Manchester, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  •  237
  •  163
    Tragic-remorse–the anguish of dirty hands
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5): 453-471. 2005.
    This paper outlines and defends a notion of tragic-remorse. This moral emotion properly accompanies those actions that involve unavoidable moral wrongdoing in general and dirty hands scenarios in particular. Tragic-remorse differs both phenomenologically and conceptually from regret, agent-regret and remorse. By recognising the existence of tragic-remorse, we are better able to account for our complex moral reality which at times makes it necessary for good persons to act in ways that although j…Read more
  •  124
    Punishing 'Dirty Hands'—Three Justifications
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4): 879-897. 2013.
    Should those who get dirty hands be punished? There is strong disagreement among even those who support the existence of such scenarios. The problem arises because the paradoxical nature of dirty hands - doing wrong to do right - renders the standard normative justifications for punishment unfit for purpose. The Consequentialist, Retributivist and Communicative approaches cannot accommodate the idea that an action can be right, all things considered, but nevertheless also a categorical wrong. Th…Read more
  •  113
    Interrogating the ‘Ticking Bomb Scenario’: Reassessing the Thought Experiment
    with Simon Beck
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (1): 53-70. 2015.
    The aim of this paper is to re-evaluate the manner in which the Ticking Bomb Scenario (TBS), a thought experiment in philosophical enquiry, has been used in the discussion of the justifiability or otherwise of forward-looking interrogational torture (FLIT). The paper argues that criticisms commonly raised against the thought experiment are often inappropriate or irrelevant. A great many criticisms misunderstand the way in which thought experiments in general, and the TBS in particular, are supp…Read more
  •  110
    Defining Evil
    The Monist 85 (2): 210-238. 2002.
  •  104
    Moral contractualism comes of age (review)
    Res Publica 7 (2): 189--196. 2001.
    Without Abstract
  •  90
    Democracy, Trust and the Problem of ‘Dirty Hands’
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (1): 37-42. 2003.
    ‘Dirty hands’ scenarios require politicians to commit moral violations to achieve worthwhile goals. To mitigate the harm done to the fiduciary relationship underlying a democratic society, I argue for the adoption of two procedures: retrospective accountability and special oversight committees. I also offer three criteria for a much-required political ethic.
  •  83
    This paper outlines and explores the problem of democratic dirty hands, the sui generis moral situation where democratic politicians justifiably violate both a cherished moral principle and the fundamental processes of democratic governance. Some recent contributions to the dirty-hands debate have argued that the principles of democratic governance render DDH impossible. The paper rejects this view as based on a misunderstanding of the minimal and necessary conditions for both DH and democratic …Read more
  •  70
    Rawls and Civic Education
    Cogito 13 (2): 87-93. 1999.
  •  69
    Tragic-remorse — the anguish of dirty hands
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5). 2005.
    This paper outlines and defends a notion of 'tragic-remorse'. This moral emotion properly accompanies those actions that involve unavoidable moral wrongdoing in general and dirty hands scenarios in particular. Tragic-remorse differs both phenomenologically and conceptually from regret, agent-regret and remorse. By recognising the existence of tragic-remorse, we are better able to account for our complex moral reality which at times makes it necessary for good persons to act in ways that although…Read more
  •  52
    The family and political justice – the case for political liberalisms
    The Journal of Ethics 4 (3): 257-282. 2000.
    This paper examines two central arguments raised byfeminist theorists against the coherence andconsistency of political liberalisms, a recentrecasting of liberal theories of justice. They arguethat due to political liberalisms'' uncritical relianceon a political/personal distinction, they permit theinstitution of the family to take sexist and illiberalforms thus undermining its own aims and politicalproject. Political liberalisms'' tolerance of a widerange of family forms result in two fatalinco…Read more
  •  52
    The real issues concerning dirty hands--a response to Kai..
    South African Journal of Philosophy 15 (4): 149-151. 1996.
  •  52
    In this paper I discuss the opportunities and difficulties of teaching critical reasoning in a rapidly transforming society such as South Africa. I argue that the real benefits for students of such courses outweigh the pessimism of John McPeck and Richard Paul that they do little, if any, good. This paper is based on my experience of having taught critical reasoning at school and university level in South Africa during the early 90's
  •  50
    Defining Evil
    The Monist 85 (2): 210-238. 2002.
  •  40
    Shamanistic Incantations? Rawls, Reasonableness and Secular Fundamentalism
    Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1): 109-128. 2007.
    The paper examines a specific charge against Rawls's political liberalism, namely that the manner in which it uses the notion of reasonableness renders it a form of secular fundamentalism. The paper begins with an examination of what Rawls means by his notion of ‘the reasonable’ and briefly outlines its role in his version of political liberalism. This leads to a discussion of the different meanings of ‘secular fundamentalism’ and how it is specifically used in its criticism of Rawls's ‘justice …Read more
  •  39
    In Bello Proportionality: Philosophical Reflections on a Disturbing Empirical Study
    with Daniel Statman and Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan
    Journal of Military Ethics 21 (2): 116-131. 2022.
    A recent empirical study has argued that experts in the ethics or the law of war cannot reach reasonable convergence on dilemmas regarding the number of civilian casualties who may be killed as a side effect of attacks on legitimate military targets. This article explores the philosophical implications of that study. We argue that the wide disagreement between experts on what in bello proportionality means in practice casts serious doubt on their ability to provide practical real-life guidance. …Read more
  •  37
    This paper examines two central arguments raised by feminist theorists against the coherence and consistency of political liberalisms, a recent recasting of liberal theories of justice. They argue that due to political liberalisms' uncritical reliance on a political/personal distinction, they permit the institution of the family to take sexist and illiberal forms thus undermining its own aims and political project. Political liberalisms' tolerance of a wide range of family forms result in two fa…Read more
  •  36
    50 Years of Dirty Hands: An Overview
    The Journal of Ethics 27 (4): 415-439. 2023.
    This chapter introduces the Special Issue and offers an overview of the corpus of work on the topic since the publication of Michael Walzer’s seminal article, ‘Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands’.
  •  35
    When is it justified to refer to someone as evil? How, if at all, is this different from saying that this person is deeply immoral or simply very bad? Moreover, does identifying a person as evil have practical implications for the criminal law and the institution of punishment more generally? These are central questions that Barry seeks to answer in Evil and Moral Psychology. His wide-ranging analysis attempts to identify and reliably predict who is, and who will become, evil by clearly understa…Read more
  •  32
    Defining Evil
    The Monist 85 (2): 210-238. 2002.
    In J. M. Coetzee’s novel, Waiting for the Barbarians, the main protagonist, the elderly Magistrate of a small frontier town of the Empire, is caught up in an impending war with the so-called barbarians. After witnessing the brutality of Colonel Joll, a member of the Bureau sent by the Civil Guard, the Magistrate puzzles over how Joll is able to torture his victims, yet show no signs of moral pollution. He wonders how Joll felt the very first time he administered torture. Did he “shudder even a l…Read more
  •  31
    Are ‘Dirty Hands’ Possible?
    The Journal of Ethics 28 (1): 187-214. 2024.
    This paper argues that ‘dirty hands’ (DH) scenarios, where an agent is forced to do wrong in order to do right, are conceptually coherent. The charge of incoherence is a widespread and common criticism made by deontologists and consequentialists alike. They argue that DH theorists erroneously assume the existence of real moral dilemmas and then compound this error by claiming that it is possible to engage in justified moral wrongdoing. However, such critics argue that there are only _prima facie…Read more
  •  30
    The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evil (edited book)
    with Thomas Nys
    Routledge. 2017.
    Why ought we concern ourselves with understanding a concept of evil? It is an elusive and politically charged concept which critics argue has no explanatory power and is a relic of a superstitious and primitive religious past. Yet its widespread use persists today: we find it invoked by politicians, judges, journalists, and many others to express the view that certain actions, persons, institutions, or ideologies are not just morally problematic but require a special signifier to mark them out f…Read more
  •  30
    South Africa and the prospect of political liberalism
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3): 48-80. 1999.
    This article outlines the basic tenets of political liberalism, a recent twist in liberal theories of justice, and distinguishes a ?sufficiency? approach from its more ?egalitarian? rivals. The article argues that a ?sufficiency? principle as the basis for distributing social and material goods, is a logical extension of the commitment to a democratic ideal, one that is required to give substance to political rights guaranteed to all citizens as free and equal members of society. To illustrate t…Read more
  •  30
    Defining Evil
    The Monist 85 (2): 210-238. 2002.
  •  28
    Small-Scale Evil
    Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1): 25-35. 2018.
  •  25
    Complexity, Relevance and Character: Problems with teaching the ad hominem fallacy
    Educational Philosophy and Theory 35 (1): 31-56. 2003.
    No abstract