•  1030
    In Defense of Asian Romantic Preference
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (2): 243-256. 2018.
    Asian romantic preference is not wrong because it does not infringe on someone’s moral right. Nor is it unjust in some other way. It is not intrinsically bad because it is neither false nor does it consist of the love of evil or hatred of the good. It is not clear if it is instrumentally bad because it is not clear whether it is good for Asian women and, if it is, whether the good for them is outweighed by the bad for others. People have many preferences when it comes to marriage, dating, and se…Read more
  •  385
    The moral status of harmless adult-child sex
    Public Affairs Quarterly 15 (2): 111--132. 2001.
    Nonforcible adult-child sex is thought to be morally wrong in part because it is nonconsensual. In this paper, I argue against this notion. In particular, I reject accounts of the moral wrongfulness of adult-child sex that rest on the absence of consent, concerns about adult exploitation of children, and the existence of a morally primitive duty against such sex.
  •  335
    A liberal argument for slavery
    Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (4). 2003.
    The slavery contract is not a rights violation since the right not to be enslaved and the right not to give out a benefit are waivable and the conjunction of their voluntary waiver is not itself a rights violation. The case for the contract being pejoratively exploitative is not clear. Hence given the general presumption in favor of liberty of contract, such a transaction ought to be permitted. The contract is also not invalid on the grounds that the wrongdoer’s consent to it necessarily reflect…Read more
  •  310
    Discounting Women’s Applications when Hiring
    Philosophia 48 (1): 227-260. 2020.
    In this paper, I argue that philosophy departments at state universities may discount women’s applications. My argument rests on two premises: if the balance of merit-based reasons supports discounting one group relative to a second, then a state institution may discount the first group’s application and the balance of merit-based reasons supports philosophy departments at state universities discounting women’s applications relative to men’s applications.The latter premise was supported by three…Read more
  •  268
    For discrimination against women
    Law and Philosophy 26 (6). 2007.
    In this paper, I argue that it is morally permissible and should be legally permissible for state and private professional schools to discriminate against women. By professional schools, I mean law, medical, and business schools. More specifically, I argue that such schools may discount womens applications to the degree that they are likely to produce less than male counterparts. The argument differs with regard to state and private institutions because of the greater moral elbowroom that privat…Read more
  •  183
    The inheritance-based claim to reparations
    Legal Theory 8 (2): 243-267. 2002.
    Slavery harmed the slaves but not their descendants since slavery brought about their existence. The descendants gain the slaves’ claims via inheritance. However, collecting the inheritance-based claim runs into a number of difficulties. First, every descendant usually has no more than a portion of the slave’s claim because the claim is often divided over generations. Second, there are epistemic difficulties involving the ownership of the claim since it is unlikely that a descendant of a slave s…Read more
  •  128
    For Interrogational Torture
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2): 223-241. 2005.
    Interrogational torture is torture that is done in order to gain information. It is wrong if it either wrongs the person being interrogated or is a free-floating wrong. In the relevant cases, interrogational torture need not wrong the person being interrogated. This is because in many cases it doesn’t, and is known not to, infringe on the tortured person’s moral rights. It is not clear whether interrogational torture is a free-floating wrong since we lack confidence in judging whether it violate…Read more
  •  128
    A Liberal Argument for Slavery
    Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (4): 510-536. 2003.
    The slavery contract is not a rights violation since the right not to be enslaved and the right not to give out a benefit are waivable and the conjunction of their voluntary waiver is not itself a rights violation. The case for the contract being pejoratively exploitative is not clear. Hence given the general presumption in favor of liberty of contract, such a transaction ought to be permitted. The contract is also not invalid on the grounds that the wrongdoer’s consent to it necessarily reflect…Read more
  •  126
    The Morality of Faking Orgasms: Deception in a Dishonest World
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1): 85-104. 2012.
    In this essay, I argue that orgasm-faking is permissible. My essay consists of three parts. First, I provide a background sketch of the psychology of orgasm-faking. Second, I argue that it is permissible. Third, I consider other arguments that might be made for the permissibility of faking it
  •  121
    Is violation pornography bad for your soul?
    Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (3). 2004.
    Violation pornography is pornography where the depicted behavior includes unjust sexual acts, e.g., rape. In this paper I argue that it is unclear whether the enjoyment of violation pornography is bad for the viewer. My essay has three parts. First, I set out an account of flourishing. I adopt a composite account, whereby flourishing is a function of the degree to which an individual has pleasure and various objective-list elements. Objective-list elements are things (e.g., knowledge and meaning…Read more
  •  114
    The Case Against Reparations
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (1): 41-46. 2001.
    George Schedler raises interesting issues with regard to the amount of reparations owed for slavery, the parties who are owed reparations, and the standard for these reparations. His arguments, however, do not hold up upon analysis. His analysis of the case for the descendants of slaves being owed compensation seriously overestimates the case for such reparations. He does not identify the grounds for such compensation, i.e., either stolen inheritance or the descendants’ trustee-like control over…Read more
  •  110
    There Is No Moral Right to Immigrate to the United States
    Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (2): 141-158. 2000.
    U.S. citizens have a right to exclude potential immigrants. This right rests in part on the threat immigration poses to change the character of the institutions to which the current citizens have consented and in part on the threat immigrants pose to the citizens' rights to collective property. This right is probably not opposed by a human right to immigrate since such a right cannot be supported by arguments from equality, fairness, legitimate state authority, or libertarianism.
  •  105
    Intrinsic Moral Value and Racial Differences
    Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (3): 205-224. 2000.
    In this paper, I argue for the following thesis: racial and ethic groups differ in their per capita intrinsic moral value. My argument rests on the notion that autonomy is a ground for intrinsic moral value and the notion that there are individual and group differences in autonomy. I then argue that the implications of this per capita difference between racial and ethnic groups are in some cases significant in that they are relevant to both public policy and private action.
  •  104
    Rape Fantasies and Virtue
    Public Affairs Quarterly 22 (3): 253-268. 2008.
    In this paper, I argue that many violent sexual fantasies are not vicious. In the first part of this article, I sketch out the nature of violent sexual fantasies and note that many people regularly have them. I then argue many violent sexual fantasies are not vicious. My argument strategy is to explore what makes an attitude vicious and then to note that the vice-making feature need not be present in such fantasies and is in fact probably not present in many of them. I then explore some of the i…Read more
  •  99
    A Defense of Retributivism
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (1): 97-117. 2000.
    The moral theory justifying punishment will shape the debate over numerous controversial issues such as the moral permissibility of the death penalty, probation, parole, and plea bargaining, as well as issues about conditions in prison and access to educational opportunities in prison. In this essay I argue that the primary goal of the criminal justice system is to inflict suffering on, and only on, those who deserve it. If I am correct, the answer to issues involving the criminal justice system…Read more
  •  94
    Are the descendants of slaves owed compensation for slavery?
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (1). 1999.
    The compensatory‐justice justification of affirmative action requires a comparison of the actual world in which the injured person lives with a relevantly similar possible world in which this person lives but where the unjust injuring act never occurred, in order to identify the degree of harm brought about by the unjust injurious act. The problem is that some unjust injuring acts, particularly acts of slavery, led to intercourse and the later creation of the ancestors of many members of minorit…Read more
  •  94
    In summary, Hellman’s book is well worth reading. It is powerful, well-written, and interesting and explains much of the prominent case law on discrimination. Her theory, however, is false because her explanation of wrongful discrimination fails to track a wrong-making feature. Her theory does not focus on a right-infringement in or unfair treatment of the person whom is discriminated against. It also does not focus on an incorrect attitude in the person who discriminates. These intuitively seem…Read more
  •  93
    This book provides a philosophical analysis of adult-child sex and pedophilia. The sex intuitively strikes many people, including myself, as sick, disgusting, and wrong. The problem is that it is not clear whether these judgments are justified and whether they are aesthetic or moral. By analogy, many people find it disgusting to view images of obese people having sex, but it is hard to see what is morally undesirable about such sex. Here the judgment is aesthetic. This book looks at the moral st…Read more
  •  91
    The Principle of Universality asserts that a part retains its intrinsic value regardless of the whole in which it is a part or even whether it is part of a whole. The idea underlying this principle is that the intrinsic value of a thing supervenes on its intrinsic properties. Since the intrinsic properties remain unchanged so does the thing’s intrinsic value. In this article, I argue that, properly understood, the Principle of Universality can handle seemingly troublesome intuitions about the re…Read more
  •  89
    The Forfeiture Theory of Punishment: Surviving Boonin’s Objections
    Public Affairs Quarterly 24 (4): 319-334. 2010.
    In this paper, I set out a version of the Forfeiture Theory of Punishment. Forfeiture Theory: Legal punishment is just or permissible because offenders forfeit their rights.On this account, offenders forfeit their rights because they infringed on someone’s rights. My strategy is to provide a version of the Forfeiture Theory and then to argue that it survives a number of initially intuitive seeming objections, most having their origins in the recent work of David Boonin.
  •  87
    Why equal opportunity is not a valuable goal
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2). 2004.
    In this paper, I provide an analysis of equal opportunity. I argue that equal opportunity occurs where two or more persons with equal natural abilities and willingness to work hard have chances at various jobs that are in the aggregate of equal value. I then argue that equal opportunity is neither valuable nor something that the government ought to pursue. First, it is not clear why we should value opportunities rather than outcomes. Second, the value of equal opportunity rests on the value of i…Read more
  •  81
    The Injustice of Hell
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 58 (2): 103-123. 2005.
    This essay aims to establish two theses. First, hell is unjust. Second, God ought not (or perhaps cannot) impose hell on human beings. In support of these theses, Stephen Kershnar argues that human beings do not deserve hell because they either cannot cause an infinite amount of harm or are not responsible for doing so. Also, since humans don’t have infinitely bad characters, hell can’t be deserved on the basis of character. Since humans don’t deserve hell, God may not (or perhaps cannot) impose…Read more
  •  81
    A complex experiential account of pleasure
    Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (2): 153-165. 2010.
    In this paper, I argue for the Complex Experiential Theory. It asserts that pleasure is a pro-attitude toward a de se experience. I argue that it is better than its competitors. In particular, it is better than monadic theories that view pleasure as a distinct type of experience or a pro-attitude in isolation. It is also better than other non-monadic theories. In particular, it is better than accounts that involve pro-attitudes and beliefs in states of affairs or propositions (or ones that obtai…Read more
  •  80
    For Permitting Hazing
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1): 87-106. 2011.
    In this essay, I argue that colleges and universities should permit hazing. I argue that if hazing is wrong, then it wrongs someone and if it wrongs someone then it violates someone’s right. Hazing does not violate someone’s right when the person who is hazed gives informed consent. I then argue that because hazing is permissible, colleges should permit it. I consider and respond to objections that hazing is wrong for reasons that are not right-based. Here I consider objections relating to decep…Read more
  •  79
    The duty to hire the most qualified applicant
    Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (2). 2003.
    The most qualified applicant is the one who has the propensity to maximally satisfy the employer’s preferences. An applicant’s propensity is a function of her willingness to work hard together with the relevant capacity or potentiality to do the tasks constituting a job. Given this account of the most qualified applicant, there is only a weak duty, if any, to hire persons based on their being the most qualified. Such a duty is not justified by reference to rights, desert, fairness, or the maximi…Read more
  •  75
    For Torture: A Rights-Based Defense
    Lexington Books. 2011.
    This book is an analysis and evaluation of torture. My take on torture is unique for four reasons. First, it provides a distinct analysis of what torture is. Second, it argues that on non-consequentialist grounds, specifically rights-based ones, torture is sometimes permissible. Third, it argues that torturers are not always vicious. Fourth, it argues that it is plausible that these conclusions apply to some real world cases. In short, it fills the following gap: it evaluates torture from a righ…Read more
  •  69
    Explaining the Geometry of Desert
    with Neil Feit
    Public Affairs Quarterly 18 273. 2004.
    In the past decade, three philosophers in particular have recently explored the relation between desert and intrinsic value. Fred Feldman argues that consequentialism need not give much weight – or indeed any weight at all – to the happiness of persons who undeservedly experience pleasure. He defends the claim that the intrinsic value of a state of affairs is determined by the “fit” between the amount of well-being that a person receives and the amount of well-being that the person deserves. She…Read more
  •  68
    The Moral Status of Sexual Fantasies
    Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (4): 301-315. 2005.
    Sexual fantasy is a non-perceptual thought that is sexually arousing. It has several paradigmatic features. The structure of a fantasy involves an agent taking pleasure in an object that is often a visual depiction of an event. The fantasy is under the agent’s control and has a semantic content. Since mere sexual fantasizing about someone respects the individual who are depicted in the fantasy, the rightness of a sexual fantasy depends on whether consequentialism is true and, if so, whether the …Read more
  •  66
    Race as a factor in university admissions
    Law and Philosophy 26 (5): 437-463. 2007.
    In two recent cases, Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306. and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244., the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause permitted state schools to use race-sensitive admissions in order to obtain the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body. The diversity-based argument for race-sensitive admissions, scholarships, awards, and other opportunities at universities should have been rejected because it does not consider the full range of costs and ben…Read more
  •  65
    Immigrants and Welfare
    Public Affairs Quarterly 16 39-61. 2002.
    A contract in which the potential immigrants to the U.S. waive their right to non-emergency welfare benefits in return for their being allowed to come to the U.S. is not unjust. This is because the right to allow persons to immigrate in return for their waiving any future claim on non-emergency welfare benefits is included in other moral rights that the U.S. has. Nor is the transaction exploitative since it is beneficial to the average immigrant and since he gains a fair share of the transactio…Read more