•  77
    Fischer and Ravizza on moral sanity and weakness of will
    The Journal of Ethics 6 (3). 2002.
    This essay evaluates John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's mature semi-compatibilist account of moral responsibility, focusingon their new theory of moderate reasons-responsiveness as a model of "moral sanity." This theory, presented in _Responsibility and Control_, solves many of the problems with Fischer's earlier weak reasons-responsiveness model, such as its unwanted implication that agents who are only erratically responsive to bizarre reasons can be responsible for their acts. But I argue…Read more
  •  52
    Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 67-89. 2007.
    I have argued that like Harry Frankfurt, Augustine implicitly distinguishes between first-order desires and higher-order volitions; yet unlike Frankfurt, Augustineheld that the liberty to form different possible volitional identifications is essential to responsibility for our character. Like Frankfurt, Augustine recognizes that we can sometimes be responsible for the desires on which we act without being able to do or desire otherwise; but for Augustine, this is true only because such responsib…Read more
  •  51
    Just war theory, humanitarian intervention, and the need for a democratic federation
    Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (3): 493-555. 2011.
    The primary purpose of government is to secure public goods that cannot be achieved by free markets. The Coordination Principle tells us to consolidate sovereign power in a single institution to overcome collective action problems that otherwise prevent secure provision of the relevant public goods. There are several public goods that require such coordination at the global level, chief among them being basic human rights. The claim that human rights require global coordination is supported in t…Read more
  •  38
    Piety, MacIntyre, and Kierkegaardian Choice: A Reply to Professor Ballard
    Faith and Philosophy 15 (3): 352-365. 1998.
    This paper concerns a debate between two previous articles in Faith and Philosophy. In 1995, Bruce Ballard criticized Marilyn Piety’s argument that the Kierkegaardian “choice” between the ‘aesthetic’ and ‘ethical’ modes of existence is not an irrational or criterionless leap. Instead, Ballard defended MacIntyre’s view that Kierkegaard’s position succumbs to the tensions inherited from its opposing enlightenment sources. I argue in response that Ballard sets up a false dilemma for Kierkegaard and…Read more
  •  38
    Readers familiar with Harry Frankfurt’s argument that we do not need leeway-liberty (or the power to bring about alternative possible actions or intentions) to be morally responsible will probably also know that the most famous and popular response on behalf of leeway-libertarianism remains a dilemma posed in similar forms by David Widerker, Robert Kane, and Carl Ginet: either the agent retains significant residual leeway in Frankfurt-style cases, or these cases beg the question by presupposing …Read more
  •  32
    In the last two decades, interest in narrative conceptions of identity has grown exponentially, though there is little agreement about what a "life-narrative" might be. In connecting Kierkegaard with virtue ethics, several scholars have recently argued that narrative models of selves and MacIntyre's concept of the unity of a life help make sense of Kierkegaard's existential stages and, in particular, explain the transition from "aesthetic" to "ethical" modes of life. But others have recently rai…Read more
  •  31
    Tradition(s)
    The Owl of Minerva 32 (1): 65-82. 2000.
  •  29
    Kierkegaard's Postscript in Light of Fear and Trembling: Eschatological Faith
    Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 64 (2/4). 2008.
    There is a single unified conception of religious faith in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and Concluding Unscientific Postscript: existential faith is absolute trust in an eschatological promise, i.e. a miraculous realization of ethical ideals that is beyond all human power to accomplish or even predict. Faith in this sense has the precondition of "infinite resignation," which is a purified state of ethical willing in which the agent accepts her/his own inability to actualize the ethical, outw…Read more
  •  27
    In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will.…Read more
  •  25
    A Critical Review of Natural Law and Practical Rationality
    International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2): 229-239. 2003.
    This essay argues that Mark C. Murphy's original contribution to natural law ethics succeeds in finding a way between older metaphysical and newer purely practical approaches in this genre. Murphy's reconstruction of the function argument, critique of subjectivist theories of well-being, and rigorous formulation of a flexible welfarist theory of value deserve careful attention. I defend Kant against Murphy's critique and argue that Murphy faces the problem of showing that all his basic goods are…Read more
  •  24
    Review of Sylvia Walsh, Kierkegaard and Religion: Personality, Character, and Virtue (review)
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3): 230-236. 2019.
  •  21
    Comparison of the preliminary objection to Haskar's and Adams's critiques of Molinism. The difficulty with Haskar's 'Power Inference Principle;' Adams's "New Anti-Molinist Argument;" William Lane Craig's recent response to Adams; Craig's defense of the 'emphemeral' Molinist logical possibility of doing otherwise; the two stages of the Existentialist's alternative strategy against Molinism
  •  20
  •  17
    The Will: A Dual Aspect Theory (review)
    International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2): 259-264. 2011.
  •  17
    National Identity: Some Reflections on the Future of Europe,"(1) Habermas's specific theme is the `legitimation crisis' arising from the current situation within the European Community.(2) But the deeper philosophical point of the article is to develop a fundamental implication of Habermas's analysis of democracy in his new work, Between Facts and Norms (in which the article is included as an appendix):(3) Habermas argues that the normative content of democratic citizenship can be institutionalize…Read more
  •  15
    Review of Terence Cuneo (ed.), Religion and the Liberal Polity (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (7). 2005.
  •  11
    This article evaluates Emmanuel Levinas's novel "ethical metaphysics" of interpersonal relations from a religious perspective. Levinas presents a unique version of agape ethics that can be evaluated in terms of a number of the dilemmas that have traditionally attended Christian discussions of neighbor-love. Because Levinas's analysis makes our responsibility for other persons depend on their eschatological significance, it has the same problems that hamper all theories of neighbor-love that lack…Read more
  •  11
    Kierkegaard, Anxiety, and the Will
    Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 2001 (1): 158-182. 2001.
  •  10
    I will argue that there is a better position which is more religiously inclusive than "political liberalism" as conceived by Rawls or Audi, but which maintains a principled distance from Quinn's radical inclusivism. (2) In section I, I analyze Quinn's argument for radical inclusivism and pose an initial objection to it. In section II, I turn to the question of how democratic legitimation is to be conceived. After outlining the `civic virtue' or `deliberative' interpretation of democratic institu…Read more
  •  10
    Tradition: Refiguring Community and Virtue in Classical German Thought (review)
    The Owl of Minerva 32 (1): 65-82. 2000.
    Tradition must rank as one of the ten most important works within the hermeneutic tradition to be published in the 1990s, alongside recent books by Jean-Luc Nancy, Drucilla Cornell, Simon Critchley, John Caputo, Paul Ricoeur, and Jacques Derrida. In Tradition, Stephen Watson, who is influenced by Heidegger, Gadamer, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Alasdair MacIntyre, works out a historical hermeneutics with obvious connections to their views, but that also stakes out a different position "between" t…Read more
  •  10
    Rudd, Anthony., Self, Value, and Narrative: A Kierkegaardian Approach (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 67 (4): 886-888. 2014.
  •  9
    Virtue Epistemology
    International Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3): 401-404. 2002.