•  3234
    The Limits of Virtue Ethics
    Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 10 255-282. 2020.
    Virtue ethics is often understood as a rival to existing consequentialist, deontological, and contractualist views. But some have disputed the position that virtue ethics is a genuine normative ethical rival. This chapter aims to crystallize the nature of this dispute by providing criteria that determine the degree to which a normative ethical theory is complete, and then investigating virtue ethics through the lens of these criteria. In doing so, it’s argued that no existing account of virtue e…Read more
  •  344
    Probabilism: An Open Future Solution to the Actualism/Possibilism Debate
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1-22. forthcoming.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics is traditionally formulated in terms of whether true counterfactuals of freedom about the future (true subjunctive conditionals concerning what someone would freely do in the future if they were in certain circumstances) even partly determine an agent's present moral obligations. But the very assumption that there are true counterfactuals of freedom about the future conflicts with the idea that freedom requires a metaphysically open future. We develop p…Read more
  •  72
    Grief’s Badness and the Paradox of Grief
    Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 4 (1): 18-26. 2022.
    In this paper, I focus on the points of disagreement between Cholbi and myself about the nature of grief. More precisely, I am first going to provide reasons to reject Cholbi’s positive account of grief, specifically the condition that grief necessarily brings about a change in our practical identity. Then I am going to discuss the so-called Paradox of Grief, raising a few concerns I have about Cholbi’s solution and suggesting there is more to be said in favour of an existing solution (i.e., Pai…Read more
  •  125
    Constraint-Free Meaning, Fearing Death, and Temporal Bias
    The Journal of Ethics 26 (3): 377-393. 2022.
    This paper focuses on three distinct issues in Fischer’s Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life, viz. meaning in life, fearing death, and asymmetrical attitudes between our prenatal and postmortem non-existence. I first raise the possibility that life’s total meaning can be negative and argue that immoral or harmful acts are plausibly meaning-detracting acts, which could make the lives of historically impactful evil dictators anti-meaningful. After that, I review Fischer’s two necessary conditi…Read more
  •  1022
    Whether an action is morally right depends upon the alternative acts available to the agent. Actualists hold that what an agent would actually do determines her moral obligations. Possibilists hold that what an agent could possibly do determines her moral obligations. Both views face compelling criticisms. Despite the fact that actualist and possibilist assumptions are at the heart of seminal arguments in business ethics, there has been no explicit discussion of actualism and possibilism in the …Read more
  •  686
    In The Human Predicament, David Benatar develops and defends the annihilation view, according to which “death is bad in large part because it annihilates the being who dies.” In this paper, I make both a positive and negative argument against the annihilation view. My positive argument consists in showing that the annihilation view generates implausible consequences in cases where one can incur some other (intrinsic) bad to avoid the supposed (intrinsic) bad of annihilation. More precisely, Bena…Read more
  •  248
    Dissolving Death’s Time-of-Harm Problem
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2): 405-418. 2022.
    Most philosophers in the death literature believe that death can be bad for the person who dies. The most popular view of death’s badness—namely, deprivationism—holds that death is bad for the person who dies because, and to the extent that, it deprives them of the net good that they would have accrued, had their actual death not occurred. Deprivationists thus face the challenge of locating the time that death is bad for a person. This is known as the Timing Problem, which is thought to be …Read more
  •  3526
    The (Un)desirability of Immortality
    Philosophy Compass 15 (2). 2020.
    While most people believe the best possible life they could lead would be an immortal one, so‐called “immortality curmudgeons” disagree. Following Bernard Williams, they argue that, at best, we have no prudential reason to live an immortal life, and at worst, an immortal life would necessarily be bad for creatures like us. In this article, we examine Bernard Williams' seminal argument against the desirability of immortality and the subsequent literature it spawned. We first reconstruct and motiv…Read more
  •  205
    Non-Repeatable Hedonism Is False
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6 697-705. 2019.
    In a series of recent papers, Ben Bramble defends a version of hedonism which holds that purely repetitious pleasures add no value to one’s life (i.e. Non-Repeatable Hedonism). In this paper, we pose a dilemma for Non-Repeatable Hedonism. We argue that it is either committed both to a deeply implausible asymmetry between how pleasures and pains affect a person’s well-being and to deeply implausible claims about how to maximize well-being, or is committed to the claim that a life of eternal pleas…Read more
  •  903
    Effective Altruism’s Underspecification Problem
    In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues, Oxford University Press. pp. 166-183. 2019.
    Effective altruists either believe they ought to be, or strive to be, doing the most good they can. Since they’re human, however, effective altruists are invariably fallible. In numerous situations, even the most committed EAs would fail to live up to the ideal they set for themselves. This fact raises a central question about how to understand effective altruism. How should one’s future prospective failures at doing the most good possible affect the current choices one makes as an effective alt…Read more
  •  720
    Actualism, Possibilism, and the Nature of Consequentialism
    In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism, Oxford University Press. 2020.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics is about whether counterfactuals of freedom concerning what an agent would freely do if they were in certain circumstances even partly determines that agent’s obligations. This debate arose from an argument against the coherence of utilitarianism in the deontic logic literature. In this chapter, we first trace the historical origins of this debate and then examine actualism, possibilism, and securitism through the lens of consequentialism. After examini…Read more
  •  921
    The Problem with Person‐Rearing Accounts of Moral Status
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (2): 119-128. 2019.
    Agnieszka Jaworska and Julie Tannenbaum recently developed the ingenious and novel person‐rearing account of moral status, which preserves the commonsense judgment that humans have a higher moral status than nonhuman animals. It aims to vindicate speciesist judgments while avoiding the problems typically associated with speciesist views. We argue, however, that there is good reason to reject person‐rearing views. Person‐rearing views have to be coupled with an account of flourishing, which will …Read more
  •  783
    How to be an Actualist and Blame People
    Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 6. 2019.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics concerns the relationship between an agent’s free actions and her moral obligations. The actualist affirms, while the possibilist denies, that facts about what agents would freely do in certain circumstances partly determines that agent’s moral obligations. This paper assesses the plausibility of actualism and possibilism in light of desiderata about accounts of blameworthiness. This paper first argues that actualism cannot straightforwardly accommodate…Read more
  •  490
    This is a short reply to Dan Demetriou's "Ashes of Our Fathers: Racist Monuments and the Tribal Right." Both are included in Oxford University Press's Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues That Divide Us.
  •  164
    Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives is the first book to offer students the full breadth of philosophical issues that are raised by the end of life. Included are many of the essential voices that have contributed to the philosophy of death and dying throughout history and in contemporary research. The 38 chapters in its nine sections contain classic texts and new short argumentative essays, specially commission for this volume by world-leading con…Read more
  •  11906
    A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments
    In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us, Oxford University Press. pp. 513-522. 2020.
    A particularly important, pressing, philosophical question concerns whether Confederate monuments ought to be removed. More precisely, one may wonder whether a certain group, viz. the relevant government officials and members of the public who together can remove the Confederate monuments, are morally obligated to (of their own volition) remove them. Unfortunately, academic philosophers have largely ignored this question. This paper aims to help rectify this oversight by moral philosophers. In i…Read more
  •  1440
    A dilemma for Epicureanism
    Philosophical Studies 176 (1): 241-257. 2019.
    Perhaps death’s badness is an illusion. Epicureans think so and argue that agents cannot be harmed by death when they’re alive nor when they’re dead. I argue that each version of Epicureanism faces a fatal dilemma: it is either committed to a demonstrably false view about the relationship between self-regarding reasons and well-being or it is involved in a merely verbal dispute with deprivationism. I first provide principled reason to think that any viable view about the badness of death must al…Read more
  •  354
    Save (some of) the Children.
    Philosophia 46 (2): 465-472. 2018.
    In “Save the Children!” Artúrs Logins responds to my argument that, in certain cases, it is morally permissible to not prevent something bad from happening, even when one can do so without sacrificing something of comparable moral importance. Logins’ responses are thought-provoking, though I will argue that his critiques miss their mark. I rebut each of the responses offered by Logins. However, much of my focus will be on one of his criticisms which rests on an unfortunately common misunderstand…Read more
  •  238
    You're Probably Not Really A Speciesist
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4): 683-701. 2018.
    I defend the bold claim that self-described speciesists are not really speciesists. Of course, I do not deny that self-described speciesists would assent to generic speciesist claims (e.g. Humans matter more than animals). The conclusion I draw is more nuanced. My claim is that such generic speciesist beliefs are inconsistent with other, more deeply held, beliefs of self-described speciesists. Crucially, once these inconsistencies are made apparent, speciesists will reject the generic speciesist…Read more
  •  6544
    Peter Singer argues that we’re obligated to donate our entire expendable income to aid organizations. One premiss of his argument is "If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so." Singer defends this by noting that commonsense morality requires us to save a child we find drowning in a shallow pond. I argue that Singer’s Drowning Child thought experiment doesn’t justify this premiss. I offer my own Drow…Read more
  •  312
    Actualism Has Control Issues
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (3): 1-18. 2016.
    According to actualism, an agent ought to φ just in case what would happen if she were to φ is better than what would happen if she were to ~φ. We argue that actualism makes a morally irrelevant distinction between certain counterfactuals, given that an agent sometimes has the same kind of control over their truth-value. We then offer a substantive revision to actualism that avoids this morally irrelevant distinction by focusing on a certain kind of control that is available to an agent. Finally…Read more
  •  500
    Deprivationism cannot accommodate the common sense assumption that we should lament our death iff, and to the extent that, it is bad for us. Call this the Nothing Bad, Nothing to Lament Assumption. As such, either this assumption needs to be rejected or deprivationism does. I first argue that the Nothing Bad, Nothing to Lament Assumption is false. I then attempt to figure out which facts our attitudes concerning death should track. I suggest that each person should have two distinct attitudes to…Read more
  •  384
    A relatively new debate in ethics concerns the relationship between one's present obligations and how one would act in the future. One popular view is actualism, which holds that what an agent would do in the future affects her present obligations. Agent's future behavior is held fixed and the agent's present obligations are determined by what would be best to do now in light of how the agent would act in the future. Doug Portmore defends a new view he calls moral securitism, which is supposed t…Read more