•  14
    Possible Dilemmas Raised by Impossible Moral Requirements
    Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 2 (1): 1-15. 2016.
    The priority that Tessman’s argument gives to phenomenological and neuropsychological explanations of moral requirements entails a fundamental shift in our understanding of these. Two central problems of normative theory come together in Tessman’s account. The first arises when an agent’s sense of requirement clashes with what a systematic theory prescribes. The second arises when neuropsychological accounts fail to fit the prescription. Tessman argues that no account successfully resolves moral…Read more
  •  77
    Sacrifices, Aspirations and Morality: Williams Reconsidered
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (1): 69-87. 2007.
    When a person gives up an end of crucial importance to her in order to promote a moral aim, we regard her as having made a moral sacrifice. The paper analyzes these sacrifices in light of some of Bernard Williams’ objections to Kantian and Utilitarian accounts of them. Williams argues that an implausible consequence of these theories is that that we are expected to sacrifice projects that make our lives worth living and contribute to our integrity. Williams’ arguments about integrity and meaning…Read more
  •  71
    Harmful Beneficence
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2): 197-222. 2011.
    Beneficence is usually regarded as adequate when it results in an actual benefit for a beneficiary and satisfies her self-chosen end. However, beneficence that satisfies these conditions can harm beneficiaries' free agency, particularly when they are robustly dependent on benefactors. First, the means that benefactors choose can have undesirable side-effects on resources that beneficiaries need for future free action. Second, benefactors may undermine beneficiaries' ability to freely deliberate …Read more
  •  102
    Worthy Lives
    Social Theory and Practice 36 (2): 185-212. 2010.
    Susan Wolf's paper "Meaning and Morality" draws our attention to the fact that Williams's objection to Kantian morality is primarily a concern about a possible conflict between morality and that which gives our lives meaning. I argue that the force of Williams's objection requires a more precise understanding of meaning as dependent on our intention to make our lives themselves worthwhile. It is not meaning simpliciter that makes Williams's objective persuasive but rather meaning as arising out …Read more
  •  1098
    Coercion and Captivity
    In Lori Gruen (ed.), The Ethics of Captivity, . pp. 248-271. 2014.
    This paper considers three modes of captivity with an eye to examining the effects of captivity on free agency and whether these modes depend on or constitute coercion. These modes are: physical captivity, psychological captivity, and social/legal captivity. All these modes of captivity may severely impact capacities a person relies on for free agency in different ways. They may also undermine or destroy a person’s identity-constituting cares and values. On a Nozick-style view of coercion, coer…Read more
  •  28
    Pluralism, Imagination, and Estrangement
    Philosophical Papers 35 (3): 327-365. 2006.
    This paper argues that the diversity of conflicting comprehensive doctrines in liberal pluralist societies raises a problem of estrangement between citizens and the basic structure of society that Rawls' version of political liberalism does not successfully solve. 'Political estrangement' occurs when someone refuses to accept a political outcome that favors a comprehensive doctrine she rejects, based on what she imagines, correctly or incorrectly, to be true of her fellow citizens' comprehensive…Read more
  •  18
    Citizen Responsibility for War in Imperfect Democracies
    Dialogue 48 (4): 813-840. 2009.
    ABSTRACT: Are individual citizens of imperfect democracies morally responsible for unjust wars waged by their state? Moral responsibility for unjust wars involves both retrospective and social responsibility. Citizens of imperfect democracies are retrospectively responsible when they choose to vote for a leader they know will wage an unjust war. This situation may occur very rarely. For example, US citizens did not have this political option at the outset of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. However, e…Read more