•  675
    Meriting Concern and Meriting Respect
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (2): 1-29. 2010.
    Recently there has been a somewhat surprising interest among Kantian theorists in the moral standing of animals, coupled with a no less surprising optimism among these theorists about the prospect of incorporating animal moral standing into Kantian theory without contorting its other attractive features. These theorists contend in particular that animal standing can be incorporated into Kantian moral theory without abandoning its logocentrism: the claim that everything that is valuable depends f…Read more
  •  163
    Legitimacy is Not Authority
    Law and Philosophy 29 (6): 669-694. 2010.
    The two leading traditions of theorizing about democratic legitimacy are liberalism and deliberative democracy. Liberals typically claim that legitimacy consists in the consent of the governed, while deliberative democrats typically claim that legitimacy consists in the soundness of political procedures. Despite this difference, both traditions see the need for legitimacy as arising from the coercive enforcement of law and regard legitimacy as necessary for law to have normative authority. While…Read more
  •  62
    The Priority and Posteriority of Right
    Theoria 81 (3): 222-248. 2015.
    In this article I articulate two pairs of theses about the relationship between the right and the good and I sketch an account of morality that systematically vindicates all four theses, despite a nearly universal consensus that they are not all true. In the first half I elucidate and motivate the theses and explain why leading ethical theorists maintain that at least one of them is false; in the second half I present the outlines of an account of the relationship between the right and the good …Read more
  •  62
    Zarathustra's dilemma and the embodiment of morality
    Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2): 259-274. 2004.
  •  57
    The embodiment thesis
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1): 15-29. 2004.
    In this essay I articulate and defend a thesis about the nature of morality called “the embodiment thesis”. The embodiment thesis states that moral values underdetermine the obligations and entitlements of individual persons, and that actual social institutions must embody morality by specifying these moral relations. I begin by presenting two thought experiments that elucidate and motivate the embodiment thesis. I then proceed by distinguishing the embodiment thesis from a Rawlsian doctrine abo…Read more
  •  56
    The Idea of an Overlapping Consensus Revisited
    Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (2): 183-196. 2012.
  •  53
    Structuring Ends
    Philosophia 38 (4): 691-713. 2010.
    There is disagreement among contemporary theorists regarding human well-being. On one hand there are “substantive good” views, according to which the most important elements of a person’s well-being result from her nature as a human, rational, and/or sentient being. On the other hand there are “agent-constituted” views, which contend that a person’s well-being is constituted by her particular aims, desires, and/or preferences. Each approach captures important features of human well-being, but ne…Read more
  •  46
    Rawlsian Stability
    Res Publica 22 (3): 285-299. 2016.
    Despite great advances in recent scholarship on the political philosophy of John Rawls, Rawls’s conception of stability is not fully appreciated. This essay aims to remedy this by articulating a more complete understanding of stability and its role in Rawls’s theory of justice. I argue that even in A Theory of Justice Rawls maintains that within liberal democratic constitutionalism judgments of relative stability typically adjudicate decisively among conceptions of justice and is committed to mo…Read more
  •  37
    Animal Punishment and the Conditions of Responsibility
    Philosophical Papers 49 (1): 69-105. 2019.
    In this essay I distinguish categories of animals by their mental capacities. I then discuss whether punishment can be appropriate for animals of each category, and if so what form punishment may a...
  •  36
    The Salience of Moral Character
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2): 178-195. 2015.
    In this essay I review an underappreciated strand of thought according to which the best Kantian moral theory has less in common with paradigmatically deontological theories and more in common with virtue theories than is standardly maintained. I then argue this program should be continued further, to provide not only a virtue-based account of moral judgment but also a virtue-based account of moral worth. I make a case that this fusion of Kantian theory with virtue theory provides the best accou…Read more
  •  28
    From Rationality to Equality
    Philosophical Review 124 (3): 407-409. 2015.
  •  24
    Decomposing Legal Personhood
    Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4): 967-974. 2019.
    The claim that corporations are not people is perhaps the most frequently voiced criticism of the United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. There is something obviously correct about this claim. While the nature and extent of obligations with respect to group agents like corporations and labor unions is far from clear, it is manifest in moral understanding and deeply embedded in legal practice that there is no general requirement to treat them like natu…Read more
  •  24
    On the Respectful Use of Animals
    Between the Species 16 (1): 12. 2013.
    In his essay “The Integration of the Ethic of the Respectful Use of Animals into the Law”, David Favre begins to articulate a new framework for understanding the legal status of nonhuman animals. The present essay supports the broad contours of Favre’s framework, but raises challenges for some of the framework’s elements. The first half questions Favre’s claim that possession of DNA and the capacity for life underlie the need for a more robust conception of animal legal standing. The second half…Read more
  •  18
    Correction to: Decomposing Legal Personhood
    Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4): 975-975. 2019.
    The Acknowledgment section of this article was inadvertently misprinted. The following sentence should have concluded the Acknowledgment: Above all I would like to thank Spenser Powell. This essay would not have been possible without the many conversations we shared as he composed his exceptional undergraduate thesis, Equality of Participation, at the University of Tennessee. We deeply regret this omission.
  •  13
    Rawlsian Anti-Capitalism and Left Solidarity
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche. forthcoming.
  •  5
    Shared worlds and shared minds: A theory of collective learning and a psychology of common knowledge
    with Garriy Shteynberg, Jacob B. Hirsh, and R. Alexander Bentley
    Psychological Review 127 (5): 918-931. 2020.
  • Rawls: The Right and the Good
    Philosophical Forum 42 (3): 333-334. 2011.