•  4
    Death and Consensus Liberalism
    Philosophers' Imprint 17. 2017.
    A crucial test for the dominant Rawlsian ‘consensus’ brand of public reason is whether it is complete – sufficient in content, that is, to yield determinate answers to the political questions put before it. Yet while doubts about the incompleteness of Rawlsian public reason have been often voiced, critics have thus far carried out relatively little of the philosophical spadework needed to substantiate them. This paper contributes to remedying this omission, via a detailed analysis of the implica…Read more
  •  51
    Public Reason and Prenatal Moral Status
    Journal of Ethics 19 (1): 23-52. 2015.
    This paper provides a new analysis and critique of Rawlsian public reason’s handling of the abortion question. It is often claimed that public reason is indeterminate on abortion, because it cannot say enough about prenatal moral status, or give content to the political value which Rawls calls ‘respect for human life’. I argue that public reason requires much greater argumentative restraint from citizens debating abortion than critics have acknowledged. Beyond the preliminary observation that fe…Read more
  •  117
    Wrongful Life and Abortion
    Res Publica 16 (4): 351-366. 2010.
    According to theories of wrongful life (WL), the imposition upon a child of an existence of poor quality can constitute an act of harming, and a violation of the child’s rights. The idea that there can be WLs may seem intuitively compelling. But, as this paper argues, liberals who commit themselves to WL theories may have to compromise some of their other beliefs. For they will thereby become committed to the claim that some women are under a stringent moral duty to have an abortion: a duty that…Read more
  •  21
    Resolving disputes over frozen embryos: A new proposal
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (2): 172-185. 2010.
    This paper proposes a principle for adjudicating conflicts between estranged couples over whether the frozen embryos they earlier created together ought to be gestated or destroyed. I argue that the fate of the embryos ought to be determined by the party who would be most harmed by having his or her preferences overruled. But I also claim that, when embryos are destroyed against the opposition of one of their co-creators, the individual at whose behest this was done owes compensation to his disa…Read more
  •  116
    Sex-Selective Abortion: A Matter of Choice
    Law and Philosophy 31 (2): 125-159. 2012.
    This paper argues that, if we are committed to a Pro-choice stance with regard to selective abortion for disability, we will be unable to justify the prohibition of sex-selective abortion (SSA), for two reasons. First, familiar Pro-choice arguments in favour of a woman’s right to select against fetal impairment also support, by parity of reasoning, a right to choose SSA. Second, rejection of the criticisms of selective abortion for disability levelled by disability theorists also disposes, by im…Read more
  •  11
    War and Global Public Reason
    Utilitas 29 (4): 398-422. 2017.
    This paper offers a new critical evaluation of the Rawlsian model of global public reason (‘GPR’), focusing on its ability to serve as a normative standard for guiding international diplomacy and deliberation in matters of war. My thesis is that, where war is concerned, the model manifests two fatal weaknesses. First, because it demands extensive neutrality over the moral status of persons – and in particular over whether they possess equal basic worth or value – out of respect for the beliefs o…Read more