Harvard University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2001
Bloomington, Illinois, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Action
Areas of Interest
Applied Ethics
  •  78
    In his classic paper, ‘Why abortion is immoral’, Don Marquis argues that what makes killing an adult seriously immoral is that it deprives the victim of the valuable future he/she would have otherwise had. Moreover, Marquis contends, because abortion deprives a fetus of the very same thing, aborting a fetus is just as seriously wrong as killing an adult. Marquis’ argument has received a great deal of critical attention in the two decades since its publication. Nonetheless, there is a potential c…Read more
  •  310
    Conscious Fiction
    Philosophy and Literature 30 (1): 299-309. 2006.
  •  20
    Constructivism in Ethics, edited by Carla Bagnoli
    Mind 124 (496): 1231-1234. 2015.
  •  80
  • Could There Be a Power World?
    American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2): 161. 2010.
    Could there be a power world? That is to say, could there be a world consisting of nothing but dispositional properties? If there couldn't be, then, obviously, the actual world is not such a world. That is one reason why answering this question is important. However, even if one thinks it is already obvious that the actual world is not a power world, answering this question is still important, because whether there could be a power world depends, in part, on whether all the properties in a world…Read more
  •  67
    Public Reasons and Practical Solipsism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (3): 317-336. 2005.
  • In my dissertation I aim to further our understanding of practical reasons and practical reasoning. In chapter one I evaluate and reject the most commonly accepted accounts of practical reasons, viz., Objectivism and Humeanism. They each offer an account of the conditions under which we have reasons, but they cannot tell us why these conditions have normative significance for us. I also argue that we cannot use a claim about the relationship between reasons and motivation to determine the nature…Read more
  •  27
    The Constitution of Agency
    Review of Metaphysics 65 (3): 660-661. 2012.
  •  181
    Directions of fit and the Humean theory of motivation
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1). 2008.
    According to the Humean theory of motivation, a person can only be motivated to act by a desire together with a relevantly related belief. More specifically, a person can only be motivated to ϕ by a desire to ψ together with a belief that ϕ-ing is a means to or a way of ψ-ing. In recent writings, Michael Smith gives what has become a very influential argument in favour of the Humean claim that desire is a necessary part of motivation, and a great deal has been written about Smith's defence of th…Read more