, many people have the intuition that bluffing is an appropriate and morally permissible negotiating tactic. Given this tension, what is the moral standing of bluffing in business? In this paper, I will consider influential accounts of both Albert Carr and Thomas Carson, and I will present my criticisms thereof. Drawing off of these accoun…Read more
  •  127
    _The philosophy of the blues_ From B.B. King to Billie Holiday, Blues music not only sounds good, but has an almost universal appeal in its reflection of the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Its ability to powerfully touch on a range of social and emotional issues is philosophically inspiring, and here, a diverse range of thinkers and musicians offer illuminating essays that make important connections between the human condition and the Blues that will appeal to music lovers and philoso…Read more
  •  126
    Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary (edited book)
    with Elizabeth S. Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, and Anand Jayprakash Vaidya
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2007.
    Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of late modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.
  •  124
    What Is Modesty?
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2): 165-187. 2009.
    This paper examines the virtue of modesty and provides an account of what it means to be modest. A good account should not only delimit the proper application of the concept, but should also capture why it is that we think that modesty is a virtue. Recent work has yielded several interesting, but flawed, accounts of modesty. Julia Driver has argued that it consists in underestimating one’s self-worth, while Owen Flanagan has argued that modesty must entail an accurate—as opposed to underestimate…Read more
  •  114
    On the autonomy and justification of nanoethics
    NanoEthics 1 (3): 185-210. 2007.
    In this paper, I take a critical stance on the emerging field of nanoethics. After an introductory section, “Conceptual Foundations of Nanotechnology” considers the conceptual foundations of nanotechnology, arguing that nanoethics can only be as coherent as nanotechnology itself and then discussing concerns with this latter concept; the conceptual foundations of nanoethics are then explicitly addressed in “Conceptual Foundations of Nanoethics”. “Issues in Nanoethics” considers ethical issues tha…Read more
  •  100
    This book review responds to George Lucas's Ethics and Cyber Warfare: The Quest for Responsible Security in an Age of Digital Warfare, laying out the structure of the work as well as highlighting areas of strength.
  •  98
    The War on Terror and the Ethics of Exceptionalism
    Journal of Military Ethics 8 (4): 265-288. 2009.
    The war on terror is commonly characterized as a fundamentally different kind of war from more traditional armed conflict. Furthermore, it has been argued that, in this new kind of war, different rules, both moral and legal, must apply. In the first part of this paper, three practices endemic to the war on terror -- torture, assassination, and enemy combatancy status -- are identified as exceptions to traditional norms. The second part of the paper uses these examples to motivate a generalized a…Read more
  •  93
    The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology (edited book)
    with Timothy J. McGrew and Marc Alspector-Kelly
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2009.
    speaking there are only two sorts of opposition to be found here. One is the opposition between motion and rest, together with the opposition between ...
  •  87
    Telomeres and the ethics of human cloning
    American Journal of Bioethics 4 (2). 2004.
    In search of a potential problem with cloning, I investigate the phenomenon of telomere shortening which is caused by cell replication; clones created from somatic cells will have shortened telomeres and therefore reach a state of senescence more rapidly. While genetic intervention might fix this problem at some point in the future, I ask whether, absent technological advances, this biological phenomenon undermines the moral permissibility of cloning.
  •  86
    Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think, and Be Merry (edited book)
    with Dave Monroe
    Blackwell. 2007.
    Food & Philosophy offers a collection of essays which explore a range of philosophical topics related to food; it joins Wine & Philosophy and Beer & Philosophy in in the "Epicurean Trilogy." Essays are organized thematically and written by philosophers, food writers, and professional chefs.
  •  79
    Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force (edited book)
    with Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Michael W. Austin
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2010.
    Covering interesting and varied philosophical terrain, _Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone_ explores in a fun but critical way the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential experiences that arise when two wheels are propelled by human energy. Incorporates or reflects the views of high-profile and notable past-professional cyclists and insiders such as Lennard Zinn, Scott Tinley, and Lance Armstrong Features contributions from the areas of cultural studies, kinesiology, literature, and politic…Read more
  •  76
    Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary (edited book)
    with A. P. Martinich and Anand Jayprakash Vaidya
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2007.
    Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of early modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.
  •  70
    Against Unrestricted Human Enhancement
    Journal of Evolution and Technology 18 (1): 35-41. 2008.
    The defining debate in this new century will be about technology and human enhancement, according to many across the political spectrum.[1] Our ability to use science to enhance our bodies and minds – as opposed to its application for therapeutic purposes – is one of the most personal and therefore passionate issues in an era where emerging technologies seduce us with new and fantastic possibilities for our future. But in the process, we are forced to rethink what it means to be human or, essent…Read more
  •  66
    What’s So Special about Nanotechnology and Nanoethics?
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2): 179-190. 2006.
    Nanoethics is a contentious field for several reasons. Some believe it should not be recognized as a proper area of study, because they believe that nanotechnology itself is not a true category but rather an amalgamation of other sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and engineering. Critics also allege that nanoethics does not raise any new issues but rather revisits familiar ones such as privacy. This paper answers such criticisms and sets the context for the papers that follow in this nanoeth…Read more
  •  62
    Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone: Cultivating Wisdom (edited book)
    with Dan O'Brien
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2010.
    Philosophy and gardens have been closely connected from the dawn of philosophy, with many drawing on their beauty and peace for philosophical inspiration. Gardens in turn give rise to a broad spectrum of philosophical questions. For the green-fingered thinker, this book reflects on a whole host of fascinating philosophical themes. Gardens and philosophy present a fascinating combination of subjects, historically important, and yet scarcely covered within the realms of philosophy Contributions co…Read more
  •  61
    Risk, Precaution, and Emerging Technologies
    Law and Ethics of Human Rights 3 (2). 2009.
    This paper explores a framework for thinking about risks inherent in emerging technologies; given uncertainty about the magnitude—or even nature—of those risks, deliberation about those technologies is challenged. §1 develops a conceptual framework for risk, and §2 integrates that conception into cost-benefit analysis. Given uncertainty, we are often pushed toward precautionary approaches, and such approaches are explored in §3. These first three sections are largely literature review, and then …Read more
  •  58
    Evolutionary Ethics from Darwin to Moore
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (1). 2003.
    Evolutionary ethics has a long history, dating all the way back to Charles Darwin.1 Almost immediately after the publication of the Origin, an immense interest arose in the moral implications of Darwinism and whether the truth of Darwinism would undermine traditional ethics. Though the biological thesis was certainly exciting, nobody suspected that the impact of the Origin would be confined to the scientific arena. As one historian wrote, 'whether or not ancient populations of armadillos were tr…Read more