•  2656
    Procreative Beneficence and Genetic Enhancement
    Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (1): 75-92. 2018.
    Imagine a world where everyone is healthy, intelligent, long living and happy. Intuitively this seems wonderful albeit unrealistic. However, recent scientic breakthroughs in genetic engineering, namely CRISPR/Cas bring the question into public discourse, how the genetic enhancement of humans should be evaluated morally. In 2001, when preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), enabled parents to select between multiple embryos, Julian Savulescu introduced the princi…Read more
  •  694
    Existential Nihilism: The Only Really Serious Problem in Philosophy
    Journal of Camus Studies 2018 211-232. 2018.
    Since Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophers have grappled with the question of how to respond to nihilism. Nihilism, often seen as a derogative term for a ‘life-denying’, destructive and perhaps most of all depressive philosophy is what drove existentialists to write about the right response to a meaningless universe devoid of purpose. This latter diagnosis is what I shall refer to as existential nihilism, the denial of meaning and purpose, a view that not only existentialists but also a long line o…Read more
  •  653
    Cognitive Enhancement and the Threat of Inequality
    Journal of Cognitive Enhancement 2 1-7. 2018.
    As scientific progress approaches the point where significant human enhancements could become reality, debates arise whether such technologies should be made available. This paper evaluates the widespread concern that human enhancements will inevitably accentuate existing inequality and analyzes whether prohibition is the optimal public policy to avoid this outcome. Beyond these empirical questions, this paper considers whether the inequality objection is a sound argument against the set of enha…Read more
  •  602
  •  201
    Improving invertebrate welfare
    Animal Sentience 29 (4). 2020.
    Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue that it is wrong, both scientifically and morally, to dismiss the evidence for sentience in invertebrates. They do not offer any examples, however, of how their welfare should be considered or improved. We draw on animal welfare science to suggest some ways that would not be excessively demanding.
  •  191
    Drawing the boundaries of animal sentience
    Animal Sentience 13 (29). 2020.
    We welcome Mikhalevich & Powell’s (2020) (M&P) call for a more “‘inclusive”’ animal ethics, but we think their proposed shift toward a moral framework that privileges false positives over false negatives will require radically revising the paradigm assumption in animal research: that there is a clear line to be drawn between sentient beings that are part of our moral community and nonsentient beings that are not.
  •  154
    Enhancement technologies and inequality
    Proceedings of the IX Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. 2018.
    Recognizing the variety of dystopian science-fiction novels and movies, from Brave New World to Gattaca and more recently Star Trek, on the future of humanity in which eugenic policies are implemented, genetic engineering has been getting a bad reputation for valid but arguably, mostly historical reasons. In this paper, I critically examine the claim from Mehlman & Botkin (1998: ch. 6) that human enhancement will inevitably accentuate existing inequality in a free market and analyze whether proh…Read more
  •  131
    Is Humane Slaughter Possible?
    Animals 10 (5): 799. 2020.
    One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter animals, to minimise the harm done during this process. In this paper, we take a philosophical look at what it means to perform slaughter humanely, beyond simply reducing pain and suffering during the slaughter process. In particular, we will examine t…Read more
  •  122
    Imagine a world where everyone is healthy, intelligent, long living and happy. Intuitively this seems wonderful, albeit unrealistic. However, recent scientific developments in genetic engineering, namely CRISPR/Cas bring the question into public discourse, how the genetic enhancement of humans should be evaluated morally.
  •  110
    This paper constitutes a radical departure from the existing philosophical literature on models, modeling-practices, and model-based science. I argue that the various entities and practices called 'models' and 'modeling-practices' are too diverse, too context-sensitive, and serve too many scientific purposes and roles, as to allow for a general philosophical analysis. From this recognition an alternative view emerges that I shall dub model anarchism.
  •  88
    What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to be sick? These two questions are much closer to one another than has hitherto been acknowledged. Indeed, both raise a number of related, albeit very complex, philosophical problems. In recent years, the phenomenology of health and disease has become a major topic in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, owing much to the work of Havi Carel (2007, 2011, 2018). Surprisingly little attention, however, has been given to the phenomenology of animal …Read more
  •  71
    Freedom and animal welfare
    with Heather Browning
    Animals 4 (11): 1148. 2021.
    The keeping of captive animals in zoos and aquariums has long been controversial. Many take freedom to be a crucial part of animal welfare and, on these grounds, criticise all forms of animal captivity as harmful to animal welfare, regardless of their provisions. Here, we analyse what it might mean for freedom to matter to welfare, distinguishing between the role of freedom as an intrinsic good, valued for its own sake and an instrumental good, its value arising from the increased ability to pro…Read more
  •  38
    Model Pluralism
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2): 91-114. 2019.
    This paper introduces and defends an account of model-based science that I dub model pluralism. I argue that despite a growing awareness in the philosophy of science literature of the multiplicity, diversity, and richness of models and modeling practices, more radical conclusions follow from this recognition than have previously been inferred. Going against the tendency within the literature to generalize from single models, I explicate and defend the following two core theses: any successful an…Read more
  •  31
    Evolution of multicellularity: cheating done right
    Biology and Philosophy 34 (3): 34. 2019.
    For decades Darwinian processes were framed in the form of the Lewontin conditions: reproduction, variation and differential reproductive success were taken to be sufficient and necessary. Since Buss and the work of Maynard Smith and Szathmary biologists were eager to explain the major transitions from individuals to groups forming new individuals subject to Darwinian mechanisms themselves. Explanations that seek to explain the emergence of a new level of selection, however, cannot employ proper…Read more
  •  30
    Correction to: Evolution of multicellularity: cheating done right
    Biology and Philosophy 35 (1): 1-2. 2020.
    The author would like to notify the readers about the following.
  •  30
    If one had to identify the biggest change within the philosophical tradition in the 21st century, it would certainly be the rapid rise of experimental philosophy to address differences in intuitions about concepts. Yet, it is within the philosophy of medicine that one particular conceptual debate has overshadowed all others: the long-standing dispute between so-called ‘naturalists’ and ‘normativists’ about the concepts of health and disease. It is, therefore, surprising that the philosophy of me…Read more
  •  28
    Biological normativity: a new hope for naturalism?
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2): 291-301. 2021.
    Since Boorse [Philos Sci 44:542–573, 1977] published his paper “Health as a theoretical concept” one of the most lively debates within philosophy of medicine has been on the question of whether health and disease are in some sense ‘objective’ and ‘value-free’ or ‘subjective’ and ‘value-laden’. Due to the apparent ‘failure’ of pure naturalist, constructivist, or normativist accounts, much in the recent literature has appealed to more conciliatory approaches or so-called ‘hybrid accounts’ of healt…Read more
  •  24
    As a result of the world-wide COVID-19 epidemic, an internal tension in the goals of medicine has come to the forefront of public debate. Medical professionals are continuously faced with a tug of...
  •  24
    Representing the Autism Spectrum
    American Journal of Bioethics 20 (4): 46-48. 2020.
    Volume 20, Issue 4, May 2020, Page 46-48.
  •  24
    This paper addresses what we consider to be the most pressing challenge for the emerging science of consciousness: the measurement problem of consciousness. That is, by what methods can we determine the presence of and properties of consciousness? Most methods are currently developed through evaluation of the presence of consciousness in humans and here we argue that there are particular problems in application of these methods to non-human cases - what we call the indicator validity problem and…Read more
  •  22
    Model diversity and the embarrassment of riches
    Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (3): 291-303. 2021.
    In a recent special issue dedicated to the work of Dani Rodrik, Grüne-Yanoff and Marchionni [. Modeling model selection in model pluralism. Journal of Economic Methodology, 25, 265–275. ht...
  •  21
    In this essay, we discuss Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul from an interdisciplinary perspective. Constituting perhaps the longest treatise on the evolution of consciousness, Ginsburg and Jablonka unite their expertise in neuroscience and biology to develop a beautifully Darwinian account of the dawning of subjective experience. Though it would be impossible to cover all its content in a short book review, here we provide a critical evaluation of their two k…Read more
  •  18
    Correction to: Evolution of multicellularity: cheating done right
    Biology and Philosophy 35 (1): 1-2. 2020.
    The author would like to notify the readers about the following.
  •  18
    Recognizing the Diversity of Cognitive Enhancements
    with Brian D. Earp, Nadira Faber, Nick Bostrom, Justin Caouette, Adriano Mannino, Lucius Caviola, Anders Sandberg, and Julian Savulescu
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (4): 250-253. 2020.
  •  17
    Metaphors in arts and science
    with Ney Milan
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2): 1-24. 2021.
    Metaphors abound in both the arts and in science. Due to the traditional division between these enterprises as one concerned with aesthetic values and the other with epistemic values there has unfortunately been very little work on the relation between metaphors in the arts and sciences. In this paper, we aim to remedy this omission by defending a continuity thesis regarding the function of metaphor across both domains, that is, metaphors fulfill any of the same functions in science as they do i…Read more
  •  17
    The rationale of rationalization
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43. 2020.
    While we agree in broad strokes with the characterisation of rationalization as a “useful fiction,” we think that Fiery Cushman's claim remains ambiguous in two crucial respects: the reality of beliefs and desires, that is, the fictional status of folk-psychological entities and the degree to which they should be understood as useful. Our aim is to clarify both points and explicate the rationale of rationalization.
  •  15
    Why Socio-Political Beliefs Trump Individual Morality: An Evolutionary Perspective
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (4): 290-292. 2020.
  •  15
    Are Generational Welfare Trades Always Unjust?
    with Julian Savulescu, David Hunter, Brian D. Earp, and Dominic Wilkinson
    American Journal of Bioethics 20 (9): 70-72. 2020.
    Volume 20, Issue 9, September 2020, Page 70-72.