•  25
    Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism, People, and Animals
    Environmental Ethics 43 (4): 355-377. 2021.
    Recent decades have witnessed a surge in philosophical attention to the moral standing of non-human animals. Kantians, Neo-Kantians, utilitarians, and radical animal rights theorists have staked their claims in the literature. Here Fred Feldman’s desert-adjusted utilitarianism is introduced into the fray. After canvassing the prominent competitors in the dialectic, a conception of an overall moral ranking consonant with desert-adjusted utilitarianism is developed. Then the conception’s implicati…Read more
  •  66
    Moore’s Open Question Phenomenon Explained—Naturalistically
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2): 241-256. 2021.
    G.E. Moore’s open question arguments have been targeted by unsympathetic philosophers for close to a century. Perhaps the most serious criticism directed towards Moore’s OQAs is that they be...
  •  103
    Moore’s Open Question Maneuvering: A Qualified Defense
    The Journal of Ethics 24 (1): 91-117. 2020.
    §13 of Principia Ethica contains G. E. Moore’s most famous open question arguments. Several of Moore’s contemporaries defended various forms of metaethical nonnaturalism—a doctrine Moore himself endorsed—by appeal to OQAs. Some contemporary cognitivists embrace the force of Moore’s OQAs against metaethical naturalism. And those who posit noncognitivist meaning components of ethical terms have traditionally used OQAs to fuel their own emotivist, prescriptivist, and expressivist metaethical progra…Read more
  •  81
    In Commonsense Consequentialism: Wherein Morality Meets Rationality, Douglas Portmore introduces a novel position regarding the actualist securitism – a position he argues is theoretically superior to the standard views in both the actualist and possibilist camps. After distinguishing the two camps through an examination of the original Procrastinate case, I present Portmore's securitism and its implications regarding his modified Procrastinate case. I level two serious objections against securi…Read more
  •  98
    Supererogation for utilitarianism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4). 2010.
    Many believe that traditional consequentialist moral theories are incapable of incorporating the allegedly important phenomenon of supererogation. After surveying the “ties at the top,” “satisficing,” and “egoistic-adjustment” strategies to avoid the supererogation objection, I argue that a recent formulation of utilitarianism incorporating the self-other asymmetry exhibits interesting supererogatory properties. I then incorporate this asymmetry into a version of egoistically-adjusted act utilit…Read more
  •  110
    Defending a possibilist insight in consequentialist thought
    Philosophical Studies 142 (2). 2009.
    There is a heated dispute among consequentialists concerning the following deontic principle.
  •  18
    Moore's Open Question Arguments are among the most influential arguments in 20th Century metaethical thought. But, surprisingly, there is a fair amount of confusion concerning what the Open Question Arguments actually are, how the Moorean passages should be interpreted, and what they are intended to show. Thus, the early chapters are devoted to clarificatory matters, including the exposing of a variety of contemporary attacks upon Moore's arguments as misguided by indicating where they rest upon…Read more
  •  55
    Counterfactuals for consequentialists
    Philosophical Studies 112 (2). 2003.
    That all subjunctive conditionals with true antecedents and trueconsequents are themselves also true is implied by every plausibleand popularly endorsed account. But I am wary of endorsing thisimplication. I argue that all presently endorsed accounts fail tocapture the nature of certain subjunctive conditionals in contextsof consequentialist reasoning. I attempt to show that we must allowfor the possibility that some subjunctive conditionals with trueantecedents and true consequents are false, i…Read more
  •  102
    Theorists have consistently maintained that the most plausible forms of objective consequentialism must be probabilistic if and only if indeterminism is true. This standard position, however popular, lacks sufficient motivation. Assume determinism to be true and an attempt will be made to show that attractive forms of objective consequentialism must be probabilistic - and not for reasons related to our epistemic limitations either. Here it is argued that all extant objective formulations of cons…Read more
  •  41
    For utilitarianism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4). 2010.
  •  5
    Coleman suggests three central things in her commentary: (i) SUB is just as well-suited to deal with our case as PROB SUB is; thus, there aren’t any interesting reasons to prefer PROB SUB to SUB; (ii) I may have failed to describe Feldman’s possibilist view accurately; and (iii) an “intentionally accessible” version of possibilism will solve all our problems without appealing to objective subjunctive probabilities. Let me attend to each point
  •  25
    Utilitarianism seems to imply that there cannot be any supererogatory acts, since no act can be above or beyond the call of utilitarian moral duty. Many argue, however, that there can be, indeed are, supererogatory acts, and so utilitarianism is wrong if it really implies that there cannot be any such acts. Vessel aim to respond to this challenge in two ways. First, he argues that even classical hedonistic utilitarianism doesn’t imply the impossibility of supererogation. Second, he discusses and…Read more
  •  11
    Theorists have consistently maintained that the most plausible forms of objective consequentialism must be probabilistic if and only if indeterminism is true.2 They claim: If indeterminism is true, then objective probabilities used to map such indeterminacies must be utilized by objective consequentialist moral theories; however, if determinism is true, probabilities play no role in objective consequentialist theorizing. I beg to differ. Assume determinism is true and I will show you that attrac…Read more
  •  10
    I consider metaethics to be a sub-branch of moral philosophy. Some of the most central questions in metaethical inquiry include the following: What are the natures of the meanings of moral terms? If there are such things as moral properties (rightness, wrongness, goodness, badness, etc.), what are their natures?
  •  2
    Theorists who endorse a subjunctive formulation of consequentialism with a “possibilist”-modified similarity relation are not plagued by this problem of incompatible obligations. Without some other interesting theoretical support, the burden is upon the actualists. Here’s a sketch of my favorite objective, weakly-centered, subjunctive brand of consequentialism containing the appropriate possibilist injection
  •  47
    Consequentialist Reactions to Cain’s Objection from the Individual
    Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (2): 139-144. 2005.
    James Cain issues forth a two-pronged attack against classical forms of act utilitarianism, elucidating objections from infinite utility streams and distributive justice through his novel examples.1 In his first example, we are to imagine an infinite number of immortals, living on an infinitely long street (Elm Street), bracing to suffer an infinite amount of migraine pain with the onset of this horrific disease. Left untreated, the disease would wreak havoc among our immortals in the following …Read more