Alexander Dietz

I am a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department at the University of Southern California. My main interests are in normative ethics and moral psychology.

You can email me at

Click here for a PDF of my CV.

Work in Progress

My dissertation reconsiders which units of agency should be of relevance to ethics. I argue that obligations and normative reasons for action are possessed not only by individual persons, but also by larger units, namely groups, and by smaller units, namely the temporal parts of persons. I also defend views about how obligations and reasons for action possessed at different units of agency interact: for example, about when I have reason to do my part in what the group ought to do, and about whether there can be irresolvable conflicts between individual and collective obligations.

I am also currently working on papers on:

  1. the relevance of collective obligations to effective altruism
  2. why only caring about being happy might make you less happy
  3. whether we should think that what matters is getting what we want
Email me for a draft of any of these.


What We Together Ought to Do. Ethics, 126(4), July 2016: 955-982.