Currently, my largest project is a book that I'm co-authoring with Rob Streiffer entitled Our Relationships with Animals. The book aims to make significant contributions in both normative ethics and in animal ethics. We advance a new general theory about the moral significance of relationships and then we apply this theory to some of the most hotly debated problems in animal ethics. You can read a little bit about what we're up to in this document containing an overview and chapter summaries.
Here are some of my recent and not-so-recent papers. Most of the papers below are either under review or already published. For a more complete listing of my output along with some of my works in progress, check out my CV.
Three and a Half Ways to a Hybrid View in Animal Ethics (w/Rob Streiffer)
Provisionally forthcoming in a special issue of Philosophical Studies
We develop a new characterization of Nozickian hybrid views and explore several new ways of developing and defending views of this type. (This paper is intended for a special issue of Philosophical Studies that I am currently co-editing with Richard Rowland.)
PDF coming soon
What is Activism? (w/Richard Rowland)
We develop a new account of the nature of activism according to which activism is a distinctive form of political communication.
The Ethics of Deliberate Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to Induce Immunity (w/Rob Streiffer and Richard Chappell)
We explore consequentialist and non-consequentialist arguments for allowing consenting adults to arrange to be exposed to a deadly virus in order to induce immunity.
Omnivores Have Many Children
I argue that omnivores are, in a moral sense, parents of farmed animals who come into existence as a causal consequence of omnivores' consumer choices, and I use this as a premise in an argument for the view that omnivorism is seriously wrong.
An Occasionalist Response to Korman and Locke
Forthcoming in Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy
I show that an important recent critique of metaethical non-naturalism is undermined by the possibility of what I call moral occasionalism.
I propose a new kind of ethical pluralism.
Causal Impotence and Veganism: Recent Philosophical Developments and New Ways Forward
Forthcoming in Wright (ed.), Routledge Companion to Vegan Studies
I explain some of the recent discussion in animal ethics about the so-called "causal impotence problem," consider a version of this problem for veganism as a social movement, and sketch a few ideas about how ethical vegans should respond to the problem. (This paper is intended for a Routledge handbook on veganism edited by Laura Wright.)
Utilitarianism about Animals and the Moral Significance of Use (w/Rob Streiffer)
Philosophical Studies (2020)
We show how utilitarians can use a Nozickian hybrid view in order to accommodate commonsense intuitions about the moral significance of human use of non-human animals.
Infinitism about Cross-Domain Conflict
Oxford Studies in Metaethics (2019)
I develop an infinitist kind of normative domain pluralism.
Animal Confinement and Use (w/Rob Streiffer)
Canadian Journal of Philosophy (2019)
We show that connections between confinement and use can help to explain how confinement of animals in zoos, laboratories, and farms can be morally significant and can generate special obligations.
A Demarcation Problem for Political Discourse (w/Jonathan Lang and Bekka Williams)
in Crookston, Killoren, and Trerise (eds.), Ethics in Politics: The Rights and Obligations of Individual Political Agents (Routledge 2017)
We offer a tentative case for an extreme inclusivism about political discourse according to which voters should be prepared to consider each and every candidate whose election is practically possible. (This paper appeared in an edited volume on political ethics that I co-edited with Emily Crookston and Jonathan Trerise.)
Why Care About Moral Fixed Points?
Analytic Philosophy (2016)
I argue that Cuneo and Shafer-Landau's 'moral fixed points' hypothesis fails to be a genuine form of metaethical non-naturalism and, more seriously, threatens to drain morality of its normative significance.
Robust Moral Realism: An Excellent Religion
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (2016)
I argue that, because robust non-naturalist moral realism requires a certain kind of faith in the existence of a moral reality that lies beyond the natural world, it counts as a religion. But that's fine because it's an excellent religion.
Group Agency and Overdetermination (w/Bekka Williams)
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (2013)
We argue that group agents exist and can act wrongly even when none of the individuals who constitute the group agent have acted wrongly.
Moral Intuitions, Reliability, and Disagreement
Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy (2010)
I try to defend moral intuitions against an argument from disagreement.