•  11
    Trashing and Tribalism in the Gender Wars
    In Noell Birondo (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Hate, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 207-233. forthcoming.
    In 1976, Jo Freeman wrote an article for Ms. Magazine, entitled ‘Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood’. It provoked an outpouring of letters from women relating their own experiences of trashing during the course of the second wave feminist movement—more letters than Ms. had received about any previous article. Since then, the technology has improved but the climate among feminists has not; trashing is now conducted on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, in front of ever-larger au…Read more
  •  1
    Cosmopolitan Global Justice: Brock v. The Feasibility Sceptic
    Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 4. 2014.
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  • Women, particularly those in public positions (e.g. journalists, politicians, celebrities, activists) are subject to disproportionate amounts of abuse on social media platforms like Twitter. This abuse occurs in a landscape that those platforms designed, and maintain. Focusing in particular on Twitter, as typical of the kind of platform we’re interested in, we argue that it is the platform not (usually) the individuals who use it, that bears collective responsibility as a corporate agent for mis…Read more
  •  72
    The Metaphysics of Intersectionality Revisited
    with Kate Phelan
    Journal of Political Philosophy. forthcoming.
    ‘Intersectionality’ is one of the rare pieces of academic jargon to make it out of the university and into the mainstream. The message is clear and well-known: your feminism had better be intersectional. But what exactly does this mean? This paper is partly an exercise in conceptual clarification, distinguishing at least six distinct types of claim found across the literature on intersectionality, and digging further into the most philosophically complex of these claims—namely the metaphysical a…Read more
  •  978
    The central question of the paper is: do women have the right to exclude transwomen from women-only spaces? First I argue that biological sex matters politically, and should be protected legally—at least until such a time as there is no longer sex discrimination. Then I turn to the rationales for women-only spaces, arguing that there are eight independent rationales that together overdetermine the moral justification for maintaining particular spaces as women-only. I address a package of spaces,…Read more
  •  148
    We the People: Is the Polity the State?
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1): 78-97. 2021.
    When a liberal-democratic state signs a treaty or wages a war, does its whole polity do those things? In this article, we approach this question via the recent social ontological literature on collective agency. We provide arguments that it does and that it does not. The arguments are presented via three considerations: the polity's control over what the state does; the polity's unity; and the influence of individual polity members. We suggest that the answer to our question differs for differen…Read more
  •  628
    Ending Sex-Based Oppression: Transitional Pathways
    Philosophia 49 (3): 1021-1041. 2020.
    From a radical feminist perspective, gender is a cage. Or to be more precise, it’s two cages. If genders are cages, then surely we want to let people out. Being less constrained in our choices is something we all have reason to want: theorists in recent years have emphasized the importance of the capability to do and be many different things. At the very least, we should want an end to sex-based oppression. But what does this entail, when it comes to gender? In this paper, I’ll compare four ‘tra…Read more
  •  39
    Directed Reflective Equilibrium: Thought Experiments and How to Use Them
    with Adam Slavny, Kai Spiekermann, and David V. Axelsen
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (1): 1-25. 2020.
    In this paper we develop a new methodology for normative theorising, which we call Directed Reflective Equilibrium. Directed Reflective Equilibrium is based on a taxonomy that distinguishes between a number of different functions of hypothetical cases, including two dimensions that we call representation and elicitation. Like its predecessor, Directed Reflective Equilibrium accepts that neither intuitions nor basic principles are immune to revision and that our commitments on various levels of p…Read more
  •  19
    Big Data Justice: A Case for Regulating The Global Information Commons
    with Kai Spiekermann, Adam Slavny, and David V. Axelsen
    Journal of Politics. forthcoming.
    The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges political theorists to think about data ownership and policymakers to regulate the collection and use of public data. AI producers benefit from free public data for training their systems while retaining the profits. We argue against the view that the use of public data must be free. The proponents of unconstrained use point out that consuming data does not diminish its quality and that information is in ample supply. Therefore, they suggest,…Read more
  •  28
    There are many actions that we attribute, at least colloquially, to states. Given their size and influence, states are able to inflict harm far beyond the reach of a single individual. But there is a great deal of unclarity about exactly who is implicated in that kind of harm, and how we should think about responsibility for it. It is a commonplace assumption that democratic publics both authorize and have control over what their states do; that their states act in their name and on their behalf…Read more
  •  2
    Act Consequentialism and the No-Difference Challenge
    In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    In this chapter we explain what the no-difference challenge is, focusing in particular on act consequentialism. We talk about how different theories of causation affect the no-difference challenge; how the challenge shows up in real-world cases including voting, global labour injustice, global poverty, and climate change; and we work through a number of the solutions to the challenge that have been offered, arguing that many fail to actually meet it. We defend and extend one solution that does, …Read more
  •  12
    Why Does Workplace Gender Diversity Matter? Justice, Organizational Benefits, and Policy
    with Cordelia Fine and Victor Sojo
    Social Issues and Policy Review. forthcoming.
    Why does workplace gender diversity matter? Here, we provide a review of the literature on both justice‐based and organizational benefits of workplace gender diversity that, importantly, is informed by evidence regarding sex differences and their relationship with vocational behavior and outcomes. This review indicates that the sexes are neither distinctly different, nor so similar as to be fungible. Justice‐based gains of workplace gender diversity include that it may cause less sex discriminat…Read more
  •  18
    Democratic authority to geoengineer
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (5): 600-617. 2020.
  •  53
    Is the state a collective agent? Are citizens responsible for what their states do? If not citizens, then who, if anyone, is responsible for what the state does? Many different sub-disciplines of philosophy are relevant for answering these questions. We need to know what “the state” is, who or what it's composed of, and what relation the parts stand in to the whole. Once we know what it is, we need to know whether that thing is an agent, in particular a moral agent capable of taking moral respon…Read more
  •  199
    On Satisfying Duties to Assist
    In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues, Oxford University Press. 2019.
    In this paper, we take up the question of whether there comes a point at which one is no longer morally obliged to do further good, even at very low cost to oneself. More specifically, they ask: under precisely what conditions is it plausible to say that that “point” has been reached? A crude account might focus only on, say, the amount of good the agent has already done, but a moment’s reflection shows that this is indeed too crude. We develop and defend a nuanced account according to which con…Read more
  •  48
    Punishing groups raises a difficult question, namely, how their punishment can be justified at all. Some have argued that punishing groups is morally problematic because of the effects that the punishment entails for their members. In this paper we argue against this view. We distinguish the question of internal justice—how punishment-effects are distributed—from the question of external justice—whether the punishment is justified. We argue that issues of internal justice do not in general under…Read more
  •  57
    XIV—What’s Wrong with Collective Punishment?
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (3): 327-345. 2018.
  •  9165
    In her recent paper ‘The Epistemology of Propaganda’ Rachel McKinnon discusses what she refers to as ‘TERF propaganda’. We take issue with three points in her paper. The first is her rejection of the claim that ‘TERF’ is a misogynistic slur. The second is the examples she presents as commitments of so-called ‘TERFs’, in order to establish that radical (and gender critical) feminists rely on a flawed ideology. The third is her claim that standpoint epistemology can be used to establish that suc…Read more
  •  21
    The Comparative Culpability of SAI and Ordinary Carbon Emissions
    Ethics and International Affairs 31 (4): 495-499. 2017.
  •  24
    Global Justice (edited book)
    Ashgate. 2012.
    This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. This volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of s…Read more
  •  104
    Offsetting Class Privilege
    Journal of Practical Ethics 4 (1): 23-51. 2016.
    The UK is an unequal society. Societies like these raise significant ethical questions for those who live in them. One is how they should respond to such inequality, and in particular, to its effects on those who are worst-off. In this article, I’ll approach this question by focusing on the obligations of a particular group of those who are best-off. I’ll defend the idea of morally objectionable class-based advantage, which I’ll call ‘class privilege’, argue that class privilege can be non-culpa…Read more
  •  570
    Benefiting from Failures to Address Climate Change
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (4): 392-404. 2014.
    The politics of climate change is marked by the fact that countries are dragging their heels in doing what they ought to do; namely, creating a binding global treaty, and fulfilling the duties assigned to each of them under it. Many different agents are culpable in this failure. But we can imagine a stylised version of the climate change case, in which no agents are culpable: if the bad effects of climate change were triggered only by crossing a particular threshold, and it was reasonably, but m…Read more
  •  593
    Unethical Consumption & Obligations to Signal
    Ethics and International Affairs 29 (3): 315-330. 2015.
    Many of the items that humans consume are produced in ways that involve serious harms to persons. Familiar examples include the harms involved in the extraction and trade of conflict minerals (e.g. coltan, diamonds), the acquisition and import of non- fair trade produce (e.g. coffee, chocolate, bananas, rice), and the manufacture of goods in sweatshops (e.g. clothing, sporting equipment). In addition, consumption of certain goods (significantly fossil fuels and the products of the agricultural i…Read more
  •  100
    Do consumers’ ordinary actions of purchasing certain goods make them complicit in global labour injustice? To establish that they do, two things much be shown. First, it must be established that they are not more than complicit, for example that they are not the principal perpetrators. Second, it must be established that they meet the conditions for complicity on a plausible account. I argue that Kutz’s account faces an objection that makes Lepora and Goodin’s better suited, and defend the idea …Read more
  •  5
    Enhanced weathering, in comparison to other geoengineering measures, creates the possibility of a reduced cost, reduced impact way of decreasing atmospheric carbon, with positive knock-on effects such as decreased oceanic acidity. We argue that ethical concerns have a place alongside empirical, political and social factors as we consider how to best respond to the critical challenge that anthropogenic climate change poses. We review these concerns, considering the ethical issues that arise (or w…Read more
  •  1064
    The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3): 453-467. 2012.
    Does ?ought? imply ?can? for collectives' obligations? In this paper I want to establish two things. The first, what a collective obligation means for members of the collective. The second, how collective ability can be ascertained. I argue that there are four general kinds of obligation, which devolve from collectives to members in different ways, and I give an account of the distribution of obligation from collectives to members for each of these kinds. One implication of understanding collect…Read more
  •  718
    Collectives’ and individuals’ obligations: a parity argument
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1): 38-58. 2016.
    Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into w…Read more
  •  3
    Review of James Pattison's 'The Morality of Private War'
    Times Literary Supplement 5870. 2015.