University of California, Berkeley
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1998
Portland, Oregon, United States of America
Areas of Interest
Philosophy of Action
Meta-Ethics
  • Reasons for Action and the Roles of Desire
    Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 1998.
    It is common sense to say that, at least sometimes, what one has reason to do depends on what one wants. In contemporary ethical theory, "internalists" and "externalists" divide over the issue whether one's practical reasons are always dependent on one's desires. Internalists insist, while externalists deny, that an agent has reason to act only if that agent wants, or could come to want, to so act. ;The present investigation attempts to adjudicate the issue dividing internalists and externalists…Read more
  •  211
    Varieties of Reasons/Motives Internalism
    Philosophy Compass 8 (3): 210-219. 2013.
    Under what conditions do you have a reason to perform some action? Do you only have reason to do what you want to do? Reasons-motives internalism is the appealingly simple view that unless an agent is, or could be, motivated to act in a certain way, he has no normative reason to act in that way. Thus, according to reasons-motives internalism, facts about an individual’s motivational psychology constrain what is rational for that agent to do. This article canvasses several ways of formulating th…Read more
  •  109
    Goals, wishes, and reasons for action
    Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 94 (1): 161-184. 2007.
  •  175
    Advisors and Deliberation
    The Journal of Ethics 15 (4): 405-424. 2011.
    The paper has two goals. First, it defends one type of subjectivist account of reasons for actions—deliberative accounts—against the criticism that they commit the conditional fallacy. Second, it attempts to show that another type of subjectivist account of practical reasons that has been gaining popularity—ideal advisor accounts—are liable to commit a closely related error. Further, I argue that ideal advisor accounts can avoid the error only by accepting the fundamental theoretical motivation …Read more
  •  229
    Conflicts of Desire
    Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1): 51-63. 2012.
    This paper is an attempt to come to a better understanding of desire through an examination of certain kinds of conflict of desire. Standard accounts of conflict of desire involve a two-part analysis. First, desires are held to conflict just in case the satisfaction of one precludes the satisfaction of the other; second, a desire is said to be satisfied just in case the propositional content of the desire is true. I argue that this account of conflict rests in an inadequate notion of desire sati…Read more
  •  152
    Defending Desire: Scanlon’s Anti-Humeanism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3): 499-519. 2001.
    In the opening chapter of What We Owe To Each Other, Tim Scanlon produces a sustained critique of a Humean conception of practical reason. Scanlon claims he will argue that unless having a desire just is to see something as a reason, desires play no role in the explanation or justification of action. Yet his specific arguments against Humeanism all employ a very austere understanding of desire , and attempt to show that desires so understood are not up to any explanatory or justificatory task. S…Read more