•  143
    Kant’s non-voluntarist conception of political obligation has led some philosophers to argue that he would reject self-government rights for indigenous peoples. Some recent scholarship suggests, however, that Kant’s critique of colonialism provides an argument in favor of granting self-government rights. Here I argue for a stronger conclusion: Kantian political theory not only can but must include sovereignty for indigenous peoples. Normally these rights are considered redress for historic injus…Read more
  •  99
    Shame, Violence, and Morality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1): 1-24. 2015.
    Shame is most frequently defined as the emotion we feel when we fail to live up to standards, norms, or ideals. I argue that this definition is flawed because it cannot explain some of the most paradigmatic features of shame. Agents often respond to shame with violence, but if shame is the painful feeling of failing to live up to an ideal, this response is unintelligible. I offer a new account of shame that can explain the link between shame and violence. On my view, shame arises out of a tensio…Read more
  •  93
    Shame and Contempt in Kant's Moral Theory
    Kantian Review 18 (2): 221-240. 2013.
    Attitudes like shame and contempt seem to be at odds with basic tenets of Kantian moral theory. I argue on the contrary that both attitudes play a central role in Kantian morality. Shame and contempt are attitudes that protect our love of honour, or the esteem we have for ourselves as moral persons. The question arises: how are these attitudes compatible with Kant's claim that all persons deserve respect? I argue that the proper object of shame and contempt is not the humanity within a person, b…Read more
  •  67
    The Moral Value of Envy
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1): 36-53. 2015.
    It is common to think that we would be morally better people if we never felt envy. Recently, some philosophers have rejected this conclusion by arguing that envy can often be directed toward unfairness or inequality. As such, they conclude that we should not suppress our feelings of envy. I argue, however, that these defenses only show that envy is sometimes morally permissible. In order to show that we would not be better off without envy, we must show how envy is not merely morally permissibl…Read more
  •  50
    Guilt and Child Soldiers
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1): 115-127. 2016.
    The use of child soldiers in armed conflict is an increasing global concern. Although philosophers have examined whether child soldiers can be considered combatants in war, much less attention has been paid to their moral responsibility. While it is tempting to think of them as having diminished or limited responsibility, child soldiers often report feeling guilt for the wrongs they commit. Here I argue that their feelings of guilt are both intelligible and morally appropriate. The feelings of g…Read more
  •  28
    Forgiveness or Fairness?
    Philosophical Papers 44 (2): 233-260. 2015.
    Several philosophers who argue that forgiveness is an important virtue also wish to maintain the moral value of retributive emotions that forgiveness is meant to overcome. As such, these accounts explicate forgiveness as an Aristotelian mean between too much resentment and too little resentment. I argue that such an account ends up making forgiveness superfluous: it turns out that the forgiving person is not praised for a greater willingness to let go of her resentment, but rather for her fairne…Read more
  •  26
    Review of "Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice" (review)
    Essays in Philosophy 18 (1): 191-198. 2017.
  •  25
    Review of Agnes Callard’s “Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming” (review)
    Essays in Philosophy 20 (1): 99-104. 2019.
  •  24
    Civic Education and the Ideal of Public Reason
    Social Philosophy Today 31 177-182. 2015.
    Meira Levinson argues for a robust civics education that models the practices of good citizenship. One of the elements of that civics education is teaching students how to take up the perspectives of others. The question arises: how do we teach students and citizens alike to take up the perspectives of others? Here I argue that we can make sense of perspective-taking by appealing to Rawls’s notion of public reason as an ideal. I conclude by arguing that a commitment to the ideal of public reason…Read more
  •  23
    How We Hope: A Moral Psychology
    The European Legacy 24 (1): 114-116. 2018.
  •  21
    Responding to Ethical Loneliness
    Philosophy Today 62 (2): 707-715. 2018.
  •  18
    Kant on Persons and Agency ed. by Eric Watkins
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (1): 175-176. 2019.
    This new essay collection edited by Eric Watkins features distinguished and established scholars, and it will be an attractive volume for those who work in the field. The essays are divided under three headings: Part I contains essays on agency, Part II features essays on freedom, and Part III is dedicated to essays on persons. An essay by Karl Ameriks on Kant’s work “The End of All Things” concludes the collection. Most of the essays in the collection were originally presented in early form at …Read more
  •  17
    Moral Psychology and War: Introduction
    Essays in Philosophy 18 (2): 203-206. 2017.
  •  14
    I’ll Show You: Spite as a Reactive Attitude
    The Monist 103 (2): 163-175. 2020.
    Spite is typically considered a vicious emotion that causes us to engage in petty, vindictive, and sometimes self-destructive behavior. Even though it has this bad reputation, I will argue that spite is a reactive attitude. Spite is emotional defiance of another’s command: to spite you, I will do something exactly because you told me not to. Our liability to feelings of spite presupposes that we recognize others as having practical authority, which is why it qualifies as a reactive attitude. I c…Read more
  •  3
    Wild chimeras: Enthusiasm and intellectual virtue in Kant
    European Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  1
    Shame is a Jekyll-and-Hyde emotion--it can be morally valuable, but it also has a dark side. Thomason presents a philosophically rigorous and nuanced account of shame that accommodates its harmful and helpful aspects. Thomason argues that despite its obvious drawbacks and moral ambiguity, shame's place in our lives is essential.
  • Emotion, Reason and Action in Kant by Maria Borges
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2): 411-412. 2020.
    Despite the fact that emotions have become an important part of Kant scholarship in the last thirty years and counting, few books are devoted to the topic. Borges's book remedies this lacuna. Kant scholars who are familiar with her work will be happy to see her account of emotions connected to other discussions of Kantian moral psychology.The book begins with a general account of actions, reasons, and causes. Given this background, Borges then raises the question: what role do emotions play in t…Read more