University of Notre Dame
Department of Philosophy
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Value Theory
  •  169
    A dilemma for particularist virtue ethics
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233): 665-678. 2008.
    There is an obvious affinity between virtue ethics and particularism. Both stress the complexify of the moral life, the inadequacy of rule-following as a guide to moral deliberation, and the importance of judgement in discerning the morally relevant features of particular situations. Yet it remains an open question how deep the affinity goes. I argue that the radical form of particularism defended by Jonathan Dancy has surprisingly strong implications for virtue ethics. Adopting such a view woul…Read more
  •  108
    Asymmetrical virtue particularism
    Ethics 121 (1): 37-57. 2010.
    In this essay, I defend an account of right action that I shall call “asymmetrical virtue particularism.” An action, on this account, is right just insofar as it is overall virtuous. But the virtuousness of an action in any particular respect, X, is deontically variant; it can fail to be right-making, either because it is deontically irrelevant or because it is wrong-making. Finally, the account is asymmetrical insofar as the viciousness of actions is not deontically variant; if any action is vi…Read more
  •  100
    Particularism and the Point of Moral Principles
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2): 201-229. 2006.
    According to radical moral particularists such as Jonathan Dancy, there are no substantive moral principles. And yet, few particularists wish to deny that something very like moral principles do indeed play a significant role in our everyday moral practice. Loathe at dismissing this as mere error on the part of everyday moral agents, particularists have proposed a number of alternative accounts of the practice. The aim of all of these accounts is to make sense of our appeal to general moral trut…Read more
  •  85
    Neo-Aristotelian Supererogation
    Ethics 126 (2): 339-365. 2016.
    I develop and defend the following neo-Aristotelian account of supererogation: an action is supererogatory if and only if it is overall virtuous and either the omission of an overall virtuous action in that situation would not be overall vicious or there is some overall virtuous action that is less virtuous than it and whose performance in its place would not be overall vicious. I develop this account from within the virtue-ethical tradition. And I argue that it is intuitively defensible and ful…Read more
  •  42
    Selective Terminations and Respect for the Disabled
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (1): 32-45. 2010.
    It is widely thought that abortion on the grounds of fetal abnormality is morally justified. More controversially, Peter Singer has argued that some infants with severe disabilities ought to be killed. Many disability rights activists object that such claims and practices express disrespect toward disabled persons, even if fetuses and infants are only potentially persons. This can seem puzzling. If disabled fetuses are not members of the community of disabled persons, how can our treatment of th…Read more
  •  13
    The Character Gap: How Good Are We?, by Christian B. Miller (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 36 (1): 140-144. 2019.
  •  2
    Taking Moral Risks Virtuously
    In Christian Miller, R. Michael Furr, Angela Knobel & William Fleeson (eds.), Character: New Perspectives in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology. pp. 215-233. 2015.
  • Most of us have moral heroes--people such as Mother Teresa or Gandhi--who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. We admire such people, and may even seek to become more like them. But at the same time, we don't believe that anyone who falls short of their example is thereby bad or evil. We believe, in other words, both in the importance of moral ideals and exemplars and in the possibility of goodness short of perfection. This book aims to give a rigorous philosophical acc…Read more