•  24
    Two Arguments for Objectivism about Moral Permissibility
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1): 100-113. 2021.
    ABSTRACT Is what we’re morally permitted to do grounded in our subjective situation? Subjectivists maintain that it is. Objectivists deny this. I shall offer two arguments for Objectivism about moral permissibility.
  •  8
    Subjective Versus Objective Moral Wrongness
    Cambridge University Press. 2021.
    There is presently a debate between Subjectivists and Objectivists about moral wrongness. Subjectivism is the view that the moral status of our actions, whether they are morally wrong or not, is grounded in our subjective circumstances – either our beliefs about, or our evidence concerning, the world around us. Objectivism, on the other hand, is the view that the moral status of our actions is grounded in our objective circumstances – all those facts other than those which comprise our subjectiv…Read more
  •  32
    “Secondary Permissibility” and the Ethics of Harming
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (2): 156-177. 2020.
    There is a moral phenomenon of “Secondary Permissibility” in which an otherwise morally impermissible option is made morally permissible by the presence of another option. In this paper I explain how this phenomenon works and argue that understanding how it works suggests a new model for the structure of the ethics of harming.
  •  48
    Normative ethical theories owe us an account of how to evaluate decisions under risk and uncertainty. Deontologists seem at a disadvantage here: our best decision theories seem tailor-made for consequentialism. For example, decision theory enjoins us to always perform our best option; deontology is more permissive. In this paper, we discuss and defend the idea that, when some pro-tanto wrongful act is all-things considered permissible, because it is a ‘lesser evil’, it is often merely permissibl…Read more
  •  44
    Two Arguments for Objectivism about Moral Permissibility
    Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1-14. forthcoming.
  •  335
    'Ought' and Ability
    with P. A. Graham
    Philosophical Review 120 (3): 337-382. 2011.
    A principle that many have found attractive is one that goes by the name “'Ought' Implies 'Can'.” According to this principle, one morally ought to do something only if one can do it. This essay has two goals: to show that the principle is false and to undermine the motivations that have been offered for it. Toward the end, a proposal about moral obligation according to which something like a restricted version of 'Ought' Implies 'Can' is true is floated. Though no full-fledged argument for this…Read more
  •  47
    An Argument for Objective Possibilism
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6. 2019.
  •  91
    Avoidable Harm
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1): 175-199. 2020.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
  •  5
  •  50
    Thomson's Trolley Problem
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (2): 168-190. 2017.
    No one has done more over the past four decades to draw attention to the importance of, and attempt to solve, a particularly vexing problem in ethics—the Trolley Problem—than Judith Jarvis Thomson. Though the problem is originally due to Philippa Foot, Thomson showed how Foot’s simple solution would not do and offered some solutions of her own. No solution is uncontroversial and the problem remains a thorn in the side of non-consequentialist moral theory. Recently, however, Thomson has changed h…Read more
  •  124
    Against the Mind Argument
    Philosophical Studies 148 (2): 273-294. 2010.
    The Mind Argument is an argument for the incompatibility of indeterminism and anyone's having a choice about anything that happens. Peter van Inwagen rejects the Mind Argument not because he is able to point out the flaw in it, but because he accepts both that determinism is incompatible with anyone's having a choice about anything that happens and that it is possible for someone to have a choice about something that happens. In this paper I first diagnose and clear up a confusion in recent disc…Read more
  •  6
    Book Review (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1): 177-180. 2014.
    No abstract
  •  109
    Fischer on Blameworthiness and “Ought” Implies “Can”
    Social Theory and Practice 37 (1): 63-80. 2011.
    I argue that Fischer’s attempts to undermine the “Ought” Implies “Can” principle (OIC) fail. I argue both against his construal of the natural motivation for OIC and against his argument for the falsity of OIC. I also consider some attempts to salvage Fischer’s arguments and argue that they can work only if the true moral theory is motive determinative--i.e., it is such that, necessarily, any action performed from a motive which renders one of the blame emotions appropriate is morally impermissi…Read more
  •  328
    In defense of objectivism about moral obligation
    Ethics 121 (1): 88-115. 2010.
    There is a debate in normative ethics about whether or not our moral obligations depend solely on either our evidence concerning, or our beliefs about, the world. Subjectivists maintain that they do and objectivists maintain that they do not. I shall offer some arguments in support of objectivism and respond to the strongest argument for subjectivism. I shall also briefly consider the significance of my discussion to the debate over whether one’s future voluntary actions are relevant to one’s cu…Read more
  •  142
    A defense of local miracle compatibilism
    Philosophical Studies 140 (1). 2008.
    David Lewis has offered a reply to the standard argument for the claim that the truth of determinism is incompatible with anyone’s being able to do otherwise than she in fact does. Helen Beebee has argued that Lewis’s compatibilist strategy is untenable. In this paper I show that one recent attempt to defend Lewis’s view against this argument fails and then go on to offer my own defense of Lewis’s view.
  •  127
    The standard argument for blame incompatibilism
    Noûs 42 (4): 697-726. 2008.
    No Abstract
  •  231
    A Sketch of a Theory of Moral Blameworthiness
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2): 388-409. 2014.
    In this paper I sketch an account of moral blame and blameworthiness. I begin by clarifying what I take blame to be and explaining how blameworthiness is to be analyzed in terms of it. I then consider different accounts of the conditions of blameworthiness and, in the end, settle on one according to which a person is blameworthy for φ-ing just in case, in φ-ing, she violates one of a particular class of moral requirements governing the attitudes we bear, and our mental orientation, toward people…Read more
  •  54
    Warfield on divine foreknowledge and human freedom
    Faith and Philosophy 25 (1): 75-78. 2008.
    Warfield (1997, 2000) argues that divine foreknowledge and human freedom are compatible. He assumes for conditional proof that there is a necessarilyexistent omniscient being. He also assumes that it is possible for there to be a person who both does something and could have avoided doing it. As supportfor this latter premise he points to the fact that nearly every participant to the debate accepts the falsity of logical fatalism. Appealing to this consensus, however, renders the argument questi…Read more
  •  29
    Nature's Challenge to Free Will, by Berofsky Bernard
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1): 1-4. 2014.
    No abstract