My Research


I work primarily in ethics. My present research divides broadly into two areas:

Preference

Here I am interested primarily in two puzzles. The first is about explanation: a very attractive model of human behaviour explains all our choices as resulting from our preferences (what we want). How can this model be squared with the intuitive thought that we are sometimes moved by our ethical views? The second puzzle is about justification: a very attractive theory of rationality says that rational choices are those that satisfy our preferences. How can this theory of rationality be squared with the intuitive thought that we have reasons to be moral which are independent of our personal preferences? I aim to solve both of these puzzles by developing a theory of preference which treats our preferences as part of our ethical views, rather than as something external to them.

Disability and Wellbeing

Here, one issue that interests me is how we define "disability". For example, many think that obesity and hayfever are not disabilities. Is there any principled basis for this claim? More generally, is there anything that all disabilities have in common, or do our views about disability need to be reformed if they are to be principled? A related interest in this area is on the relationship between disability and wellbeing: Are disabilities by definition bad for people? If not, are they in fact normally bad for people? To what extent are the relevant harms mediated by social choice? I aim to resolve these issues by offering a theory of disability that defines disability with reference to contraints on liberty, and that connects questions about the harms of disability to broader questions about the value of liberty.

Papers
Reviews etc.
Selected works in progress
Email me if you'd like to see the most recent draft of any of the following.