•  28
    Reid's Regress
    Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277): 678-698. 2019.
    Thomas Reid's Essays on the Active Powers presents what is probably the most thoroughly developed version of agent-causal libertarianism in the modern canon. While commentators today often acknowledge Reid's contribution, they typically focus on what appears to be a serious problem for the view: Reid appears to commit himself to a position according to which acting freely would require an agent to engage in an infinite number of exertions of active power. In this essay, we maintain that, properl…Read more
  •  16
    Reid on the Autonomy of Ethics: From Active Power to Moral Nonnaturalism
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (4): 523-541. 2016.
    Thomas Reid has the unusual distinction of arriving at a metaethical position very much like G. E. Moore’s via a route very similar to that employed by the Kantians. That is, Reid embraces a version of nonnaturalist moral realism by appeal not to open question-style considerations but to a particular account of agency. In this essay, we reconstruct Reid’s agency-centered argument for his constitutivist version of moral nonnaturalism, highlighting its commitments. Having presented Reid’s argument…Read more
  •  73
    Christine Korsgaard’s Self-Constitution
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (1): 97-110. 2014.
    Christine Korsgaard’s 1996 book, The Sources of Normativity, attracted a great deal of attention. And rightly so. It is a highly engaging attempt to answer what she calls the normative question, which is the question of what could justify morality’s demands. Korsgaard’s latest book, Self-Constitution, develops and defends the broadly Kantian account of action and agency that hovers in the background of Sources, drawing out its implications for the normative question. In this review, we present t…Read more
  •  80
    Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle
    with Kareem Khalifa
    Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 30 (3): 431-447. 2015.
    Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and decision-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community’s social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.
  •  13
    Collective Action and Rational Choice Explanations
    Journal of Philosophical Research 42 149-176. 2017.
    In order for traditional rational choice theory to explain the production of collective action, it must be able to distinguish between two behaviorally identical possibilities: one, that all of the agents in a group are each performing behaviors in pursuit of a set of individual actions; and two, that all of those agents are performing those behaviors in pursuit of a collective action. I argue that RCT does not have the resources necessary to distinguish between these two possibilities. RCT coul…Read more
  •  2
    Collective Action and Rational Choice Explanations in advance
    Journal of Philosophical Research. forthcoming.
  •  411
    Realism and Antirealism
    In A. Rosenberg & L. McIntyre (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science, Routledge. pp. 254-269. 2016.
    Our best social scientific theories try to tell us something about the social world. But is talk of a “social world” a metaphor that we ought not take too seriously? In particular, do the denizens of the social world—cultural values like the Protestant work ethic, firms like ExxonMobil, norms like standards of dress and behavior, institutions like the legal system, teams like FC Barcelona, conventions like marriages—exist? The question is not merely academic. Social scientists use these differen…Read more