University of Chicago
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2015
APA Central Division
Urbana, Illinois, United States of America
  •  32
    Internal and External Paternalism
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1-15. forthcoming.
    I introduce a new distinction between two types of paternalism, which I call ‘internal’ and ‘external’ paternalism. The distinction pertains to the question of whether the paternalized subject’s current evaluative judgments are mistaken relative to a standard of correctness that is internal to her evaluative point of view—which includes her ‘true’ or ‘ideal’ self—as opposed to one that is wholly external. I argue that this distinction has important implications for (a) the distinction between we…Read more
  •  183
    I demonstrate that analogies, both explicit and implicit, between Wittgenstein’s discussions of rituals, aesthetics, and aspect-perception, have important payoffs in terms of understanding his notion of a “surveyable representation” (übersichtliche Darstellung) as it applies to phenomena that are not exclusively grammatical in nature. In particular, I argue that a surveyable representation of certain anthropological and aesthetic facts allows us to see, qua form of aspect-perception, internal re…Read more
  •  162
    My question in the chapter is this: could (and should) the role of the physician be construed as that of a friend to the patient? I begin by briefly discussing the “friendship model” of the physician-patient relationship—according to which physicians and patients could, and perhaps should, be friends—as well as its history and limitations. Given these limitations, I focus on the more one-sided idea that the physician could, and perhaps should, be a friend to the patient (a “physician-qua-friend …Read more
  •  155
    Being Me Being You: Adam Smith & Empathy (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1): 243-246. 2023.
    Samuel Fleischacker’s Being Me Being You: Adam Smith & Empathy offers a new interpretation of Adam Smith’s conception of empathy—or ‘sympathy’, as Smith referred to the phenomenon in The Theory of...
  •  88
    I demonstrate that analogies, both explicit and implicit, between Wittgenstein’s discussion of rituals, aesthetics, and psychoanalysis (and, indeed, his own philosophical methodology) suggest that he entertained the idea that Freud’s psychoanalytic project, when understood correctly—that is, as a descriptive project rather than an explanatory-hypothetical one—provides a “surveyable representation” (übersichtliche Darstellung) of certain psychological facts (as opposed to psychological concepts).…Read more
  •  277
    A Defense of Modest Ideal Observer Theory: The Case of Adam Smith’s Impartial Spectator
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2): 489-510. 2021.
    I build on Adam Smith’s account of the impartial spectator in The Theory of Moral Sentiments in order to offer a modest ideal observer theory of moral judgment that is adequate in the following sense: the account specifies the hypothetical conditions that guarantee the authoritativeness of an agent’s (or agents’) responses in constituting the standard in question, and, if an actual agent or an actual community of agents are not under those conditions, their responses are not authoritative in set…Read more
  •  167
    John Rawls raises three challenges – to which one can add a fourth challenge – to an impartial spectator account: (a) the impartial spectator is a utility-maximizing device that does not take seriously the distinction between persons; (b) the account does not guarantee that the principles of justice will be derived from it; (c) the notion of impartiality in the account is the wrong one, since it does not define impartiality from the standpoint of the litigants themselves; (d) the account would o…Read more
  •  210
    An Adam Smithian account of moral reasons
    European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4): 1073-1087. 2020.
    The Humean Theory of Reasons, according to which all of our reasons for action are explained by our desires, has been criticized for not being able to account for “moral reasons,” namely, overriding reasons to act on moral demands regardless of one's desires. My aim in this paper is to utilize ideas from Adam Smith's moral philosophy in order to offer a novel and alternative account of moral reasons that is both desire-based and accommodating of an adequate version of the requirement that moral …Read more
  •  547
    Hume's general point of view: A two‐stage approach
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3): 431-453. 2020.
    I offer a novel two-stage reconstruction of Hume’s general-point-of-view account, modeled in part on his qualified-judges account in ‘Of the Standard of Taste.’ In particular, I argue that the general point of view needs to be jointly constructed by spectators who have sympathized with (at least some of) the agents in (at least some of) the actor’s circles of influence. The upshot of the account is two-fold. First, Hume’s later thought developed in such a way that it can rectify the problems inh…Read more
  •  266
    Conscientious Objection in Medicine: Making it Public
    HEC Forum 33 (3): 269-289. 2021.
    The literature on conscientious objection in medicine presents two key problems that remain unresolved: Which conscientious objections in medicine are justified, if it is not feasible for individual medical practitioners to conclusively demonstrate the genuineness or reasonableness of their objections? How does one respect both medical practitioners’ claims of conscience and patients’ interests, without leaving practitioners complicit in perceived or actual wrongdoing? My aim in this paper is to…Read more
  •  266
    Two problems seem to plague Adam Smith’s account of sympathy and approbation in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS). First, Smith’s account of sympathy at the beginning of TMS appears to be inconsistent with the account of sympathy at the end of TMS. In particular, it seems that Smith did not appreciate the distinction between ‘self-oriented sympathy’ and ‘other-oriented sympathy’, that is, between imagining being oneself in the actor’s situation and imagining being the actor in the actor’s sit…Read more
  •  590
    The internal morality of medicine: a constructivist approach
    Synthese 196 (11): 4449-4467. 2019.
    Physicians frequently ask whether they should give patients what they want, usually when there are considerations pointing against doing so, such as medicine’s values and physicians’ obligations. It has been argued that the source of medicine’s values and physicians’ obligations lies in what has been dubbed “the internal morality of medicine”: medicine is a practice with an end and norms that are definitive of this practice and that determine what physicians ought to do qua physicians. In this p…Read more
  •  165
    Might there be a medical conscience?
    Bioethics 33 (7): 835-841. 2019.
    I defend the feasibility of a medical conscience in the following sense: a medical professional can object to the prevailing medical norms because they are incorrect as medical norms. In other words, I provide an account of conscientious objection that makes use of the idea that the conscience can issue true normative claims, but the claims in question are claims about medical norms rather than about general moral norms. I further argue that in order for this line of reasoning to succeed, there …Read more
  •  285
    The truth behind conscientious objection in medicine
    Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (6): 404-410. 2019.
    Answers to the questions of what justifies conscientious objection in medicine in general and which specific objections should be respected have proven to be elusive. In this paper, I develop a new framework for conscientious objection in medicine that is based on the idea that conscience can express true moral claims. I draw on one of the historical roots, found in Adam Smith’s impartial spectator account, of the idea that an agent’s conscience can determine the correct moral norms, even if the…Read more
  •  125
    Adam Smith: systematic philosopher and public thinker (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (3): 654-656. 2019.