•  647
    Retributivist arguments against capital punishment
    Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2). 2004.
    This article argues that even if we grant that murderers may deserve death in principle, retributivists should still oppose capital punishment. The reason? Our inability to know with certainty whether or not individuals possess the necessary level of desert. In large part due to advances in science, we can only be sure that no matter how well the trial is administered or how many appeals are allowed or how many years we let elapse, we will continue to execute innocent persons for as long as we l…Read more
  •  367
    Between natural law and legal positivism: Dworkin and Hegel on legal theory
    Georgia State University Law Review 23 (3): 513-60. 2007.
    In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents of a position lying in b…Read more
  •  281
    Kant's Theory of Punishment
    Utilitas 15 (2): 206. 2003.
    The most widespread interpretation amongst contemporary theorists of Kant's theory of punishment is that it is retributivist. On the contrary, I will argue there are very different senses in which Kant discusses punishment. He endorses retribution for moral law transgressions and consequentialist considerations for positive law violations. When these standpoints are taken into consideration, Kant's theory of punishment is more coherent and unified than previously thought. This reading uncovers a…Read more
  •  243
    Climate change and negative duties
    POLITICS 32 1-9. 2012.
    It is widely accepted by the scientific community and beyond that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change and that climate change has brought with it a number of real problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, greater threats to coastal communities, greater risk of famine, and greater risk that tropical diseases may spread to new territory. In keeping with J. S. Mill's 'Harm Principle', green political theorists often respond that if we are contributing a harm to…Read more
  •  231
    Equality and Democracy
    Ethical Perspectives 14 (1): 3-12. 2007.
    In a recent article, Thomas Christiano defends the intrinsic justice of democracy grounded in the principle of equal consideration of interests. Each citizen is entitled to a single vote, equal in weight to all other citizens. The problem with this picture is that all citizens must meet a threshold of minimal competence. My argument is that Christiano is wrong to claim a minimum threshold of competency is fully consistent with the principle of equality. While standards of minimal competency may…Read more
  •  203
    The Academic Journal Editor—Secrets Revealed
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3): 313-325. 2012.
    My advice for journal editors - and not only editors of philosophy journals - for how to edit journals. Secrets shared from over 10 years of experiences with different journals and publishers.
  •  149
    A critique of pragmatism and deliberative democracy
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1). 2009.
    This paper offers two potential worries in Robert B. Talisse's A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy. The first worry is that is that the picture of democracy on offer is incomplete. While Talisse correctly argues that democracy is about more than elections, democracy is also about more than deliberation between citizens. Talisse's deliberative democracy is problematic to the degree its view of deliberation fails to account for democracy. The second worry we may have concerns the relationship bet…Read more
  •  147
    Equality, Fairness, and Responsibility in an Unequal World
    Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (2): 147-153. 2014.
    Severe poverty is a major global problem about risk and inequality. What, if any, is the relationship between equality, fairness and responsibility in an unequal world? I argue for four conclusions. The first is the moral urgency of severe poverty. We have too many global neighbours that exist in a state of emergency and whose suffering is intolerable. The second is that severe poverty is a problem concerning global injustice that is relevant, but not restricted, to questions about responsibilit…Read more
  •  143
    Punishing states that cause global poverty
    William Mitchell Law Review 33 (2): 519-32. 2007.
    The problem of global poverty has reached terrifying proportions. Since the end of the Cold War, ordinary deaths from starvation and preventable diseases amount to approximately 250 million people, most of them children. Thomas Pogge argues that wealthy states have a responsibility to help those in severe poverty. This responsibility arises from the foreseeable and avoidable harm the current global institutional order has perpetrated on poor states. Pogge demands that wealthy states eradicate gl…Read more
  •  137
    Routledge. 2012.
    Punishment is a topic of increasing importance for citizens and policy makers. Why should we punish criminals? Which theory of punishment is most compelling? Is the death penalty ever justified? These questions and many others are addressed in this highly engaging guide. Punishment is a critical introduction to the philosophy of punishment offering a new and refreshing approach that will benefit readers of all backgrounds and interests. This is the first critical guide to examine all leading con…Read more
  •  136
    Plato, Hegel, and Democracy
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 53 24-50. 2006.
    Nearly every major philosophy, from Plato to Hegel and beyond, has argued that democracy is an inferior form of government, at best. Yet, virtually every contemporary political philosophy working today - whether in an analytic or postmodern tradition - endorses democracy in one variety or another. Should we conclude then that the traditional canon is meaningless for helping us theorize about a just state? In this paper, I will take up the criticisms and positive proposals of two such canonical f…Read more
  •  135
    A defence of jury nullification
    Res Publica 10 (4): 401-423. 2004.
    In both Great Britain and the United States there has been a growing debate about the modern acceptability of jury nullification. Properly understood, juries do not have any constitutional right to ignore the law, but they do have the power to do so nevertheless. Juries that nullify may be motivated by a variety of concerns: too harsh sentences, improper government action, racism, etc. In this article, I shall attempt to defend jury nullification on a number of grounds. First, I discuss the use …Read more
  •  134
    Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2010.
    The punishment of criminals is a topic of long-standing philosophical interest since the ancient Greeks. This interest has focused on several considerations, including the justification of punishment, who should be permitted to punish, and how we might best set punishments for crimes. This entry focuses on the most important contributions in this field. The focus will be on specific theoretical approaches to punishment including both traditional theories of punishment (retributivism, deterrence,…Read more
  •  124
    Graduate students often lack concrete advice on publishing. This essay is an attempt to fill this important gap. Advice is given on how to publish everything from book reviews to articles, replies to book chapters, and how to secure both edited book contracts and authored monograph contracts, along with plenty of helpful tips and advice on the publishing world (and how it works) along the way in what is meant to be a comprehensive, concrete guide to publishing that should be of tremendous value …Read more
  •  120
    Shame on you, shame on me? Nussbaum on shame punishment
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (4): 322-334. 2008.
    abstract  Shame punishments have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional punishments, often taking the form of convicted criminals holding signs or sweeping streets with a toothbrush. In her Hiding from Humanity, Martha Nussbaum argues against the use of shame punishments because they contribute to an offender's loss of dignity. However, these concerns are shared already by the courts which also have concerns about the possibility that shaming might damage an offender's dignity…Read more
  •  102
    In this journal, Michael Clark defends a "A Non-Retributive Kantian Approach to Punishment". I argue that both Kant's and Rawls's theories of punishment are retributivist to some extent. It may then be slightly misleading to say that by following the views of Kant and Rawls, in particular, as Clark does, we can develop a nonretributivist theory of punishment. This matter is further complicated by the fact Clark nowhere addresses Rawls's views on punishment: Rawls endorses a mixed theory combinin…Read more
  •  97
    Punishment and Moral Sentiments
    Review of Metaphysics 66 281-93. 2012.
    Adam Smith's theory of punishment is rarely explored. This article examines his understanding of punishment in light of his theory of moral sentiments. My aim is to show how he is neither a retributivist or deterrence advocate, but instead defends a more unified theory of punishment bringing different penal goals together in a new framework.
  •  97
    Beyond retribution
    Think 13 (38): 47-50. 2014.
    Retribution enjoys an unwarranted appeal from the public and its politicians. This is because it is impractical and perhaps even incoherent. This does not mean that we should reject the importance of morality for criminal justice nor should we reject the link between desert and proportionality. Nevertheless, we can reject the way retribution has understood these ideas in defense of a more plausible and compelling alternative
  •  97
    The right to trial by jury
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2). 2004.
    This article offers a justification for the continued use of jury trials. I shall critically examine the ability of juries to render just verdicts, judicial impartiality, and judicial transparency. My contention is that the judicial system that best satisfies these values is most preferable. Of course, these three values are not the only factors relevant for consideration. Empirical evidence demonstrates that juries foster both democratic participation and public legitimation of legal decisions …Read more
  •  96
    Hegel’s Ambiguous Contribution to Legal Theory
    Res Publica 11 (1): 85-94. 2005.
    Hegel's legacy is particularly controversial, not least in legal theory. He has been classified as a proponent of either natural law, legal positivism, the historical school, pre-Marxism, postmodern critical theory, and even transcendental legal theory. To what degree has Hegel actually influenced contemporary legal theorists? This review article looks at Michael Salter's collection Hegel and Law. I look at articles on civil disobedience, contract law, feminism, and punishment. I conclude noting…Read more
  •  83
  •  81
    Knowledge and Power in Plato’s Political Thought
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (1). 2006.
    Plato justifies the concentration and exercise of power for persons endowed with expertise in political governance. This article argues that this justification takes two distinctly different sets of arguments. The first is what I shall call his 'ideal political philosophy' described primarily in the Republic as rule by philosopher-kings wielding absolute authority over their subjects. Their authority stems solely from their comprehension of justice, from which they make political judgements on b…Read more
  •  78
    Is eating meat ethical?
    Think 16 (47): 9-13. 2017.
    Eating meat can be ethical, but only when it does not violate rights. This requires that the ways in which meat is produced and prepared for human consumption satisfies certain standards. While many current practices may fall short of this standard, this does not justify the position that eating meat cannot be ethical under any circumstances and there should be no principled objection to its possibility.
  •  74
    The Bible and Capital Punishment
    Philosophy and Theology 22 (1/2): 279-283. 2010.
    Many Christians are split on whether they believe we should endorse or oppose capital punishment. Each side claims Biblical support for their professed position. This essay cannot hope to bring this debate to a conclusion. However, it will try to offer a different perspective. The essay recognizes that the Bible itself offers statements in support of each position. The proposed way forward is not to claim there is a contradiction, but to place greater emphasis on understanding these statements i…Read more
  •  73
    A new edition of the first systematic reading of Hegel's political philosophy Elements of the Philosophy of Right is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important works in the history of political philosophy. This is the first book on the subject to take Hegel's system of speculative philosophy seriously as an important component of any robust understanding of this text. Key Features •Sets out the difference between 'systematic' and 'non-systematic' readings of Philosophy of Right •Outli…Read more
  •  71
    Cosmopolitanism and distributing responsibilities
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (3): 92-97. 2002.
    David Miller raises a number of interesting concerns with both weak and strong variants of cosmopolitanism. As an alternative, he defends a connection theory to address remedial responsibilities amongst states. This connection theory is problematic as it endorses a position where states that are causally and morally responsible for deprivation and suffering in other states may not be held remedially responsible for their actions. In addition, there is no international mechanism to ensure either …Read more
  •  70
    Rethinking remedial responsibilities
    Ethics and Global Politics 4 (3): 195-202. 2011.
    How should we determine which nations have a responsibility to remedy suffering elsewhere? The problem is pressing because, following David Miller, ‘[it] is morally intolerable if (remediable) suffering and deprivation are allowed to continue . . . where they exist we are morally bound to hold somebody (some person or collective agent) responsible for relieving them’. Miller offers a connection theory of remedial responsibilities in response to this problem, a theory he has been developing over …Read more
  •  68
    A new approach
    The Philosophers' Magazine 54 (54): 110-111. 2011.
  •  66
    I want to raise the question of why we should give the Preface this special treatment. What do we hope to learn from such an extended examination of the Preface that will help further the study of Hegel's work beyond its present state? My comments will be limited to a few central issues, such as the relationship between the Phenomenology and the system, the Phenomenology as an introduction to the system, and the Phenomenology as a ladder, in order to best address what is of value in the Phenomen…Read more
  •  65
    Hiding from humanity: Disgust, shame, and the law
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (3). 2007.
    This is a book review of Martha C. Nussbaum - "Hiding from Humanity".