•  8286
    Moral Skepticism and Justification
    In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Mark Timmons (eds.), Moral Knowledge? New Readings in Moral Epistemology, Oxford University Press. 1996.
  •  977
    It's Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations
    In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Richard Howarth (eds.), Perspectives on Climate Change, Elsevier. 2005.
    A survey of various candidates shows that there is no defensible moral principle that shows that individuals have an obligation to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  779
    Practical Interests, Relevant Alternatives, and Knowledge Attributions: An Empirical Study
    with Joshua May, Jay G. Hull, and Aaron Zimmerman
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2). 2010.
    In defending his interest-relative account of knowledge in Knowledge and Practical Interests (2005), Jason Stanley relies heavily on intuitions about several bank cases. We experimentally test the empirical claims that Stanley seems to make concerning our common-sense intuitions about these bank cases. Additionally, we test the empirical claims that Jonathan Schaffer seems to make in his critique of Stanley. We argue that our data impugn what both Stanley and Schaffer claim our intuitions about…Read more
  •  594
    I’m not the person I used to be: The self and autobiographical memories of immoral actions
    with Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, Vijeth Iyengar, and Felipe De Brigard
    Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 146 (6): 884-895. 2017.
    People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a positive identity. For memories of lying to or emotionally harming others, participants judge their own actions as less morally wrong and less negative th…Read more
  •  468
    Insanity Defenses
    with Ken Levy
    In John Deigh & David Dolinko (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of the Criminal Law, Oxford University Press. pp. 299--334. 2011.
    We explicate and evaluate arguments both for and against the insanity defense itself, different versions of the insanity defense (M'Naghten, Model Penal Code, and Durham (or Product)), the Irresistible Impulse rule, and various reform proposals.
  •  392
    Are moral judgments unified?
    with Thalia Wheatley
    Philosophical Psychology 27 (4): 451-474. 2014.
    No abstract
  •  325
    Responsibility for forgetting
    with Samuel Murray, Elise D. Murray, Gregory Stewart, and Felipe De Brigard
    Philosophical Studies 176 (5): 1177-1201. 2019.
    In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward p…Read more
  •  314
  •  275
    Expressivism and embedding
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3): 677-693. 2000.
    Expressivism faces four distinct problems when evaluative sentences are embedded in unassertive contexts like: If lying is wrong, getting someone to lie is wrong, Lying is wrong, so Getting someone to lie is wrong. The initial problem is to show that expressivism is compatible with - being valid. The basic problem is for expressivists to explain why evaluative instances of modus ponens are valid. The deeper problem is to explain why a particular argument like - is valid. The deepest problem is t…Read more
  •  268
    Moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments
    with Fiery Cushman and Joshua Knobe
    Cognition 108 (2): 353-380. 2008.
    An extensive body of research suggests that the distinction between doing and allowing plays a critical role in shaping moral appraisals. Here, we report evidence from a pair of experiments suggesting that the converse is also true: moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments. Specifically, morally bad behavior is more likely to be construed as actively ‘doing’ than as passively ‘allowing’. This finding adds to a growing list of folk concepts influenced by moral appraisal, including causati…Read more
  •  264
    Begging the question
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (2). 1999.
    No topic in informal logic is more important than begging the question. Also, none is more subtle or complex. We cannot even begin to understand the fallacy of begging the question without getting clear about arguments, their purposes, and circularity. So I will discuss these preliminary topics first. This will clear the path to my own account of begging the question. Then I will anticipate some objections. Finally, I will apply my account to a well-known and popular response to scepticism by G.…Read more
  •  238
    A Solution to Forrester's Paradox of Gentle Murder
    Journal of Philosophy 82 (3): 162-168. 1985.
  •  219
    Some ethics of deep brain stimulation
    In Dan Stein & Ilina Singh (eds.), Global Mental Health and Neuroethics, . pp. 117-132. 2020.
    Case reports about patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for various motor and psychiatric disorders - including Parkinson’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Treatment Resistant Depression - have sparked a vast literature in neuroethics. Questions about whether and how DBS changes the self have been at the fore. The present chapter brings these neuroethical debates into conversation with recent research in moral psychology. We begin in Section 1 by reviewing the recent clin…Read more
  •  213
    Moral intuitionism meets empirical psychology
    In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore, Oxford University Press. 2006.
  •  197
    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that…Read more
  •  191
    Is moral phenomenology unified?
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1): 85-97. 2008.
    In this short paper, I argue that the phenomenology of moral judgment is not unified across different areas of morality (involving harm, hierarchy, reciprocity, and impurity) or even across different relations to harm. Common responses, such as that moral obligations are experienced as felt demands based on a sense of what is fitting, are either too narrow to cover all moral obligations or too broad to capture anything important and peculiar to morality. The disunity of moral phenomenology is, n…Read more
  •  189
    Mixed-up meta-ethics
    Philosophical Issues 19 (1): 235-256. 2009.
    My topic is the old debate between moral realists and moral expressivists. Although I will eventually adopt a Pyrrhonian position, as usual, my main goal is neither to argue for this position nor to resolve this debate but only to explore some new options that mix together realism and expressivism in various ways. Nothing that I say will be conclusive, but I hope that some of it will be suggestive.
  •  189
    Is Morality Unified? Evidence that Distinct Neural Systems Underlie Moral Judgments of Harm, Dishonesty, and Disgust.
    with Carolyn Parkinson, Philipp E. Koralus, Angela Mendelovici, Victoria McGeer, 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
  •  187
    Moral Dilemmas and Incomparability
    American Philosophical Quarterly 22 (4). 1985.
    The author defines moral dilemmas as situations where there is a moral requirement for an agent to adopt each of two alternatives, And the agent cannot adopt both, But neither moral requirement overrides the other. The author then argues that moral dilemmas are possible because conflicting moral requirements can be either symmetrical or incomparable in a way that is limited enough to be plausible but still strong enough to yield moral dilemmas
  •  185
    Moral Skepticisms
    Oxford University Press. 2006.
    All contentious moral issues--from gay marriage to abortion and affirmative action--raise difficult questions about the justification of moral beliefs. How can we be justified in holding on to our own moral beliefs while recognizing that other intelligent people feel quite differently and that many moral beliefs are distorted by self-interest and by corrupt cultures? Even when almost everyone agrees--e.g. that experimental surgery without consent is immoral--can we know that such beliefs are tru…Read more
  •  185
    Neuroprediction, violence, and the law: setting the stage
    with Thomas Nadelhoffer, Stephanos Bibas, Scott Grafton, Kent A. Kiehl, Andrew Mansfield, and Michael Gazzaniga
    Neuroethics 5 (1): 67-99. 2012.
    In this paper, our goal is to survey some of the legal contexts within which violence risk assessment already plays a prominent role, explore whether developments in neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict violence, and discuss whether neuropredictive models of violence create any unique legal or moral problems above and beyond the well worn problems already associated with prediction more generally. In Violence Risk Assessment and the Law, we briefly examine the…Read more
  •  176
    An argument for consequentialism
    Philosophical Perspectives 6 399-421. 1992.
  •  170
    A contrastivist manifesto
    Social Epistemology 22 (3). 2008.
    General contrastivism holds that all claims of reasons are relative to contrast classes. This approach applies to explanation (reasons why things happen), moral philosophy (reasons for action), and epistemology (reasons for belief), and it illuminates moral dilemmas, free will, and the grue paradox. In epistemology, contrast classes point toward an account of justified belief that is compatible with reliabilism and other externalisms. Contrast classes also provide a model for Pyrrhonian sceptici…Read more
  •  169
    `Ought' conversationally implies `can'
    Philosophical Review 93 (2): 249-261. 1984.
  •  165
    AI Methods in Bioethics
    with Joshua August Skorburg and Vincent Conitzer
    American Journal of Bioethics: Empirical Bioethics 1 (11): 37-39. 2020.
    Commentary about the role of AI in bioethics for the 10th anniversary issue of AJOB: Empirical Bioethics
  •  164
    Moral Dilemmas
    Blackwell. 1988.
    A strong tradition in philosophy denies the possibility of moral dilemmas. Recently, several philosophers reversed this tradition. In this dissertation, I clarify some fundamental issues in this debate, argue for the possibility of moral dilemmas, and determine some implications of this possibility. ;In chapter I, I define moral dilemmas roughly as situations where an agent morally ought to adopt each of two alternatives but cannot adopt both. Moral dilemmas are resolvable if and only if one of …Read more
  •  163
    What’s Wrong with Joyguzzling?
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1): 169-186. 2018.
    Our thesis is that there is no moral requirement to refrain from emitting reasonable amounts of greenhouse gases solely in order to enjoy oneself. Joyriding in a gas guzzler provides our paradigm example. We first distinguish this claim that there is no moral requirement to refrain from joyguzzling from other more radical claims. We then review several different proposed objections to our view. These include: the claim that joyguzzling exemplifies a vice, causes or contributes to harm, has negat…Read more
  •  147
    Neurolaw and Neuroprediction: Potential Promises and Perils
    Philosophy Compass 7 (9): 631-642. 2012.
    Neuroscience has been proposed for use in the legal system for purposes of mind reading, assessment of responsibility, and prediction of misconduct. Each of these uses has both promises and perils, and each raises issues regarding the admissibility of neuroscientific evidence.
  •  142
    Modality, Morality and Belief: Essays in Honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus (edited book)
    with Ruth Barcan Marcus, Diana Raffman, and Nicholas Asher
    Cambridge University Press. 1994.
    Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic…Read more