•  19
    On Street Harassment
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (2): 231-241. 2018.
    This paper argues that it can be morally wrong to be friendly to strangers. More specifically, the paper argues there is a salient pro tanto moral reason against being friendly to strangers in virtue of the structure of interaction. By ‘a salient pro tanto reason’ I mean a reason that is not always decisive, but it is often significant enough that it ought to factor in moral deliberation. My argument is perfectly general, but it is presented to shed light on one specific practical problem. By co…Read more
  •  8
    Intuitions as Invitations
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 11 (1): 23-36. 2015.
    Recently, there has been a great deal of skepticism about appeals to intuitions in philosophy. Appeals to intuition often get expressed in the form of what ‘we’ believe. Many people take the ‘we’ in this context to refer to what the folk believe. So the claim about what we believe is an empirical claim. And it looks like the support for this claim comes from a biased sample consisting solely of analytic philosophers. In this paper I want to explain a different way appeals to intuition are used i…Read more
  •  25
    Agency regarding our reasons
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2): 136-157. 2020.
    ABSTRACTHow much control do we have over our reasons for action? Not much, but some. We all have reasons to avoid pain and not to inflict it on others. What explains our shared reasons? On an externalist account, reasons are grounded in values. All reasons are external to agency. This ensures that reasons are universal, so it is an attractive feature of moral and prudential reasons. However, when our reasons differ this is less attractive. In some cases, it seems like something internal to the a…Read more
  •  60
    Harry Frankfurt and J. David Velleman both offer accounts of paradigmatic action. To greatly oversimplify, Frankfurt roots our agency in our capacity to care, while Velleman places it in our cognitive capacity to make sense of ourselves. This paper argues that both views have an important piece of the truth. The paper advances a pluralistic account of paradigmatic agency. (updated 7/30/07).
  •  44
    An Account of Practical Decisions
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1): 121-139. 2018.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 This paper offers an account of practical decisions. The author argues that decisions do not need to be conscious, nor do they need to be settled by deliberation. Agents can be mistaken about what they decided and agents can decide by doing some intentional action besides deliberating. The author argues that the functional role of a decision is to put an end to practical uncertainty. A mental event is a decision to the extent that it ends practical uncertainty and to the…Read more
  •  10
    On a Purported Principle of Practical Reason
    Journal of Philosophical Research 33 143-162. 2008.
    A number of philosophers are attracted to the Principle of the Priority of Belief in practical matters. PPB has two parts: it is a principle of practical reason to adjust your desires in accordance with your evaluative beliefs and you should not adjust your evaluative beliefs in accordance with your desires. The central claim of this principle is that beliefs rightly govern desires and that desires have no authority over beliefs. This paper advances conceptual and empiricalarguments against acce…Read more
  •  29
    Good Advice
    Philosophical Papers 45 (1-2): 181-207. 2016.
    Advice is interesting because it is a relationship that is built upon two asymmetries. Advice concerns what the advisee ought to do. For that reason, considerations of autonomy suggest that the advisee has a greater claim on what matters in deliberation. However, the advisor is wiser than the advisee. That suggests that the advisor has a greater insight into what matters in deliberation. These are the asymmetry of autonomy and the asymmetry of wisdom. To account for both, I argue for informed su…Read more
  •  21
    Ego Depletion and the Humean Theory of Motivation
    Open Journal of Philosophy 4 (3): 390-396. 2014.
  •  72
    The Normativity Objection to Normative Reduction
    Acta Analytica 30 (4): 419-427. 2015.
    Non-naturalists claim that the nature of normativity precludes the possibility of normative naturalism. In particular, they think that normative reduction amounts to normative elimination. This is because it always leaves out the normative. In this paper, I examine the force that the normativity objection has against Humean reductionism. I argue that the normativity objection has no argumentative force against reductionism. When it is presented as a bare intuition, it begs the question against r…Read more
  •  137
    Kant and Strawson on the Objectivity Thesis
    Idealistic Studies 34 (2): 173-180. 2004.
    In the Transcendental Deductions, Kant attempts to establish the necessary applicability of the categories to what is encountered in experience. As I see it, the argument is intended to deduce two distinct, but, in Kant’s eyes, interrelated, claims. The first is that it is a necessity that experience be of an objective world. Call this rough idea the objectivity thesis. The second thesis is that the categoriesapply only to mere appearances, that is, the world insofar as we structure it. Call thi…Read more
  •  28
    Gibbard’s Transcendental Arguments
    Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (1): 81-92. 2010.
  •  137
    The indeterminacy of desire and practical reason
    In David K. Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will, Springer: Philosophical Studies Series. forthcoming.
    Bernard Williams has famously argued that all reasons for action are internal reasons.1 The internalist requirement on reasons is that all reasons must be linked to the agent’s subjective motivational state by a sound deliberative route. This argument has been the subject of a great deal of debate. In this paper I wish to draw attention to a much less discussed aspect of Williams’ papers on internalism. Williams believes that there is an essential indeterminacy regarding what an agent has a reas…Read more
  •  81
    On a Purported Principle of Practical Reason
    Journal of Philosophical Research 33 143-162. 2008.
    A number of philosophers are attracted to the Principle of the Priority of Belief (or PPB) in practical matters. PPB has two parts: (1) it is a principle of practical reason to adjust your desires in accordance with your evaluative beliefs and (2) you should not adjust your evaluative beliefs in accordance with your desires. The central claim of this principle is that beliefs rightly govern desires and that desires have no authority over beliefs. This paper advances conceptual and empiricalargum…Read more
  •  21
    A pluralistic approach to paradigmatic agency
    Philosophical Explorations 13 (3): 307-318. 2010.
    Harry Frankfurt and David Velleman have both offered accounts of paradigmatic action. That is, they have offered theories as to which capacities allow us to maximally express our agency. To greatly over simplify, Frankfurt ultimately roots our agency in our capacity to care, while Velleman places it in our cognitive capacity to make sense of ourselves. This paper contends that both have an important piece of the truth and that we should accept a pluralistic approach to paradigmatic agency. It ar…Read more
  •  83
    Berkeley's immaterialist account of action
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (3): 415-429. 2006.
    : A number of critics have argued that Berkeley's metaphysics can offer no tenable account of human agency. In this paper I argue that Berkeley does have a coherent account of action. The paper addresses arguments by C.C. W. Taylor, Robert Imlay, and Jonathan Bennett. The paper attempts to show that Berkeley can offer a theory of action, maintain many of our common intuitions about action, and provide a defensible solution to the problem of evil
  •  228
    Hume on Weakness of Will
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (4): 597-609. 2010.
    This Article does not have an abstract