Category Archives: Articles

Tuck on the Rationality of Voting: A Critical Note

Some of you may be familiar with Richard Tuck’s recent book Free Riding. It’s a fascinating and valuable work, but I think much of the central argument, especially about the rationality of voting, is deeply flawed. Anyways, here’s a link to my short critical note on Tuck at JESP: Tuck on the Rationality of Voting: A Critical Note.

Posted in Articles, Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Democratic Peace is Not Democratic: On Behalf of Rawls’s Decent Societies.

Hello everyone,

The democratic peace is secured not simply (if at all) through explicitly democratic institutions as such, but through a number of social and political norms and institutions commonly associated with democracies. In The Law of Peoples, John Rawls claims that the conditions that secure the peace between democracies can be found in his non-democratic, non-liberal ‘decent’ societies too. I argue that the situation is more complex than Rawls suggests, but that he is still largely correct. Since decent societies pose no special threat to global peace, the democratic peace thesis does not justify efforts to democratize them. This argument is part of Rawls’s larger defense of decent societies. read more...

Posted in Articles, Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Journal of Moral Philosophy 6(2) (2009)

Posted in Articles, Journals, Notices | Leave a comment

Tanner Lectures

An online library of Tanner lectures is up at the University of Utah.

Posted in Academia, Articles, Notices | Leave a comment

The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights

Fellow Public Reasoners,

I recently posted an essay, “The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights,” on the Social Science Research Network (at As you can see from the summary below, the argument amounts to a very radical critique of human rights. This has left me wondering: have I missed something obvious? Needless to say, I’d appreciate any thoughts you may have.



With the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the idea of human rights came into its own on the world stage. More than anything, the Declaration was a response to the Holocaust, to both its perpetrators and the failure of the rest of the world adequately to come to the aid of its victims. Since that year, however, we have seen many more cases of mass murder. Think of China, Bali, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and now Darfur. Of course one could always claim that such horrors would have been even more frequent if not for the Declaration. But I want to argue otherwise. For I believe that human rights have contributed to making mass murder more, rather than less, likely. read more...

Posted in Articles, Discussion, Posts | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Journal of Moral Philosophy 6(1) (2009)

Journal of Moral Philosophy 6(1) (2009)

JOURNAL OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY: An International Journal of Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy
(ISSN 1740-4681)

* Note: the JMP is now quarterly from 2009 *

Volume 6, Number 1 (2009)



Daniel Nolan, ‘Consequentialism and Side Constraints’, pp. 5-22

Maria Merritt, ‘Aristotelian Virtue and the Interpersonal Aspect of Ethical Character’, pp. 23-49

Liezl van Zyl, ‘Agent-based Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Action Guidance’, pp. 50-69

Sterling Lynch, ‘The Fact of Diversity and Reasonable Pluralism’, pp. 70-93

Yuval Eylon, ‘Just Threats’, pp. 94-108

Posted in Articles, Journals, Notices | Leave a comment