Democracy and the black spider memos

The release of the ‘black spider memos’—Prince Charles’s letters to British government ministers and officials, recently made public by the Guardian—provide insights into the future reign of a meddlesome king. What they don’t do is threaten UK democracy. For them to do that, UK would have to be a democracy. Read more here.

OUP volume on Epistemic Consequentialism

Jeff Dunn and I will be signing a contract with Oxford University Press for an edited volume on epistemic consequentialism. The volume will feature papers by Clayton Littlejohn, Christopher Meacham, Michael Caie, Nancy Snow, Richard Pettigrew, Ralph Wedgewood, James Joyce, Hilary Kornblith, Julia Driver, Amanda MacAskill, Alejandro Perez Carballo, and Sophie Horowitz.

Must democracies hold elections?

The UK goes to the polls tomorrow. But do democracies really need to hold elections? If the point of elections is simply to find out what people want, why not simply predict what people want? Would our societies be any less democratic if we were to do so? Read more here.

Bifurcating Virtue in Noûs

Noûs will be publishing my paper “Against the Bifurcation of Virtue“. It rejects the distinction between character and faculty virtue, and argues that we should only postulate the latter.

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.

Should we really bar young people from voting?

When the UK goes to the polls in May, some 15 million people—more than the combined population of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—won’t be able to vote since they will be under 18. Is that defensible? I argue that it’s not, and that we have reason to reject any age restriction on voting, including a lowered one. Read more here.

Epistemic Paternalism Reviewed in NDPR

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