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  •  1
    Self-control is integral to successful human agency. Without it we cannot extend our agency across time and secure central social, moral, and personal goods. But self-control is not a unitary capacity. In the first part of this paper we provide a taxonomy of self-control and trace its connections to agency and the self. In part two, we turn our attention to the external conditions that support successful agency and the exercise of self-control. We argue that what we call moral security is a crit…Read more
  •  46
    The Cost of Conscience
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (1): 69-81. 2017.
    :The spread of demands by physicians and allied health professionals for accommodation of their private ethical, usually religiously based, objections to providing care of a particular type, or to a particular class of persons, suggests the need for a re-evaluation of conscientious objection in healthcare and how it should be regulated. I argue on Kantian grounds that respect for conscience and protection of freedom of conscience is consistent with fairly stringent limitations and regulations go…Read more
  •  27
    Alexander Nehamas, On Friendship
    Ethics 128 (1): 274-276. 2017.
  •  18
    Morality and Interpretation: Commentary on Jonathan Glover's Alien Landscapes?
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (5): 737-742. 2017.
    What is required of the interpreter of disordered minds and what can we learn from the process? Jonathan Glover's book focuses on human interpretation and its role in psychiatry. His hope is that a more careful and sensitive exploration of minds that are very different from our own, will assist us to answer a range of important questions about human agency, identity and responsibility. In this commentary I will focus on the process and purpose of interpretation and expand on some of the moral is…Read more
  •  38
    Morally good action requires both sincere moral judgment and moral motivation. Internalists claim in one way or another that these two things are internally connected. Externalists, on the other hand, claim that the connection between moral judgment and action is forged by motives external to the judgment itself. First we will look at the evidence from psychopathy, then we will turn to cases of so-called acquired sociopathy.
  •  18
    In our chapter we argued that the empirical evidence cited by Roskies and other data we referred to do not in fact undermine internalism. In this brief rejoinder to the commentaries by Roskies and Smith, we want to further address the role of empirical evidence in this debate and in so doing clarify the project of our chapter.
  •  266
    In this chapter we focus on the structure of close personal relations and diagnose how these relationships are disrupted by addiction. We draw upon Peter Strawson’s landmark paper ‘Freedom and Resentment’ (2008, first published 1962) to argue that loved ones of those with addiction veer between, (1) reactive attitudes of blame and resentment generated by disappointed expectations of goodwill and reciprocity, and (2) the detached objective stance from which the addicted person is seen as less bla…Read more
  •  375
    Reasons, reflection, and repugnance
    In Alberto Giubilini & Steve Clarke (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate, Oxford University Press. 2016.
    In this chapter we draw comparisons between Kass’ views on the normative authority of repugnance and social intuitionist accounts of moral judgement which are similarly sceptical about the role of reasoned reflection in moral judgement. We survey the empirical claims made in support of giving moral primacy to intuitions generated by emotions such as repugnance, as well as some common objections. We then examine accounts which integrate intuition and reflection, and argue that plausible accounts …Read more
  •  546
    Neurosentimentalism and Moral Agency
    Mind 119 (475): 585-614. 2010.
    Metaethics has recently been confronted by evidence from cognitive neuroscience that tacit emotional processes play an essential causal role in moral judgement. Most neuroscientists, and some metaethicists, take this evidence to vindicate a version of metaethical sentimentalism. In this paper we argue that the ‘dual process’ model of cognition that frames the discussion within and without philosophy does not do justice to an important constraint on any theory of deliberation and judgement. Namel…Read more
  •  755
    Friendship and moral danger
    with Dean Cocking
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (5): 278-296. 2000.
    We focus here on some familiar kinds of cases of conflict between friendship and morality, and, on the basis of our account of the nature of friendship, argue for the following two claims: first, that in some cases where we are led morally astray by virtue of a relationship that makes its own demands on us, the relationship in question is properly called a friendship; second, that relationships of this kind are valuable in their own right.
  •  41
    Undercover marketing targets potential customers by concealing the commercial nature of an apparently social transaction. In a typical case an individual approaches a marketing target apparently to provide some information or advice about a product in a way that makes it seem like they are a fellow consumer. In another kind of case, a friend displays a product to you, and encourages its purchase, but fails to disclose their association with the marketing firm. We focus on this second type of cas…Read more
  •  123
    Mental disorder, moral agency, and the self
    In Bonnie Steinbock (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 90-113. 2007.
    A person suffering a mental illness or disorder may differ dramatically from his or her previous well self. Family and close friends who knew the person before the onset of illness tend to regard the illness as obscuring their loved one's true self and see the goal of treatment as the restoration of that self. ‘He is not really like this,’ they will say with increasing desperation. Treatment teams and others, who have no acquaintance with the person when well, respond to what they see in front o…Read more
  •  151
    Delusion, dissociation and identity
    Philosophical Explorations 6 (1): 31-49. 2003.
    The condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is metaphysically strange. Can there really be several distinct persons operating in a single body? Our view is that DID sufferers are single persons with a severe mental disorder. In this paper we compare the phenomenology of dissociation between personality states in DID with certain delusional disorders. We argue both that the burden of proof must lie with those who defend the metaphysically ext…Read more
  •  104
    We have argued here that to attribute criminal responsibility to psychopathic individuals is to ignore substantial and growing evidence that psychopathic individuals are significantly impaired in moral understanding. They do not appear to know why moral transgressions are wrong in the full sense required by the law. As morally blameless offenders, punishment as a basis for detention cannot be justified. Moreover, as there are currently no successful treatment programs for psychopathy, nor can de…Read more
  •  65
    Mental time travel, agency and responsibility
    In Matthew Broome & Lisa Bortolotti (eds.), Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives, Oxford University Press. 2009.
    We have argued elsewhere that moral responsibility over time depends in part upon the having of psychological connections which facilitate forms of self-control. In this chapter we explore the importance of mental time travel - our ordinary ability to mentally travel to temporal locations outside the present, involving both memory of our personal past and the ability to imagine ourselves in the future - to our agential capacities for planning and control. We suggest that in many individuals with…Read more
  •  76
    Imagining Reasons
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1): 181-192. 2011.
    In this article, I explore the implications of Karsten Stueber's account of imaginative resistance, particularly as it relates to the phenomenon of moral dumbfounding described by Jonathan Haidt and colleagues. I suggest that Stueber's account allows us to redescribe the phenomenon as a failure of the folk psychological project of interpretation and so to challenge Haidt's metaethical conclusions. I close by considering some implications for moral deliberation and judgment in those, such as auti…Read more
  •  77
    Is it ever possible for people to act freely and intentionally against their better judgement? Is it ever possible to act in opposition to one's strongest desire? If either of these questions are answered in the negative, the common-sense distinctions between recklessness, weakness of will and compulsion collapse. This would threaten our ordinary notion of self-control and undermine our practice of holding each other responsible for moral failure. So a clear and plausible account of how weakness…Read more
  •  15
    Friendship and Moral Danger
    with Dean Cocking
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (5): 278. 2000.
  •  6
  •  30
    Science and normative authority
    Philosophical Explorations 14 (3): 229-235. 2011.
    Philosophical Explorations, Volume 14, Issue 3, Page 229-235, September 2011
  •  42
    Mixed motives
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (3). 1993.
    My aim in this paper is, by process of elimination, to elucidate and defend an account of how ordinary people act on their values. I will be making both a descriptive claim about our psychology and a further claim about its effectiveness and rational status. I want to suggest that the way in which most of us in fact put our values into practice is, over time, preferable to the ways which initially seem required or at least desirable.