•  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.
  • 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.
  •  1750
    Understanding Political Feasibility
    Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3): 243-259. 2013.
  •  134
    Offsetting Race Privilege
    with Jeremey Dunham
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2): 1-23. 2017.
    For all the talk there has been lately about privilege, few have commented on the moral obligations that are associated with having privilege. Those who have commented haven't gone much beyond the idea that the privileged should be conscious of their privilege, should listen to those who don't have it. Here we want to go further, and build an account of the moral obligations of those with a particular kind of privilege: race privilege. In this paper we articulate an understanding of race privile…Read more
  •  1196
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive …Read more
  •  544
    Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The science of human nature and the pursuit of social justice Content Type Journal Article Category Review Essay Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9304-0 Authors Holly Lawford-Smith, Centre for Applied Ethics and Public Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867
  •  477
    In Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith (eds.), Global Justice, 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. The volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of so…Read more
  •  186
    What 'we'?
    Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2): 225-250. 2015.
    The objective of this paper is to explain why certain authors - both popular and academic - are making a mistake when they attribute obligations to uncoordinated groups of persons, and to argue that it is particularly unhelpful to make this mistake given the prevalence of individuals faced with the difficult question of what morality requires of them in a situation in which there's a good they can bring about together with others, but not alone. I'll defend two alternatives to attributing obliga…Read more
  •  615
    Non-Ideal Accessibility
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3): 653-669. 2013.
    What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which we ought to do given that we're unlikely or un…Read more