•  73259
    Kant’s example of lying to the murderer at the door has been a cherished source of scorn for thinkers with little sympathy for Kant’s philosophy and a source of deep puzzlement for those more favorably inclined. The problem is that Kant seems to say that it’s always wrong to lie – even if necessary to prevent a murderer from reaching his victim – and that if one does lie, one becomes partially responsible for the killing of the victim. If this is correct, then Kant’s account seems not only to re…Read more
  •  9223
    Kant and Women
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4): 653-694. 2017.
    Kant's conception of women is complex. Although he struggles to bring his considered view of women into focus, a sympathetic reading shows it not to be anti-feminist and to contain important arguments regarding human nature. Kant believes the traditional male-female distinction is unlikely to disappear, but he never proposes the traditional gender ideal as the moral ideal; he rejects the idea that such considerations of philosophical anthropology can set the framework for morality. This is also …Read more
  •  3463
    A Kantian Conception of Free Speech
    In Deidre Golash (ed.), Free Speech in a Diverse World, Springer. 2010.
    In this paper I provide an interpretation of Kant’s conception of free speech. Free speech is understood as the kind of speech that is constitutive of interaction respectful of everybody’s right to freedom, and it requires what we with John Rawls may call ‘public reason’. Public reason so understood refers to how the public authority must reason in order to properly specify the political relation between citizens. My main aim is to give us some reasons for taking a renewed interest in Kant’s con…Read more
  •  3016
    This paper defends a legal and political conception of sexual relations grounded in Kant’s Doctrine of Right. First, I argue that only a lack of consent can make a sexual deed wrong in the legal sense. Second, I demonstrate why all other legal constraints on sexual practices in a just society are legal constraints on seemingly unrelated public institutions. I explain the way in which the just state acts as a civil guardian for domestic relations and as a civil guarantor for private property and …Read more
  •  2520
    Kant on sex gives most philosophers the following associations: a lifelong celibate philosopher; a natural teleological view of sexuality; a strange incorporation of this natural teleological account within his freedom-based moral theory; and a stark ethical condemnation of most sexual activity. Although this paper provides an interpretation of Kant’s view on sexuality, it neither defends nor offers an apology for everything Kant says about sexuality. Rather, it aims to show that a reconsidered …Read more
  •  1598
    The Lockean Enough-and-as-Good Proviso: An Internal Critique
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3): 410-442. 2012.
    A private property account is central to a liberal theory of justice. Much of the appeal of the Lockean theory stems from its account of the so-called `enough-and-as-good' proviso, a principle which aims to specify each employable person's fair share of the earth's material resources. I argue that to date Lockeans have failed to show how the proviso can be applied without thereby undermining a guiding intuition in Lockean theory. This guiding intuition is that by interacting in accordance with t…Read more
  •  1332
    At the heart of Kant’s legal-political philosophy lies a liberal, republican ideal of justice understood in terms of private independence (non-domination) and subjection to public laws securing freedom for all citizens as equals. Given this basic commitment of Kant’s, it is puzzling to many that he does not consider democracy a minimal condition on a legitimate state. In addition, many find Kant ideas of reform or improvement of the historical states we have inherited vague and confusing. The ai…Read more
  •  585
    Robert Nozick initiated one of the most inspired and inspiring discussions in political philosophy with his 1974 response in Anarchy, State, and Utopia to John Rawls’s 1971 account of distributive justice in A Theory of Justice. These two works have informed an enormous amount of subsequent, especially liberal, discussions of economic justice, where Nozick’s work typically functions as a resource for those defending more right-wing (libertarian) positions, whereas Rawls’s has been used to defend…Read more
  •  482
    Pregnant women and persons engaging in homosexual practices compose two groups that have been and still are amongst those most severely subjected to coercive restrictions regarding their own bodies. From an historical point of view, it is a recent and rare phenomenon that a woman’s right to abortion and a person’s right to engage in homosexual interactions are recognized. Although most Western liberal states currently do recognize these rights, they are under continuous assault from various po…Read more
  •  419
    A Kantian Conception of Global Justice
    Review of International Studies 37 (05): 2043-2057. 2011.
    I start this paper by addressing Kant’s question why rightful interactions require both domestic public authorities (or states) and a global public authority? Of central importance are two issues: first, the identification of problems insoluble without public authorities, and second, why a domestic public monopoly on coercion can be rightfully established and maintained by coercive means while a global public monopoly on coercion cannot be established once and for all. In the second part of the …Read more
  •  388
    Contrary to the received view, I argue that Kant, in the “Doctrine of Right”, outlines a third, republican alternative to absolutist and voluntarist conceptions of political legitimacy. According to this republican alternative, a state must meet certain institutional requirements before political obligations arise. An important result of this interpretation is not only that there are institutional restraints on a legitimate state's use of coercion, but also that the rights of the state are not i…Read more
  •  320
    The Terrorist Attacks in Norway, July 22nd 2011— Some Kantian Reflections
    Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 49 (3-4): 236-259. 2014.
    This paper provides a Kantian interpretation of core issues involved in the trial following the terrorist attacks that struck Norway on July 22nd 2011. After a sketch of the controversies surrounding the trial itself, a Kantian theory of why the wrongdoer’s mind struck us as so endlessly disturbed is presented. This Kantian theory, I proceed by arguing, also helps us understand why it was so important to respond to the violence through the legal system and to treat the perpetrator, Anders Behrin…Read more
  •  294
    This paper presents and defends Kant’s non-voluntarist conception of political obligations. I argue that civil society is not primarily a prudential requirement for justice; it is not merely a necessary evil or moral response to combat our corrupting nature or our tendency to act viciously, thoughtlessly or in a biased manner. Rather, civil society is constitutive of rightful relations because only in civil society can we interact in ways reconcilable with each person’s innate right to freedom. …Read more
  •  278
    Lockean Freedom and the Proviso’s Appeal to Scientific Knowledge
    Social Theory and Practice 36 (1): 1-20. 2010.
    I argue in this paper that Locke and contemporary Lockeans underestimate the problems involved in their frequent, implicit assumption that when we apply the proviso we use the latest scientific knowledge of natural resources, technology, and the economy’s operations. Problematic for these theories is that much of the pertinent knowledge used is obtained through particular persons’ labor. If the knowledge obtained through individuals’ labor must be made available to everyone and if particular per…Read more
  •  272
    Kant and Moral Responsibility for Animals
    In Lucy Allais & John J. Callanan (eds.), Kant on Animals, . pp. 157-175. 2020.
    Working out a Kantian theory of moral responsibility for animals2 requires the untying of two philosophical and interpretive knots: i.) How to interpret Kant’s claim in the important “episodic” section of the Doctrine of Virtue that we do not have duties “to” animals, since such duties are only “with regard to” animals and “directly to” ourselves; and ii.) How to explain why animals don’t have rights, while human beings who (currently or permanently) don’t have sufficient reason for moral respo…Read more
  •  254
    Immanuel Kant - Justice as Freedom
    In Guttorm Fløistad (ed.), Philosophy of Justice, Springer, Germany. pp. 213-237. 2014.
  •  239
    On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy
    In Julian Wuerth (ed.), The Cambridge Kant Lexicon, Cambridge University Press. pp. 691-695. 2021.
    Lexicon entry on Kant's Essay "On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy."
  •  233
    Central to Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia is a defense of the legitimacy of the minimal state’s use of coercion against anarchist objections. Individuals acting within their natural rights can establish the state without committing wrongdoing against those who disagree. Nozick attempts to show that even with a natural executive right, individuals need not actually consent to incur political obligations. Nozick’s argument relies on an account of compensation to remedy the infringement of the …Read more
  •  223
    By setting the focus on issues of dependence and embodiment, feminist work has and continues to radically improve our understanding of Kant’s practical philosophy as one that is not (as it typically has been taken to be) about disembodied abstract rational agents. This paper outlines this positive development in Kant scholarship in recent decades by taking us from Kant’s own comments on women through major developments in Kant scholarship with regard to the related feminist issues. The main aim …Read more
  •  118
    Locke's Waste Restriction and His Strong Voluntarism
    Locke Studies 6 127-141. 2006.
    This paper argues that there is a conflict between two principles informing Locke’s political philosophy, namely his waste restriction and his strong voluntarism. Locke’s waste restriction is proposed as a necessary, enforceable restriction upon rightful private property holdings and it yields arguments to preserve and redistribute natural resources. Locke’s strong voluntarism is proposed as the liberal ideal of political obligations. It expresses Locke’s view that each individual has a natural …Read more
  •  116
    Review of Martha C Nussbaum's Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 3 (34): 10-11. 2014.
  •  104
    Kant and Privacy
    In Christopher Yeomans & Ansgar Lyssy (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: Kant on Morality, Legality and Humanity, . pp. 229-252. 2021.
    In this paper I argue for two things. First, many concerns we have regarding privacy—both regarding what things we do and do not want to protect in its name—can be explained through an account of our moral (legal and ethical) rights. Second, to understand a further set of moral (ethical and legal) concerns regarding privacy—especially the temptation to want to intrude on and disrespect others’ privacy and the gravity of such breaches and denials of privacy—we must appreciate the way in which pro…Read more
  •  90
    Kant and Sexuality
    In Matthew C. Altman (ed.), The Palgrave Kant Handbook. pp. 331-351. 2017.
    Kant’s comments on sexuality are commonly found to be at best perplexing and at worst extraordinarily unenlightened and morally offensive. In this paper, I start by reconstructing what seems to be Kant’s view on sexuality as well as providing an overview of the main, existing Kantian philosophical responses and alternative proposals to this account. In the last part of the paper, I outline a new Kantian approach to sexuality that overcomes the shortcomings of both Kant’s own and the existing Kan…Read more
  •  87
    Kant and Arendt on Barbaric and Totalitarian Evil
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. forthcoming.
    Abstract: Kant and Arendt on Barbaric and Totalitarian Evil This paper starts by sketching Kant’s four ideal legal and political conditions—'anarchy,’ ‘despotism,’ ‘republic,’ and ‘barbarism’—before showing their usefulness for analyzing different political forces that may operate in any given society. Contrary to the common tendency in political philosophy to view our societies as either in the so-called ‘state of nature’ (‘anarchy’) or in ‘civil society’ (‘republic’), I propose that we might f…Read more
  •  82
    Kantian Care
    In Amy Baehr & Asha Bhandary (eds.), Caring for Liberalism: Dependency and Political Theory, . pp. 50-74. forthcoming.
    How do we care well for a human being: ourselves or another? Non-Kantian scholars rarely identify the philosophy of Kant as a particularly useful resource with which to understand the full complexity of human care. Kant’s philosophy is often taken to presuppose that a philosophical analysis of good human life needs to attend only to how autonomous, rational agents—sprung up like mushrooms out of nowhere, without a childhood, never sick, always independent—ought to act respectfully, and how they …Read more
  •  76
    Coercion and the State
    Jurisprudence 2 (2): 547-559. 2011.
    Intentions, Blame, and Contractualism: A review of Tim Scanlon, Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame by Jussi Suikkanen