•  254
    Autonomous Machines, Moral Judgment, and Acting for the Right Reasons
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4): 851-872. 2015.
    We propose that the prevalent moral aversion to AWS is supported by a pair of compelling objections. First, we argue that even a sophisticated robot is not the kind of thing that is capable of replicating human moral judgment. This conclusion follows if human moral judgment is not codifiable, i.e., it cannot be captured by a list of rules. Moral judgment requires either the ability to engage in wide reflective equilibrium, the ability to perceive certain facts as moral considerations, moral imag…Read more
  •  85
    A Dilemma for Moral Deliberation in AI in advance
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Many social trends are conspiring to drive the adoption of greater automation in society, and we will certainly see a greater offloading of human decisionmaking to robots in the future. Many of these decisions are morally salient, including decisions about how benefits and burdens are distributed. Roboticists and ethicists have begun to think carefully about the moral decision making apparatus for machines. Their concerns often center around the plausible claim that robots will lack many of the …Read more
  •  40
    Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Moral Equality of Combatants
    Ethics and Information Technology 3 (6). 2020.
    To many, the idea of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) killing human beings is grotesque. Yet critics have had difficulty explaining why it should make a significant moral difference if a human combatant is killed by an AWS as opposed to being killed by a human combatant. The purpose of this paper is to explore the roots of various deontological concerns with AWS and to consider whether these concerns are distinct from any concerns that also apply to long- distance, human-guided weaponry. We sugg…Read more
  •  31
    Is Stuxnet Physical? Does It Matter?
    Journal of Military Ethics 12 (1): 68-79. 2013.
    Cyberweapons are software and software, at least intuitively, is nonphysical. Several authors have noted that this potentially renders problematic the application of normative frameworks like UN Charter Article 2(4) to cyberweapons. If Article 2(4) only proscribes the use of physical force, and if cyberweapons are nonphysical, then cyberweapons fall outside the purview of Article 2(4). This article explores the physicality of software, examining Stuxnet in particular. First, I show that with a f…Read more
  •  27
    A Dilemma for Moral Deliberation in AI
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (2): 313-335. 2016.
    Many social trends are conspiring to drive the adoption of greater automation in society, and we will certainly see a greater offloading of human decisionmaking to robots in the future. Many of these decisions are morally salient, including decisions about how benefits and burdens are distributed. Roboticists and ethicists have begun to think carefully about the moral decision making apparatus for machines. Their concerns often center around the plausible claim that robots will lack many of the …Read more
  •  19
    Rule Consequentialism and Moral Relativism in advance
    Journal of Philosophical Research. forthcoming.
    Rule consequentialism is usually taken to recommend a single ideal code for all moral agents. Here I argue that, depending on their theoretical mo- tivations, some rule consequentialists have good reasons to be relativists. Rule consequentialists who are moved by consequentialist considerations ought to support a scheme of multiple relativized moral codes because we could expect such a scheme to have better consequences in terms of impartial aggregate well- being than a single universal code. Ru…Read more
  •  17
    Right Intention and the Ends of War
    Journal of Military Ethics 15 (1): 18-35. 2016.
    ABSTRACTThe jus ad bellum criterion of right intention is a central guiding principle of just war theory. It asserts that a country’s resort to war is just only if that country resorts to war for the right reasons. However, there is significant confusion, and little consensus, about how to specify the CRI. We seek to clear up this confusion by evaluating several distinct ways of understanding the criterion. On one understanding, a state’s resort to war is just only if it plans to adhere to the p…Read more
  •  17
    You’ve Earned It!
    Social Philosophy Today 27 75-86. 2011.
    Desert is a notion ubiquitous in our moral discourse, and the importance of its dictates is perhaps clearest when dealing with the distribution of material resources. George Sher has provided one account of desert in wages, answering the question, “How do workers deserve their wage?” Sher relies on the violation of preexisting “independent standards” that dictate how much of a certain good we think people are entitled to in general. When these standards are violated, they call for an offsetting …Read more
  •  15
    Robots and Respect: A Response to Robert Sparrow
    Ethics and International Affairs 30 (3): 391-400. 2016.
    Robert Sparrow argues that several initially plausible arguments in favor of the deployment of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) in warfare fail, and that their deployment faces a serious moral objection: deploying AWS fails to express the respect for the casualties of war that morality requires. We critically discuss Sparrow’s argument from respect and respond on behalf of some objections he considers. Sparrow’s argument against AWS relies on the claim that they are distinct from accepted weapon…Read more
  •  5
    Desert is a notion ubiquitous in our moral discourse, and the importance of its dictates is perhaps clearest when dealing with the distribution of material resources. George Sher has provided one account of desert in wages, answering the question, “How do workers deserve their wage?” Sher relies on the violation of preexisting “independent standards” that dictate how much of a certain good we think people are entitled to in general. When these standards are violated, they call for an offsetting …Read more
  •  3
    Winning the Battle, Losing the War
    The Philosophers' Magazine 89 69-75. 2020.
  •  1
    Who Should Die? The Ethics of Killing in War (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    This volume collects influential and groundbreaking philosophical work on killing in war. A " of contemporary scholars, this volume serves as a convenient and authoritative collection uniquely suited for university-level teaching and as a reference for ethicists, policymakers, stakeholders, and any student of the morality of war.
  • Rule Consequentialism and Moral Relativism
    Journal of Philosophical Research 41 527-537. 2016.