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Michael Garnett
Birkbeck College
  1. Coercion: The Wrong and the Bad.Michael Garnett - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):545-573.
    The idea of coercion is one that has played, and continues to play, at least two importantly distinct moral-theoretic roles in our thinking. One, which has been the focus of a number of recent influential treatments, is a primarily deontic role in which claims of coercion serve to indicate relatively weighty prima facie wrongs and excuses. The other, by contrast, is a primarily axiological or eudaimonic role in which claims of coercion serve to pick out instances of some distinctive kind (...)
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    How Payment For Research Participation Can Be Coercive.Joseph Millum & Michael Garnett - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (9):21-31.
    The idea that payment for research participation can be coercive appears widespread among research ethics committee members, researchers, and regulatory bodies. Yet analysis of the concept of coercion by philosophers and bioethicists has mostly concluded that payment does not coerce, because coercion necessarily involves threats, not offers. In this article we aim to resolve this disagreement by distinguishing between two distinct but overlapping concepts of coercion. Consent-undermining coercion marks out certain actions as impermissible and certain agreements as unenforceable. By contrast, (...)
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  3. Agency and Inner Freedom.Michael Garnett - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):3-23.
    This paper concerns the relationship between two questions. The first is a question about inner freedom: What is it to be rendered unfree, not by external obstacles, but by aspects of oneself? The second is a question about agency: What is it to fail at being a thing that genuinely acts, and instead to be a thing that is merely acted upon, passive in relation to its own behaviour? It is widely believed that answers to the first question must rest (...)
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  4. The Autonomous Life: A Pure Social View.Michael Garnett - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):143-158.
    In this paper I propose and develop a social account of global autonomy. On this view, a person is autonomous simply to the extent to which it is difficult for others to subject her to their wills. I argue that many properties commonly thought necessary for autonomy are in fact properties that tend to increase an agent’s immunity to such interpersonal subjection, and that the proposed account is therefore capable of providing theoretical unity to many of the otherwise heterogeneous requirements (...)
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  5. Is Morality Relative?Michael Garnett - manuscript
    This is a short (c. 4000 words) teaching piece aimed at first year undergraduates, on the topic of moral relativism.
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  6. Fischer-Style Compatibilism.Michael Garnett - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):387-397.
    This is a critical review essay on John Martin Fischer's Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value.
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  7. Freedom and Indoctrination.Michael Garnett - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (2pt2):93-108.
    It has been alleged that compatibilists are committed to the view that agents act freely and responsibly even when subject to certain forms of radical manipulation. In this paper I identify and elucidate a form of compatibilist freedom, social autonomy, that is essential to understanding what is wrong with ordinary indoctrination and argue that it also holds the key to understanding what goes wrong in more fanciful manipulation cases.
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  8. Value Neutrality and the Ranking of Opportunity Sets.Michael Garnett - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (1):99-119.
    I defend the idea that a liberal commitment to value neutrality is best honoured by maintaining a pure cardinality component in our rankings of opportunity or liberty sets. I consider two challenges to this idea. The first holds that cardinality rankings are unnecessary for neutrality, because what is valuable about a set of liberties from a liberal point of view is not its size but rather its variety. The second holds that pure cardinality metrics are insufficient for neutrality, because liberties (...)
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  9. Autonomy as Social Independence: Reply to Weimer.Michael Garnett - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):155-159.
    I defend my pure social account of global autonomy from Steven Weimer's recent criticisms. In particular, I argue that it does not implicitly rely upon the very kind of nonsocial conception of autonomy that it hopes to replace.
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  10. Taking the Self Out of Self-Rule.Michael Garnett - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):21-33.
    Many philosophers believe that agents are self-ruled only when ruled by their (authentic) selves. Though this view is rarely argued for explicitly, one tempting line of thought suggests that self-rule is just obviously equivalent to rule by the self . However, the plausibility of this thought evaporates upon close examination of the logic of ‘self-rule’ and similar reflexives. Moreover, attempts to rescue the account by recasting it in negative terms are unpromising. In light of these problems, this paper instead proposes (...)
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  11. Freedom and Unpredictability.Michael Garnett - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (6):666-680.
    In A Metaphysics for Freedom, Helen Steward proposes and defends a novel version of the libertarian account of free action. Amongst several objections that she considers to her view, one that looms particularly large is the Challenge from Chance: ‘the most powerful, widely-promulgated and important line of anti-libertarian reasoning’. This paper begins by arguing that Steward’s response to the Challenge is not fully convincing. It then goes on to explore a further possible libertarian line of defence against the Challenge, arguing (...)
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  12. Practical Reason and the Unity of Agency.Michael Garnett - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):449-468.
    This is a critical review essay of Christine Korsgaard's Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity (OUP 2009).
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  13. Ignorance, Incompetence and the Concept of Liberty.Michael Garnett - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (4):428–446.
    What is liberty, and can it be measured? In this paper I argue that the only way to have a liberty metric is to adopt an account of liberty with specific and controversial features. In particular, I argue that we can make sense of the idea of a quantity of liberty only if we are willing to count certain purely agential constraints, such as ignorance and physical incompetence, as obstacles to liberty in general. This spells trouble for traditional ‘negative’ accounts, (...)
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