•  1
    Teoria etica e intuizioni in un mondo in frantumi
    Società Degli Individui 39 44-60. 2010.
    Il cambiamento climatico presenta caratteristiche inedite che mettono in discussione il pensiero morale cui siamo abituati. In questo saggio, si ricostruiscono le modifiche che sarebbero necessarie per pensare le questioni morali poste dalla prospettiva di un mondo che subisca gli effetti del cambiamento climatico: si potrebbe trattare di un mondo in frantumi, dove non ci sono piů le condizioni minime di benessere, e le nozioni cui siamo abituati - come certi diritti o l'ideale dell'eguaglianza …Read more
  •  20
    Charting just futures for Aotearoa New Zealand: philosophy for and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic
    with Sophia Enright, Marco Grix, Ushana Jayasuriya, Tēvita O. Ka‘ili, Adriana M. Lear, 'Aisea N. Matthew Māhina, 'Ōkusitino Māhina, John Matthewson, Andrew Moore, Emily C. Parke, Vanessa Schouten, and Krushil Watene
    Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. forthcoming.
    The global pandemic needs to mark a turning point for the peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand. How can we make sure that our culturally diverse nation charts an equitable and sustainable path through and beyond this new world? In a less affluent future, how can we ensure that all New Zealanders have fair access to opportunities? One challenge is to preserve the sense of common purpose so critical to protecting each other in the face of Covid-19. How can we centre what we have learnt about resilience…Read more
  • Utilitarianism
    Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    Moral theories can be distinguished, not only by the answers they give, but also by the questions they ask. Utilitarianism's central commitment is to the promotion of well-being, impartially considered. This commitment shapes utilitarianism in a number of ways. If scarce resources should be directed where they will best promote well-being, and if theoretical attention is a scarce resource, then moral theorists should focus on topics that are most important to the future promotion of well-being. …Read more
  •  8
    Tim Mulgan asks whether the universe could have a non-human-centred purpose.
  •  30
    Corporate Agency and Possible Futures
    Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4): 901-916. 2018.
    We need an account of corporate agency that is temporally robust – one that will help future people to cope with challenges posed by corporate groups in a range of credible futures. In particular, we need to bequeath moral resources that enable future people to avoid futures dominated by corporate groups that have no regard for human beings. This paper asks how future philosophers living in broken or digital futures might re-imagine contemporary debates about corporate agency. It argues that the…Read more
  •  17
    The Happiness Philosophers: The Lives and Works of the Great Utilitarians by Bart Schultz
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (1): 179-180. 2018.
    Bart Schultz's fascinating study weaves together the lives and works of the four founders of classical utilitarianism—William Godwin, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Henry Sidgwick—challenging historical interpretations and opening exciting new possibilities for contemporary moral and political philosophy. Schultz reminds us that the founders of utilitarianism were not lifeless proponents of a simplistic theory, but rounded individuals in whose hands the utilitarian project ranged widely o…Read more
  •  47
    Two familiar worldviews dominate Western philosophy: materialist atheism and Abrahamic theism. One exciting development in recent philosophy of religion is the exploration of alternatives to both theism and atheism. This paper explores two alternatives: axiarchism and ananthropocentrism. Drawing on the long tradition of Platonism, axiarchists such as John Leslie, Derek Parfit and Nicholas Rescher posit a direct link between goodness and existence. The goodness of a possible world is what makes i…Read more
  •  40
    Answering to Future People: Responsibility for Climate Change in a Breaking World
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (3): 532-548. 2018.
    Our everyday notions of responsibility are often driven by our need to justify ourselves to specific others – especially those we harm, wrong, or otherwise affect. One challenge for contemporary ethics is to extend this interpersonal urgency to our relations with those future people who are harmed or affected by our actions. In this article, I explore our responsibility for climate change by imagining a possible ‘broken future’, damaged by the carbon emissions of previous generations, and then a…Read more
  • The Demands of Consequentialism
    Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 194 (3): 355-355. 2004.
  •  64
    III—Ethics for Possible Futures
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1): 57-73. 2014.
    I explore the moral implications of four possible futures: a broken future where our affluent way of life is no longer available; a virtual future where human beings spend their entire lives in Nozick's experience machine; a digital future where humans have been replaced by unconscious digital beings; and a theological future where the existence of God has been proved. These futures affect our current ethical thinking in surprising ways. They raise the importance of intergenerational ethics, alt…Read more
  • The Demands of Consequentialism
    Philosophy 78 (304): 289-296. 2003.
  •  12
    Replies to Critics
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 4 (2). 2014.
  • Éthique et mort(s) - La démocratie post mortem
    Revue Philosophique De Louvain 101 (1): 123-137. 2003.
  •  12
  •  10
    Review: Weighing Lives (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231). 2008.
  •  121
    The Reverse Repugnant Conclusion
    Utilitas 14 (3): 360. 2002.
    Total utilitarianism implies Parfit's repugnant conclusion. For any world containing ten billion very happy people, there is a better world where a vast number of people have lives barely worth living. One common response is to claim that life in Parfit's Z is better than he suggests, and thus that his conclusion is not repugnant. This paper shows that this strategy cannot succeeed. Total utilitarianism also implies a reverse repugnant conclusion. For any world where ten billion people have live…Read more
  •  6
    Understanding Utilitarianism
    Routledge. 2007.
    Utilitarianism - a philosophy based on the principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people - has been hugely influential over the past two centuries. Beyond ethics or morality, utilitarian assumptions and arguments abound in modern economic and political life, especially in public policy. An understanding of utilitarianism is indeed essential to any understanding of contemporary society. "Understanding Utilitarianism" presents utilitarianism very much as a living tradition.…Read more
  •  38
    How should utilitarians think about the future?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3): 290-312. 2017.
    Utilitarians must think collectively about the future because many contemporary moral issues require collective responses to avoid possible future harms. But current rule utilitarianism does not accommodate the distant future. Drawing on my recent books Future People and Ethics for a Broken World, I defend a new utilitarianism whose central ethical question is: What moral code should we teach the next generation? This new theory honours utilitarianism’s past and provides the flexibility to adapt…Read more
  •  35
    The Future of Philosophy
    Metaphilosophy 44 (3): 241-253. 2013.
    In this article the editor of the Philosophical Quarterly briefly outlines the editorial process at that journal; explains why it is foolhardy to attempt to predict the future of philosophy; and, finally, attempts such a prediction. Drawing on his recent book Ethics for a Broken World, he argues that climate change, or some other disaster, may lead to a broken world where the optimistic assumptions underlying contemporary philosophy no longer apply. He argues that the possibility of a broken wor…Read more
  •  14
    Critical Notice
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (3): 443-459. 2004.
  •  45
    Two Conceptions of Benevolence
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (1): 62-79. 1997.
  •  9
    Reproducing the contractarian state
    Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (4). 2002.
  •  63
    A Non-proportional Hybrid Moral Theory
    Utilitas 9 (3): 291. 1997.
    A common objection to consequentialism is that it makes unreasonable demands upon moral agents, by failing to allow agents to give special weight to their own personal projects and interests. A prominent recent response to this objection is that of Samuel Scheffler, who seeks to make room for moral agents by building agent-centred prerogatives into a consequentialist moral theory. In this paper, I present a new objection to Scheffler's account. I then sketch an improved prerogative, which avoids…Read more
  •  26
    One False Virtue of Rule Consequentialism, and One New Vice
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4): 362-373. 1996.
    A common objection to _act consequentialism (AC) is that it makes unreasonable demands on moral agents. _Rule consequentialism (RC) is often presented as a less demanding alternative. It is argued that this alleged virtue of RC is false, as RC will not be any less demanding in practice than AC. It is then demonstrated that RC has an additional (hitherto unnoticed) vice, as it relies upon the undefended simplifying assumption that the best possible consequences would arise in a society in which e…Read more
  •  67
    Transcending the infinite utility debate
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2). 2002.
    An infinite future thus threatens to paralyze utilitarianism. Utilitarians need principled ways to determine which possible infinite futures are better or worse. In this article, I discuss a recent suggestion of Peter Vallentyne and Shelly Kagan. I conclude that the best way forward for utilitarians is, in fact, to by-pass the infinite utility debate altogether. (edited)