•  182
    The unjustified-suffering argument for vegetarianism
    In Raymond Aaron Younis (ed.), On the Ethical Life, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 57-67. 2009.
    A major argument for vegetarianism is that eating animals causes unjustified suffering. While this argument has been articulated by several people, it has received surprisingly little attention. Here I restate it in a way that I believe is most convincing, considering and rejecting the two main justifications for causing suffering in order to eat animals. I compare it to some other prominent arguments for vegetarianism, and discuss a major objection to the argument which focuses on whether the a…Read more
  •  130
    A trust-based argument against paternalism
    In Pekka Makela & Cynthia Townley (eds.), Trust: Analytic and Applied Persectives, Rodopi. pp. 53-75. 2013.
    This essay addresses the role of trust in political philosophy. In particular, it examines the idea that trust is necessary for a particular type of government action — paternalistic action — to be justified. Liberal theory and liberal democratic practice are characterized by a large degree of anti-paternalism, understanding paternalism to be the restriction of individual liberty for a person’s good, instead of to protect or benefit others. It would be a mistake to think that liberal democracies…Read more
  •  87
    A definition of paternalism
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (1): 81-91. 2002.
  •  86
    Debate: State paternalism, neutrality and perfectionism
    Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (1). 2006.
  •  70
    The case for affirmative action
    The Philosophers' Magazine 32 (33): 73-77. 2006.
  •  51
    The aim of this book is to explore some of the relations between morality and politics. Areas in which these are explored include the role of ideals in foreign policy , committing evil for the sake of a greater good in wartime, and lying and deception in political affairs. Illustrative examples are used throughout and include the Iraq war and its political fallout , Allied and Axis actions during the Second World War, decisions made by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and thought-exp…Read more
  •  50
    Prophylactic Neutrality, Oppression, and the Reverse Pascal's Wager
    Ethical Perspectives 19 (3): 527-535. 2012.
    In Beyond Neutrality, George Sher criticises the idea that state neutrality between competing conceptions of the good helps protect society from oppression. While he is correct that some governments are non-neutral without being oppressive, I argue that those governments may be neutral at the core of their foundations. The possibility of non-neutrality leading to oppression is further explored; some conceptions of the good would favour oppression while others would not. While it is possible that…Read more
  •  26
    What makes individual freedom valuable? People have always believed in freedom, have sought it, and have sometimes fought and died for it. The belief that it is something to be valued is widespread. But does this belief have a rational foundation? This book examines answers to these questions that are based on the welfare of the person whose freedom is at stake. There are various conceptions of a worthwhile life, a life that is valuable for the person whose life it is. These conceptions will be …Read more
  •  24
    Two models of ethics committees
    Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2 (1): 41-47. 2005.
    A distinction is made between two models of ethics committees. According to the Mirror Model, ethics committees ought to reflect the values of society. The Critical Model says committees are to critically examine these standards rather than merely reflect them. It is argued that the Critical Model should be accepted because a society's ethical standards can be mistaken and a society that has Critical rather than merely Mirror ethics committees is more likely to have such mistakes revealed. Some …Read more
  •  13
    The argument that individual liberty is valuable as a means to self-development is examined in fivesections. First, what is self-development? Second, why is self-development valuable? Third, is italways valuable and is it of pre-eminent value? Fourth, does it require individual liberty? Finally, twointerpretations of self-development are distinguished which show that the argument for freedom iseither qualified or question-begging
  •  7
    The case for affirmative action
    The Philosophers' Magazine 32 74-76. 2005.
  •  4
    The case for affirmative action
    The Philosophers' Magazine 33 73-77. 2006.
  •  3
    The self-development argument for individual freedom
    Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 10 (1). 2006.
    The argument that individual liberty is valuable as a means to self-development is examined in five sections. First, what is self-development? Second, why is self-development valuable? Third, is it always valuable and is it of pre-eminent value? Fourth, does it require individual liberty? Finally, two interpretations of self-development are distinguished which show that the argument for freedom is either qualified or question-begging.
  •  3
    Mill, Liberty, and Euthanasia
    Philosophy Now 1 (110): 14-15. 2015.
    This article argues that deciding when to die is a matter of individuality.
  •  2
    Consequential Neutrality Revivified
    In Roberto Merrill & Daniel Marc Weinstock (eds.), Political Neutrality: A Re-evaluation, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 109-123. 2014.
    Liberal neutrality requires that, given the diversity of conceptions of the good life held by people, the state should be in some sense neutral between these conceptions. Just what that sense is has been a matter of debate but it seems generally accepted that neutrality is a property of the justifications for government action and not of the consequences of such action. In other words, the state must be neutral by avoiding invoking any conception of the good in its justification for laws and pol…Read more
  • Principles of Paternalism
    Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 1 (1): 30-38. 2009.
    When, if ever, is paternalism justified? I defend the principle that paternalism is justified only if it is neutral, that is, the motivation for it is compatible with all conceptions of the good life. Three other principles of paternalism are examined. The balancing view says that we must balance the values of liberty and well-being against each other and that paternalism is justified only if well-being outweighs liberty. The consent principle says that paternalism is justified only if consented…Read more