•  16
    In the United States, convicted offenders frequently lose the right to vote, at least temporarily. Drawing on the common observation that citizens of color lose democratic rights at disproportionately high rates, this chapter argues that this punishment is problematic in non-ideal societies because of the way in which it diminishes the political power of marginalized groups and threatens to reproduce patterns of domination and subordination, when they occur. This chapter then uses the case of pe…Read more
  •  337
    Humean Externalism and the Argument from Depression
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2): 1-16. 2015.
    Several prominent philosophers have argued that the fact that depressed agents sometimes make moral judgments without being appropriately motivated supports Humean externalism – the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are distinct from or “external” to an agent’s motivationally inert moral judgments. This essay argues that such motivational failures do not, in fact, provide evidence for this view. I argue that, if the externalist argument from depression is to u…Read more
  •  45
    A challenge for Humean externalism
    Philosophical Studies 175 (1): 23-44. 2018.
    Humean externalism is the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are “external” to an agent’s motivationally-inert moral judgments. A standard argument in favor of Humean externalism appeals to the possibility of amoral or morally cynical agents—agents for whom moral considerations gain no motivational traction. The possibility of such agents seems to provide evidence for both the claim that moral judgments are themselves motivationally inert, and the claim that mo…Read more
  •  114
    Appetitive besires and the fuss about fit
    Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 975-988. 2013.
    Some motivational cognitivists believe that there are besires—cognitive mental states (typically moral beliefs) that share the key feature of desire (typically desire’s ‘direction of fit’) in virtue of which they are capable of being directly motivational. Besires have been criticized by Humeans and cognitivists alike as philosophically extravagant, incoherent, ad hoc, and incompatible with folk psychology. I provide a response to these standard objections to besires—one motivated independently o…Read more
  •  39
    Doing Without Desiring
    Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2011.
    This dissertation defends a cognitivist alternative to the Humean belief-desire theory of motivation against standard philosophical arguments. Moral judgments influence our action. For instance, someone might donate to charity because she believes she has a duty to give back to her community. According to the Humean orthodoxy, some additional state—some passion or desire—is needed to explain her action. She may want to donate the money, to give back to her community, or to fulfill her duty. Yet …Read more