• Psychologists often characterize the infant’s attachment to her primary caregiver as love. Philosophical accounts of love, however, tend to speak against this possibility. Love is typically thought to require sophisticated cognitive capacities that infants do not possess. Nevertheless, there are important similarities between the infant-primary caregiver bond and mature love, and the former is commonly thought to play an important role in one’s capacity for the latter. In this work, I examine th…Read more
  • Caring and Love
    with Agnieszka Jaworska
    In Christopher Grau & Aaron Smuts (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Love, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    It is largely uncontroversial that to love some person or object is (among other things) to care about that person or object. Love and caring, however, are importantly different attitudes. We do not love every person or object about which we care. In this work, we critically analyze extant accounts of how love differs from mere caring, and we propose an alternate view in order to better capture this distinction.
  • Love and Attachment
    American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3): 232-250. 2017.
    It is not uncommon for philosophers to name disinterestedness, or some like feature, as an essential characteristic of love. Such theorists claim that in genuine love, one’s concern for her beloved must be non-instrumental, non-egocentric, or even selfless. These views prompt the question, “What, if any, positive role might self-interestedness play in genuine love?” In this paper, I argue that attachment, an attitude marked primarily by self-focused emotions and emotional predispositions, helps …Read more
  • Video Games and Ethics
    In Joseph C. Pitt & Ashley Shew (eds.), Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology, Routledge. 2017.
    Historically, video games featuring content perceived as excessively violent have drawn moral criticism from an indignant (and sometimes, morally outraged) public. Defenders of violent video games have insisted that such criticisms are unwarranted, as committing acts of virtual violence against computer-controlled characters – no matter how heinous or cruel those actions would be if performed in real life – harm no actual people. In this paper, I present and critically analyze key aspects of thi…Read more
  • Treating Psychopaths Fairly
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (3): 158-160. 2016.
    Dietmar Hübner and Lucie White question the ethical justification of employing risky neurosurgical interventions to treat imprisoned psychopaths. They argue that (1) such interventions would confer no medical benefit on the psychopath as there is no “subjective suffering” involved in psychopathy and (2) psychopaths could not voluntarily consent to such procedures because they could have no “internal motivation” for doing so. In the course of their discussion, the authors insightfully show that c…Read more
  • The Good of Community
    In Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics, Oxford University Press. pp. 184-202. 2015.
    This chapter argues against a new and perhaps more benign way of classifying Nietzsche as a political conservative. It also adds to the argument that even though Nietzsche is seen as more leftist than he appears, he is not an egalitarian. It does so by making an extended and detailed case against Julian Young’s claim that the flourishing of the community is Nietzsche’s highest value. The final section suggests that Nietzsche’s view might nevertheless be able to accommodate richer notions of comm…Read more
  • A Humean approach to assessing the moral significance of ultra-violent video games
    Ethics and Information Technology 10 (1): 1-10. 2008.
  • Children's film as an instrument of moral education
    Journal of Moral Education 38 (1): 1-15. 2009.
    This paper explores two philosophical treasures that we often neglect: the moral faculties of children and the pedagogic virtues of film. My thesis consists of three primary claims: (1) when properly educated, children are capable of thinking critically about ethical issues; (2) moral edification ought to have the dual aims of developing this capacity and educating the emotions; and (3) given these aims, the children's film genre is a surprisingly apposite tool for aiding the moral instruction o…Read more
  • On being attached
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 223-242. 2016.
    We often use the term “attachment” to describe our emotional connectedness to objects in the world. We become attached to our careers, to our homes, to certain ideas, and perhaps most importantly, to other people. Interestingly, despite its import and ubiquity in our everyday lives, the topic of attachment per se has been largely ignored in the philosophy literature. I address this lacuna by identifying attachment as a rich “mode of mattering” that can help to inform certain aspects of agency an…Read more