•  588
    Transhumanism, Human Dignity, and Moral Status
    with John Basl
    American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7): 63-66. 2010.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  455
    Identity and distinction in Spinoza's ethics
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (2). 2005.
    In Ethics 1p5, Spinoza asserts that “In Nature there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or attribute”. This claim serves as a crucial premise in Spinoza’s argument for substance monism, yet Spinoza’s demonstration of the 1p5 claim is surprisingly brief and appears to have obvious difficulties. This paper answers the principle difficulties that have been raised in response to Spinoza’s argument for 1p5. The key to understanding the 1p5 argument lies in a proper understanding of…Read more
  •  274
    The good of non-sentient entities: Organisms, artifacts, and synthetic biology
    with John Basl
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4): 697-705. 2013.
    Synthetic organisms are at the same time organisms and artifacts. In this paper we aim to determine whether such entities have a good of their own, and so are candidates for being directly morally considerable. We argue that the good of non-sentient organisms is grounded in an etiological account of teleology, on which non-sentient organisms can come to be teleologically organized on the basis of their natural selection etiology. After defending this account of teleology, we argue that there are…Read more
  •  194
    Species Concepts and Natural Goodness
    In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science, Mit Press. pp. 289. 2011.
    This chapter defends a pluralist understanding of species on which a normative species concept is viable and can support natural goodness evaluations. The central question here is thus: Since organisms are to be evaluated as members of their species, how does a proper understanding of species affect the feasibility of natural goodness evaluations? Philippa Foot has argued for a form of natural goodness evaluation in which living things are evaluated by how well fitted they are for flourishing as…Read more
  •  187
    It is sometimes claimed that as members of the species Homo sapiens we have a responsibility to promote the good of Homo sapiens itself (distinct from the good of its individual members). Lawrence Johnson has recently defended this claim as part of his approach to resolving the problem of future generations. We show that there are several difficulties with Johnson's argument, many of which are likely to attend any attempt to establish the moral considerability of Homo sapiens or species generall…Read more
  •  154
    Ethical Theory and the Problem of Inconsequentialism: Why Environmental Ethicists Should be Virtue-Oriented Ethicists (review)
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2): 167-183. 2009.
    Many environmental problems are longitudinal collective action problems. They arise from the cumulative unintended effects of a vast amount of seemingly insignificant decisions and actions by individuals who are unknown to each other and distant from each other. Such problems are likely to be effectively addressed only by an enormous number of individuals each making a nearly insignificant contribution to resolving them. However, when a person’s making such a contribution appears to require sacr…Read more
  •  128
    Enhancing justice?
    with Tamara Garcia
    NanoEthics 2 (3): 277-287. 2008.
    This article focuses on the follow question: Are human enhancement technologies likely to be justice impairing or justice promoting? We argue that human enhancement technologies may not be inherently just or unjust, but when situated within obtaining social contexts they are likely to exacerbate rather than alleviate social injustices.
  •  124
    Environmental Virtue Ethics (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2005.
    The first on the topic of environmental virtue ethics, this book seeks to provide the definitive anthology that will both establish the importance of environmental virtue in environmental discourse and advance the current research on environmental virtue in interesting and original ways. The selections in this collection, consisting of ten original and four reprinted essays by leading scholars in the field, discuss the role that virtue and character have traditionally played in environmental dis…Read more
  •  81
    Intuitus and ratio in Spinoza's ethical thought
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (1). 2005.
    (2005). Intuitus and Ratio in Spinoza's Ethical Thought. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 73-90. doi: 10.1080/0960878042000317591
  •  68
    Virtue and respect for nature: Ronald Sandler's character and environment (review)
    with Katie Mcshane and Allen Thompson
    Ethics, Place and Environment 11 (2). 2008.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  51
    The external goods approach to environmental virtue ethics
    Environmental Ethics 25 (3): 279-293. 2003.
    If virtue ethics are to provide a legitimate alternative for reasoning about environmental issues, they must meet the same conditions of adequacy as any other environmental ethic. One such condition that most environmental ethicists insist upon is that an adequate environmental ethic provides a theoretical platform for consistent and justified critique of environmentally unsustainable practices and policies. The external goods approach seeks to establish that any genuinely virtuous agent will be…Read more
  •  51
    A theory of environmental virtue
    Environmental Ethics 28 (3): 247-264. 2006.
    If claims about which character traits are environmental virtues are to be more than rhetoric, there must be some basis or standard for evaluation. This naturalistic, teleological, pluralistic, and inclusive account of what makes a character trait an environmental virtue can be such a standard. It is naturalistic because it is consistent with and motivated by scientific naturalism. It is teleological becausecharacter traits are evaluated according to how well they promote certain ends. It is plu…Read more
  •  50
    In Character and Environment, Ronald L. Sandler brings together contemporary work on virtue ethics with contemporary work on environmental ethics.
  •  49
    Environmental Virtue Ethics (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2004.
    The first on the topic of environmental virtue ethics, this book seeks to provide the definitive anthology that will both establish the importance of environmental virtue in environmental discourse and advance the current research on environmental virtue in interesting and original ways. The selections in this collection, consisting of ten original and four reprinted essays by leading scholars in the field, discuss the role that virtue and character have traditionally played in environmental dis…Read more
  •  48
    Artefacts are often regarded as being mere things that possess only instrumental value. In contrast, living entities (or some subset of them) are often regarded as possessing some form of intrinsic (or non-instrumental) value. Moreover, in some cases they are thought to possess such value precisely because they are natural (i.e., non-artefactual). However, living artefacts are certainly possible, and they may soon be actual. It is therefore necessary to consider whether such entities should be r…Read more
  •  41
    Game Theory and the Ethics of Global Climate Change
    with Rory Smead
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 3 (1). 2013.
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  •  36
    On “aristotle and the environment”
    Environmental Ethics 26 (2): 223-224. 2004.
  •  36
    What makes a character trait a virtue?
    Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (3-4): 383-397. 2005.
  •  34
    Ignorance and Virtue
    Philosophical Papers 34 (2): 261-272. 2005.
    Julia Driver has argued that there is a class of virtues that are compatible with or even require that an agent be ignorant in some respect. In this paper I argue for an alternative conception of the relationship between ignorance and virtue. The dispositions constitutive of virtue must include sensitivity to human limitations and fallibility. In this way the virtues accommodate ignorance, rather than require or promote it. I develop my account by considering two virtues in particular: tolerance…Read more
  •  33
    Towards an Adequate Environmental Virtue Ethic
    Environmental Values 13 (4). 2004.
    In this article I consider four concerns regarding the possibility of an environmental virtue ethic functioning as an alternative – rather than a supplement – to more conventional approaches to environmental ethics. The concerns are: (1) it is not possible to provide an objective specification of environmental virtue, (2) an environmental virtue ethic will lack the resources to provide critique of obtaining cultural practices and policies, (3) an environmental virtue ethic will not provide suffi…Read more
  •  32
    Climate Change and Ecosystem Management
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (1): 1-15. 2013.
    This article addresses the implications of rapid and uncertain ecological change, and global climate change in particular, for reserve oriented and restoration oriented ecosystem management. I argue for the following conclusions: (1) rapid and uncertain ecological change undermines traditional justifications for reserve oriented and restoration oriented ecosystem management strategies; (2) it requires rethinking ecosystem management goals, not just developing novel strategies (such as assisted c…Read more
  •  30
    Culture and the Specification of Environmental Virtue
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (2): 63-68. 2003.
    One concern about a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics is that virtue ethics lack the theoretical resources to provide a specification of environmental virtue that does not pander to obtaining cultural practices and conceptions of the human-nature relationship. In this paper I argue that this concern is unfounded
  •  29
    Martin Calkins proposes the “combined use of casuistry and virtue ethics as a way for both sides to move ahead on [the] pressing issue [of agricultural biotechnology].” However, his defense of this methodology relies on a set of mistaken, albeit familiar, claims regarding the normative resources of virtue ethics: (1) virtue ethics is egoistic; (2) virtue ethics cannot defend any particular account of the virtues as the objectively correct ones and is therefore inextricably relativistic; (3) virt…Read more
  •  26
    Natural, Artifactual, and Moral Goodness
    The Journal of Ethics 21 (3): 291-307. 2017.
    In Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot aims to provide an account of moral evaluation that is both naturalistic and cognitivist. She argues that moral evaluation is a variety of natural evaluation in the sense that moral judgments of human action and character have the same “grammar” or “conceptual structure” as natural judgments of the goodness of plants and animals. We argue that Foot’s naturalist project can succeed, but not in the way she envisions, because her central thesis that moral evaluati…Read more
  •  25
    Nanomedicine and Nanomedical Ethics
    American Journal of Bioethics 9 (10): 16-17. 2009.
  •  23
    The Value of Artefactual Organisms
    Environmental Values 21 (1). 2012.
    Synthetic biology makes use of genetic and other materials derived from modern biological life forms to design and construct novel synthetic organisms. Artificial organisms are not constructed from parts of existing biological organisms, but from non-biological materials. Artificial and synthetic organisms are artefactual organisms. Here we are concerned with the non-instrumental value of such organisms. More specifically, we are concerned with the extent to which artefactual organisms have natu…Read more
  •  22
    An aretaic objection to agricultural biotechnology
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (3): 301-317. 2004.
    Considerations of virtue and character appear from time to time in the agricultural biotechnology literature. Critics of the technologies often suggest that they are contrary to some virtue (usually humility) or do not fit with the image of ourselves and the human place in the world that we ought to embrace. In this article, I consider the aretaic or virtue-based objection that to engage in agricultural biotechnology is to exhibit arrogance, hubris, and disaffection. In section one, I discuss Ga…Read more
  •  19
    The Ethics of Species: An Introduction
    Cambridge University Press. 2012.
    Machine generated contents note: Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The value of species; 3. The conservation biology dilemma; 4. Assisted colonization; 5. Shifting goals and changing strategies; 6. The (in)significance of species boundaries; 7. Homo sapiens in particular; 8. Artifactual species; 9. Conclusion.