•  2937
    Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1): 1-24. 2012.
    In this paper I defend what I call the argument from epistemic reasons against the moral error theory. I argue that the moral error theory entails that there are no epistemic reasons for belief and that this is bad news for the moral error theory since, if there are no epistemic reasons for belief, no one knows anything. If no one knows anything, then no one knows that there is thought when they are thinking, and no one knows that they do not know everything. And it could not be the case that we…Read more
  •  492
    Reasons or Fittingness First?
    Ethics 128 (1): 212-229. 2017.
    Conor McHugh and Jonathan Way argue that we should put fittingness rather than reasons first because we can provide an account of the evaluative in terms of the normative only if we put fittingness rather than reasons first. I argue that it is no more difficult to provide an account of the evaluative in terms of the normative if we put reasons rather than fittingness first.
  •  491
    This paper is about how moral disagreement matters for metaethics. It has four parts. In the first part I argue that moral facts are subject to a certain epistemic accessibility requirement. Namely, moral facts must be accessible to some possible agent. In the second part I show that because this accessibility requirement on moral facts holds, there is a route from facts about the moral disagreements of agents in idealized conditions to conclusions about what moral facts there are. In the third …Read more
  •  244
    Many have been attracted to the idea that for something to be good there just have to be reasons to favour it. This view has come to be known as the buck-passing account of value. According to this account, for pleasure to be good there need to be reasons for us to desire and pursue it. Likewise for liberty and equality to be values there have to be reasons for us to promote and preserve them. Extensive discussion has focussed on some of the problems that the buck-passing account faces, such as …Read more
  •  236
    Reasons as the Unity Among the Varieties of Goodness
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3). 2015.
    Our concepts of good simpliciter, good for, and good as a particular kind of thing must share some common element. I argue that all three types of goodness can be analysed in terms of the reasons that there are for a certain sets of agents to have pro-attitudes. To this end I provide new and compelling accounts of good for and goodness of a kind in terms of reasons for pro-attitudes that are more explanatorily illuminating than competing accounts and that evade the objections that undermine prev…Read more
  •  208
    Wrong Kind of Reasons and Consequences
    Utilitas 25 (3): 405-416. 2013.
    In a recent issue of Utilitas Gerald Lang provided an appealing new solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason problem for the buck-passing account of value. In subsequent issues Jonas Olson and John Brunero have provided objections to Lang's solution. I argue that Brunero's objection is not a problem for Lang's solution, and that a revised version of Lang's solution avoids Olson's objections. I conclude that we can solve the Wrong Kind of Reason problem, and that the wrong kind of reasons for pro-att…Read more
  •  207
    The epistemology of moral disagreement
    Philosophy Compass 12 (2): 1-16. 2017.
    This article is about the implications of a conciliatory view about the epistemology of peer disagreement for our moral beliefs. Many have endorsed a conciliatory view about the epistemology of peer disagreement according to which if we find ourselves in a disagreement about some matter with another whom we should judge to be our epistemic peer on that matter, we must revise our judgment about that matter. This article focuses on three issues about the implications of conciliationism for our mor…Read more
  •  168
    In defence of good simpliciter
    Philosophical Studies 173 (5): 1371-1391. 2016.
    Many including Judith Jarvis Thomson, Philippa Foot, Peter Geach, Richard Kraut, and Paul Ziff have argued for good simpliciter skepticism. According to good simpliciter skepticism, we should hold that there is no concept of being good simpliciter or that there is no property of being good simpliciter. I first show that prima facie we should not accept either form of good simpliciter skepticism. I then show that all of the arguments that good simpliciter skeptics have proposed for their view fai…Read more
  •  137
    Dissolving the wrong kind of reason problem
    Philosophical Studies 172 (6): 1455-1474. 2015.
    According to fitting-attitude (FA) accounts of value, X is of final value if and only if there are reasons for us to have a certain pro-attitude towards it. FA accounts supposedly face the wrong kind of reason (WKR) problem. The WKR problem is the problem of revising FA accounts to exclude so called wrong kind of reasons. And wrong kind of reasons are reasons for us to have certain pro-attitudes towards things that are not of value. I argue that the WKR problem can be dissolved. I argue that (A)…Read more
  •  83
    Many have argued that various features of moral disagreements create problems for cognitivism about moral judgment, but these arguments have been shown to fail. In this paper, I articulate a new problem for cognitivism that derives from features of our responses to moral disagreement. I argue that cognitivism entails that one of the following two claims is false: a mental state is a belief only if it tracks changes in perceived evidence; it is intelligible to make moral judgments that do not tra…Read more
  •  80
    Epistemic Permissivism and Reasonable Pluralism
    with Robert Mark Simpson
    In Michael Hannon & Jeroen De Ridder (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. 2021.
    There is an intuitive difference in how we think about pluralism and attitudinal diversity in epistemological contexts versus political contexts. In an epistemological context, it seems problematically arbitrary to hold a particular belief on some issue, while also thinking it perfectly reasonable to hold a totally different belief on the same issue given the same evidence. By contrast, though, it doesn’t seem problematically arbitrary to have a particular set of political commitments, while at …Read more
  •  66
    Our Intuitions About the Experience Machine
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1): 110-117. 2017.
    This article responds to a recent empirical study by De Brigard and Weijers on intuitions about the experience machine and what it tells us about hedonism.
  •  36
    Moral Error Theory (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278): 218-220. 2020.
    Moral Error Theory. By Kalf Wouter.
  •  35
    Proponents of the epistemic companions in guilt argument argue that we should reject the moral error theory because it entails that there are no epistemic reasons. In this paper, I investigate whether a plausible version of the moral error theory can be constructed that does not entail an error theory about epistemic reasons. I argue that there are no irreducibly normative second-personal reasons even if there are irreducibly normative reasons. And epistemic reasons are not second-personal reaso…Read more
  •  30
    Local Evolutionary Debunking Arguments
    Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1): 170-199. 2019.
    Philosophical Perspectives, EarlyView.
  •  2
    Comparisons between morality and other 'companion' disciplines - such as mathematics, religion, or aesthetics - are commonly used in philosophy, often in the context of arguing for the objectivity of morality. This is known as the 'companions in guilt' strategy. It has been the subject of much debate in contemporary ethics and metaethics. This volume, the first full length examination of companions in guilt arguments, comprises an introduction by the editors and a dozen new chapters by leading a…Read more
  • Routledge Handbook of Disagreement (edited book)
    with Maria Baghramian and J. Adam Carter
  • Moral Disagreement
    Routledge. 2020.
    Widespread moral disagreement raises ethical, epistemological, political, and metaethical questions. Is the best explanation of our widespread moral disagreements that there are no objective moral facts and that moral relativism is correct? Or should we think that just as there is widespread disagreement about whether we have free will but there is still an objective fact about whether we have it, similarly, moral disagreement has no bearing on whether morality is objective? More practically, is…Read more
  • Reasons as the Unity Among the Varieties of Goodness
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2): 200-227. 2016.