•  1
    Democracy is often used as shorthand for liberal democracy. Despite such casual conflation, the two concepts remain importantly distinct. I argue that democracy unfettered by the constraints of liberal institutions and commitments gives rise to the proliferation of disinformation and to xenophobic populism. I draw upon Plato and the democracy of ancient Athens to illustrate the history of association between disinformation and democracy. Moving on to our more contemporary treatments of liberalis…Read more
  •  44
    Singer, Peter
    In Robert N. Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy 3rd edition, Cambridge University Press. 2015.
  •  736
    This chapter constructs the argument that corporate and political policies known to accelerate anthropogenic global warming, and subsequent climate change, constitute crimes against humanity—predicated on failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable threats to sustained human existence. Given the moral gravity of crimes against humanity it follows that financial divestment is ethically obligatory for institutions wishing to avoid moral association. The moral case for fossil fuel divestment, in the w…Read more
  •  210
    The relationship between knowledge, belief, and ethics is an inaugural theme in philosophy; more recently, under the title “ethics of belief” philosophers have worked to develop the appropriate methodology for studying the nexus of epistemology, ethics, and psychology. The title “ethics of belief” comes from a 19th-century paper written by British philosopher and mathematician W.K. Clifford. Clifford argues that we are morally responsible for our beliefs because each belief that we form creates …Read more
  •  339
    Moral Agnosticism: An Ethics of Inquiry and Public Discourse
    Teaching Ethics 14 (2): 3-16. 2014.
    Taking Anthropogenic global warming as its framing example this paper develops an ethics of inquiry and public discourse influenced by Rawlsian public reason. The need to embrace scientific fact during civil discourse on topics of moral and political controversy is stressed as an ethical mandate. The paper argues: (1) ethicists have a moral obligation to recognize scientific consensus when relevant to ethical discussions. (2) The failure to condemn science denialism when it interferes with the p…Read more
  •  296
    The Trouble with Pseudoskepticism
    Skeptical Inquirer 36 (3). 2012.
    The continuing rejection of anthropogenic global warming by non-experts despite overwhelming scientific consensus is rationally untenable and best described as “pseudoskeptical;” it is akin to AIDS denialism, the advocacy of intelligent design, and anti-vaccination movements.
  •  152
    This article confronts growing conservative opposition to abortion based on the claim that abortion is morally equivalent to infanticide. By examining the relationship between moral skepticism and precautionary ethics the article promotes a completely permissive position on abortion from conception to birth while consistently rejecting the possibility that such a position entails permissive implications for infanticide. The article introduces and traces the implicit relationship between moral sk…Read more
  •  297
    This article seeks to re-conceptualize Rawlsian public reason as a critical tool against ideological propaganda. The article proposes that public reason, as a standard for public discourse, must be conceptualized beyond its mandate for comprehensive neutrality to additionally emphasize critique of ideologically driven ignorance and propaganda in the public realm. I connect uncritical hospitality to such ideological propaganda with Harry Frankfurt’s concept of bullshit. This paper proposes that p…Read more
  •  748
    The Ethics of Inquiry, Scientific Belief, and Public Discourse
    Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (3): 197-215. 2011.
    The scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change is firmly established yet climate change denialism, a species of what I call pseudoskepticism, is on the rise in industrial nations most responsible for climate change. Such denialism suggests the need for a robust ethics of inquiry and public discourse. In this paper I argue: (1) that ethical obligations of inquiry extend to every voting citizen insofar as citizens are bound together as a political body. (2) It is morally condemnab…Read more
  •  777
    What's the Harm? Why the Mainstreaming of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an Ethical Problem.
    Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine 4 (4): 333-344. 2013.
    This paper argues that it is morally irresponsible for modern medical providers or health care institutions to support and advocate the integration of CAM practices (i.e. homeopathy, acupuncture, energy healing, etc.) with conventional modern medicine. The results of such practices are not reliable beyond that of placebo. As a corollary, it is argued that prescribing placebos perceived to stand outside the norm of modern medicine is morally inappropriate. Even when such treatments do no direct p…Read more