Blind Deference in PPR

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research will be publishing my paper “The Social Virtue of Blind Deference“. The paper argues that, under certain circumstances, someone soaking up everything he or she is told without any hesitation can qualify as epistemically virtuous, and that accounting for the relevant virtue requires abandoning virtue epistemology’s focus on virtue as a matter of factors internal to the psychology of the individual agent.

Epistemic Paternalism Reviewed in NDPR

Michael Bishop has a really generous and constructive review of my book Epistemic Paternalism: A Defence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

“In Character” video with Nate King

The Character Project at Wake Forest University just posted their first “In Character” video, featuring Nate King (Whitworth) and I talking to each other about our respective research on intellectual virtue.

Arbitrary lines and the age of consent

Legal age restrictions — be it on voting, drinking, driving or having consensual sex — are sometimes criticised for being arbitrary. Some of these critiques are philosophically confused. I explain why with reference to a recent discussion on the Guardian‘s Politics Weekly podcast, occasioned by a 1979 Home Office report on the age of consent recently obtained by that newspaper.

Intellectual Deference in Episteme

Episteme will be publishing my paper “Procedural Justice and the Problem of Intellectual Deference“. The paper considers contexts where educators attempt to teach students how to avoid bias, and argues that the problem of people failing to heed such advice on account of overconfidence can be solved in two steps, the second of which involves educators communicating their intellectual advice in a procedurally just manner.

Does being an expert on something make you an expert on the ethics of that thing?

IVF pioneer Robert Winston recently suggested that fertility treatments might “threaten our humanity”. Phillippa Taylor of the Christian Medical Fellowship later told the Daily Mail: “If Lord Winston is saying this, I hope that people take notice. He is someone who is an expert in the area but also someone who sees the bigger picture.” But does being an expert on something really make you an expert on the ethics of that thing? I argue that it doesn’t.

Interview on “New Books in Philosophy”

Robert Talisse recently interviewed me for New Books in Philosophy about my book Epistemic Paternalism: A Defence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). You can listen to the interview here.