Research

 

For a full list of papers, see my Academia profile.

 

2018

 

Why Maximize Expected Choice-Worthiness?

Nous, 2018

This paper argues in favor of a particular account of decision-making under normative uncertainty: that, when it is possible to do so, one should maximize expected choice-worthiness.

 

Giving isn’t demanding

Paul Woodruff (ed.), The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 178-203 (co-written with Andreas Mogensen and Toby Ord)

In this chapter, we argue that a Very Weak Principle of Sacrifice, requiring us to give 10% of our income to cost-effective charities, is not very demanding at all, and therefore that the “demandingness” objection has not even pro tanto force against it. Whatever one thinks about the demandingness of Singer’s two proposed principles, one should therefore endorse the Very Weak Principle of Sacrifice and agree that we still have significant obligations to use our income to effectively improve the lives of others.


2017

GPI - Research Agenda

Global Priorities Institute, 2017, co-authored with Hilary Greaves

In this research agenda, we outline the landscape for global priorities research.

 

Effective Altruism - Introduction

Essays in Philosophy, vol. 18, Issue 1 (2017)

I define effective altruism, and introduce essays related to the concepts in the journal.


2016

Normative Uncertainty as a Voting Problem

Mind, vol. 125, no. 500 (October, 2016), pp. 967-1004

I develop an analogy between decision-making under normative uncertainty and the problem of social choice, and then argue that the Borda Rule provides the best way of making decisions in the face of merely ordinal theories and intertheoretic incomparability.

 

Smokers, Psychos, and Decision-Theoretic Uncertainty

The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 113, no. 9 (September, 2016), pp. 1-21

I argue that meta decision theory has two important implications. First, it can explain the apparent divergence in our intuitions between the Standard Predictor, The Smoking Lesion, and The Psychopath Button. Second, it undermines both the intuitive argument in favor of EDT and, to some extent, the “Why Ain’cha Rich?” argument as well.


2014

Replaceability, Career Choice, and Making a Difference

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, vol. 17, no. 2 (April, 2014), pp. 269-283

I defend the idea that deliberately pursuing a lucrative career in order to donate a large proportion of one's earnings is typically ethically preferable to a career within the charity sector.

 

Normative Uncertainty

PhD dissertation, March 2014

What ought you to do when you don't know what you ought to do? I argue broadly in favour of the idea that we should treat moral uncertainty and empirical uncertainty analogously, with expected utility theory providing the correct formal framework. I provide some modifications to this idea in order to overcome some problems, and then chart its implications for practical ethics and decision theory.


2013

The Infectiousness of Nihilism

Ethics, vol. 123, no. 3 (April, 2013), pp. 508-520

I introduce a new problem for 'maximise expected value' accounts of decision-making under moral uncertainty: that, given non-zero credence in theories that posit large amounts of incomparability, the expected value of almost all options is undefined.