•  140
    Autistic self-awareness: Comment
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (3): 235-251. 2004.
  •  37
    XV—Intelligent Capacities
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. forthcoming.
    In The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle argued that a more sophisticated understanding of the dispositional nature of ‘intelligent capacities’ could bolster philosophical resistance to the tempting view that the human mind is possessed of metaphysically ‘occult’ powers and properties. This temptation is powerful in the context of accounting for the special qualities of responsible agency. Incompatibilists indulge the temptation; compatibilists resist it, using a variety of strategies. One recen…Read more
  •  161
    Is Morality Unified? Evidence that Distinct Neural Systems Underlie Moral Judgments of Harm, Dishonesty, and Disgust.
    with Carolyn Parkinson, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Philipp E. Koralus, Angela Mendelovici, and Thalia Wheatley
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23 (10): 3162-3180. 2011.
    Much recent research has sought to uncover the neural basis of moral judgment. However, it has remained unclear whether "moral judgments" are sufficiently homogenous to be studied scientifically as a unified category. We tested this assumption by using fMRI to examine the neural correlates of moral judgments within three moral areas: (physical) harm, dishonesty, and (sexual) disgust. We found that the judgment ofmoral wrongness was subserved by distinct neural systems for each of the different m…Read more
  •  29
    The Value of Reactive Attitudes: Critical Response to Christine Tappolet's Emotions, Values and Agency
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2): 512-519. 2018.
  •  49
    The Desirability and Feasibility of Restorative Justice
    with Philip Pettit
    Raisons Politiques 57 17-33. 2015.
  • The Meaning of Living Languages
    Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada). 1991.
    In the philosophies of language and mind, "externalists" argue that the meanings of words and the contents of beliefs are determined by factors external to individual agents. "Social" externalists emphasize that the meaning-determining features of an individual's environment include what others say and do. "Physical" or "perceptual" externalists disagree, arguing that basic constraints on meaning are set by an individual's history of causal interactions with her physical environment. Communicati…Read more
  •  29
    The Empowering Theory of Trust
    In Paul Faulkner & Thomas W. Simpson (eds.), The Philosophy of Trust, Oxford University Press. pp. 14-34. 2017.
  •  164
    The Hard Problem of Responsibility
    In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press. 2013.
  •  29
    The problem of error: A surd spot in rational intentionalism
    Philosophia 21 (3-4): 295-309. 1992.
  •  144
  •  137
    The broad issue in this paper is the relationship between cognitive psychology and neuroscience. That issue arises particularly sharply for cognitive neurospsychology, some of whose practitioners claim a methodological autonomy for their discipline. They hold that behavioural data from neuropsychological impairments are sufficient to justify assumptions about the underlying modular structure of human cognitive architecture, as well as to make inferences about its various components. But this cla…Read more
  •  85
    The trouble with Mary
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4): 384-393. 2003.
  •  89
    The regulative dimension of folk psychology
    In Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed, Kluwer/springer Press. pp. 137--156. 2007.
  •  35
    The Skill of Perceiving Persons
    Modern Schoolman 86 (3-4): 289-318. 2009.
  •  68
    The Art of Good Hope
    Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1): 100--127. 2004.
    What is hope? Though variously characterized as a cognitive attitude, an emotion, a disposition, and even a process or activity, hope, more deeply, a unifying and grounding force of human agency. We cannot live a human life without hope, therefore questions about the rationality of hope are properly recast as questions about what it means to hope well. This thesis is defended and elaborated as follows. First, it is argued that hope is an essential and distinctive feature of human agency, both co…Read more
  •  191
    Trust, hope and empowerment
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2). 2008.
    Philosophers and social scientists have focussed a great deal of attention on our human capacity to trust, but relatively little on the capacity to hope. This is a significant oversight, as hope and trust are importantly interconnected. This paper argues that, even though trust can and does feed our hopes, it is our empowering capacity to hope that significantly underwrites—and makes rational—our capacity to trust.
  •  58
    Developing trust
    Philosophical Explorations 5 (1). 2002.
    This paper examines developing trust in two related senses: (1) rationally overcoming distrust, and (2) developing a mature capacity for trusting/distrusting. In focussing exclusively on the first problem, traditional philosophical discussions fail to address how an evidence- based paradigm of rationality is easily co-opted by (immature) agents in support of irrational distrust (or trust) - a manifestation of the second problem. Well-regulated trust requires developing a capacity to tolerate the…Read more
  •  26
    Developing trust on the Internet
    Analyse & Kritik 26 (1): 91-107. 2004.
    Does the Internet provide an environment in which rational individuals can initiate and maintain relationships of interpersonal trust? This paper argues that it does. It begins by examining distinctive challenges facing would-be trusters on the net, concluding that, however distinctive, such challenges are not unique to the Internet, so cannot be cited as grounds for disparaging the rationality of Internet trust. Nevertheless, these challenges point up the importance of developing mature capacit…Read more
  •  110
    In philosophy, the last thirty years or so has seen a split between 'simulation theorists' and 'theory-theorists', with a number of variations on each side. In general, simulation theorists favour the idea that our knowledge of others is based on using ourselves as a working model of what complex psychological creatures are like. Theory-theorists claim that our knowledge of complex psychological creatures, including ourselves, is theoretical in character and so more like our knowledge of the wor…Read more
  •  138
    This paper is divided into two parts. In Section 1, I explore and defend a “regulative view” of folk-psychology as against the “standard view”. On the regulative view, folk-psychology is conceptualized in fundamentally interpersonal terms as a “mind-making” practice through which we come to form and regulate our minds in accordance with a rich array of socially shared and socially maintained sense-making norms. It is not, as the standard view maintains, simply an epistemic capacity for coming to…Read more
  •  46
    Although I am broadly in sympathy with Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) version of social constructivism, I raise two issues they might address. One bears on the question of how social understanding develops: Is their resistance to individualism inappropriately combined with a resistance to internalism? A second question concerns a more radical implication of their view for what social understanding is.
  •  2
    Civilizing blame
    In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms, Oxford University Press. pp. 162--188. 2013.
  •  38
    Building a better theory of responsibility
    Philosophical Studies 172 (10): 2635-2649. 2015.
    In Building Better Beings, Vargas develops and defends a naturalistic account of responsibility, whereby responsible agents must possess a feasibly situated capacity to detect and respond to moral considerations. As a preliminary step, he also offers a substantive account of how we might justify our practices of holding responsible—viz., by appeal to their efficacy in fostering a ‘valuable form of agency’ across the community at large, a form of agency that precisely encompasses sensitivity to m…Read more
  •  11
    Die Kunst des guten Hoffens
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (1): 105-133. 2012.
  •  16
    Belief and Meaning by Akeel Bilgrami (review)
    Journal of Philosophy 91 (8): 430-439. 1994.
  •  32
    ‘Optimistic’ normative theories of criminal justice aim to justify criminal sanction in terms of its reprobative/rehabilitative value rather than its punitive nature as such. But do such theories accord with ordinary intuitions about what constitutes a ‘just’ response to wrongdoing? Recent empirical work on the psychology of punishers suggests that human beings have a ‘brutely retributive’ moral psychology, making them unlikely to endorse normative theories that sacrifice retribution for the sak…Read more