• Living with Absurdity: A Nobleman’s Guide
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    In A Confession, a memoir of his philosophical midlife crisis, Tolstoy recounts falling into despair after coming to believe that his life, and for that matter all human life, is meaningless and absurd. Although Tolstoy’s account of the origin and phenomenology of his crisis is widely regarded as illuminating, his response to the crisis – namely, embracing a religious tradition that he had previously dismissed as “irrational,” “incomprehensible,” and “mingled with falsehood” – seems unpromising,…Read more
  • Civic Trust
    Philosophers' Imprint 17. 2017.
    It is a commonplace that there are limits to the ways we can permissibly treat people, even in the service of good ends. For example, we may not steal someone’s wallet, even if we plan to donate the contents to famine relief, or break a promise to help a colleague move, even if we encounter someone else on the way whose need is somewhat more urgent. In other words, we should observe certain constraints against mistreating people, where a constraint is a moral principle that we should not violate…Read more