I am an assistant professor of philosophy at Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN. My main research area is the intersection of moral philosophy and the philosophy of action, but my work touches on questions in epistemology, metaethics, bioethics, and the philosophy of law. I have side interests in the philosophy of race and gender and political philosophy.
Most of my research concerns philosophical questions about the fundamental concepts used in ethical thinking, whether in moral philosophy proper or in related areas such as clinical bioethics and the criminal law.
At Macalester I teach courses in ethics, bioethics, metaethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of race and gender. In fall 2019, I'm teaching epistemology and our senior seminar.
E-mail? sasarnow [at] macalester [dot] edu.
Asarnow? uh-SAR-no (/ʌˈsɑr noʊ/).
Fig. 1: Standing in front of art
"Internal Reasons and the Boy Who Cried Wolf"
Ethics 130, 1 (pages TBA) (2019) [draft coming soon]
Argues against Reasons Internalism by situating that thesis in the context of the debate about subjective and objective reasons.
"On Not Getting Out of Bed"
Philosophical Studies 176, 6: 1639-1666 (2019) [final; draft]
Presents (but does not solve) a new puzzle about the requirements of rationality on intention.
"The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95, 3: 614-636 (2017) [final; draft]
Defends the Reasoning View against an objection; argues that the norms of practical reasoning are defeasible or non-monotonic.
Ethics 127, 1: 147-178 (2016) [final]
Argues, on action-theoretic grounds, that the Reasoning View is more plausible than Objectivist ("value-based") theories of normative reasons.
Fig. 2: Winter in St. Paul, Minnesota
Work in Progress
To help preserve anonymity in the review process, I don't post the titles of my unpublished work here. But if you're looking for a visiting speaker or referee, this should give you a sense of what I'm working on. In some cases drafts are available upon request.
Papers currently under review
A paper on the distinctive practical attitude theory of intention and metaethical noncognitivism.
Work in progress
A paper on motivating reasons and the Reasoning View.
A paper on subjective reasons and the Reasoning View.
A paper laying out the master argument for the Reasoning View.
A paper on the functionalism and the requirements of rationality.
A paper on shared agency and cognitive sophistication.
A paper on squeamishness.
A paper on forgetfulness.
Fig. 3: Winter in São Paulo, Brasil
keywords: samuel asarnow, sam asarnow, asarnow