•  4
  •  6
    Akrasia, Awareness, and Blameworthiness
    In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition, . pp. 47-63. 2017.
  •  12
    Moral Responsibility : An Introduction
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. forthcoming.
  •  14
    The Attributionist Approach to Moral Luck
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1): 24-41. 2019.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  22
    Why do war crimes occur? Are perpetrators of war crimes always blameworthy? In an original and challenging thesis, this book argues that war crimes are often explained by perpetrators' beliefs, goals, and values, and in these cases perpetrators may be blameworthy even if they sincerely believed that they were doing the right thing.
  •  24
    Judgmental alternatives, empathy, and moral responsibility
    Philosophical Studies 175 (4): 973-980. 2018.
    In Responsibility From the Margins, David Shoemaker distinguishes three forms of responsibility: attributability, answerability, and accountability. The introduction of various normative competence requirements lends precision to the contrasts that Shoemaker draws between these forms of responsibility. I argue, however, that these competence requirements are less well motivated than Shoemaker supposes, which raises the possibility that we cannot distinguish between forms of responsibility in the…Read more
  •  400
    I argue against the claim that morally ignorant wrongdoers are open to blame only if they are culpable for their ignorance, and I argue against a version of skepticism about moral responsibility that depends on this claim being true. On the view I defend, the attitudes involved in blame are typically responses to the features of an action that make it objectionable or unjustifiable from the perspective of the one who issues the blame. One important way that an action can appear objectionable to …Read more
  •  47
    Praise and prevention
    Philosophical Explorations 15 (1): 47-61. 2012.
    I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome is e…Read more
  •  8
    Contractualism and Our Duties to Nonhuman Animals
    Environmental Ethics 28 (2): 201-215. 2006.
    The influential account of contractualist moral theory offered recently by T. M. Scanlon in What We Owe to Each Other is not intended to account for all the various moral commitments that people have; it covers only a narrow—though important—range of properly moral concerns and claims. Scanlon focuses on what he calls the morality of right and wrong or, as he puts it in his title, what we owe to each other. The question arises as to whether nonhuman animals can be wronged in the narrow sense of …Read more
  •  49
    Symmetry, Rational Abilities, and the Ought-Implies-Can Principle
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2): 283-296. 2016.
    In Making Sense of Free Will and Moral Responsibility Dana Nelkin defends the “rational abilities view.” According to this view, agents are responsible for their behavior if and only if they act with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. It follows that agents who act well are open to praise regardless of whether they could have acted differently, but agents who act badly are open to blame only if they could have acted on the moral reasons that counted against their behavior. I summ…Read more
  •  36
    Implanted Desires, Self-Formation and Blame
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (2): 1-18. 2009.
    Those who advocate a “historicist” outlook on moral responsibility often hold that people who unwillingly acquire corrupt dispositions are not blameworthy for the wrong actions that issue from these dispositions; this contention is frequently supported by thought experiments involving instances of forced psychological manipulation that seem to call responsibility into question. I argue against this historicist perspective and in favor of the conclusion that the process by which a person acquires…Read more
  •  106
    I respond here to an argument in David Shoemaker’s recent essay, “Attributability, Answerability, and Accountability: Toward a Wider Theory of Moral Responsibility.” Shoemaker finds that “Scanlonian” approaches to moral blame err insofar as they do not include a capacity to respond to moral considerations among the conditions on blameworthiness. Shoemaker argues that wrongdoers must be able to respond to moral reasons for their behavior to express the disrespect to which blaming attitudes like r…Read more
  •  17
    Review of Carlos J. Moya, Moral Responsibility: The Ways of Scepticism (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (8). 2006.
  •  32
    Compatibilism, Common Sense, and Prepunishment
    Public Affairs Quarterly 23 (4): 325-335. 2009.
    We “prepunish” a person if we punish her prior to the commission of her crime. This essay discusses our intuitions about the permissibility of prepunishment and the relationship between prepunishment and compatibilism about free will and determinism. It has recently been argued that compatibilism has particular trouble generating a principled objection to prepunishment. The failure to provide such an objection may be a problem for compatibilism if our moral intuitions strongly favor the prohibit…Read more
  •  77
    Unwitting Behavior and Responsibility
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1): 139-152. 2011.
    Unlike much work on responsibility, George Sher's new book, Who Knew?: Responsibility Without Awareness , focuses on the relationship between knowledge and responsibility. Sher argues against the view that responsibility depends on an agent's awareness of the nature and consequences of her action. According to Sher's alternative proposal, even agents who are unaware of important features of their actions may be morally or prudentially responsible for their behavior. While I agree with many of Sh…Read more
  •  219
    Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest
    The Journal of Ethics 16 (1): 89-109. 2012.
    I argue that wrongdoers may be open to moral blame even if they lacked the capacity to respond to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. My initial argument turns on the suggestion that even an agent who cannot respond to specific moral considerations may still guide her behavior by her judgments about reasons. I argue that this explanation of a wrongdoer’s behavior can qualify her for blame even if her capacity for moral understanding is impaired. A second argument is bas…Read more
  •  211
    Blame and responsiveness to moral reasons: Are psychopaths blameworthy?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4): 516-535. 2008.
    Abstract:  Many philosophers believe that people who are not capable of grasping the significance of moral considerations are not open to moral blame when they fail to respond appropriately to these considerations. I contend, however, that some morally blind, or 'psychopathic,' agents are proper targets for moral blame, at least on some occasions. I argue that moral blame is a response to the normative commitments and attitudes of a wrongdoer and that the actions of morally blind agents can expr…Read more
  •  19
    Review of Nick Smith, I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10). 2008.
  •  3
    Most people would agree that a small child, or a cognitively impaired adult, is less responsible for their actions, good or bad, than an unimpaired adult. But how do we explain that difference, and how far can anyone be praised or blamed for what they have done? In this fascinating introduction, Matthew Talbert explores some of the key questions shaping current debates about moral responsibility, including: What is free will, and is it required for moral responsibility? Are we responsible for th…Read more
  •  66
    Contractualism and our duties to nonhuman animals
    Environmental Ethics 28 (2): 201-215. 2006.
    The influential account of contractualist moral theory offered recently by T. M. Scanlon in What We Owe to Each Other is not intended to account for all the various moral commitments that people have; it covers only a narrow—though important—range of properly moral concerns and claims. Scanlon focuses on what he calls the morality of right and wrong or, as he puts it in his title, what we owe to each other. The question arises as to whether nonhuman animals can be wronged in the narrow sense of …Read more
  •  98
    Situationism, normative competence, and responsibility for wartime behavior
    Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (3): 415-432. 2009.
    About a year after the start of the Iraq War, a story broke about the abuse of Iraqi detainees by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison. Editorialists and science writers noted affinities between what happened at Abu Ghraib and Philip Zimbardo’s famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo’s experiment is part of the “situationist” literature in social psychology, which suggests that the contexts in which agents act have a larger influence on behavior, and that personality traits have a…Read more