• Intuitions and moral theorizing
    In Philip Stratton-Lake (ed.), Ethical Intuitionism: Re-Evaluations, Oxford University Press. pp. 76--161. 2002.
  •  17
    Review of George Sher, In Praise of Blame (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3). 2007.
  •  76
    Morality and the good life
    The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53): 91-95. 2011.
    Being moral sometimes handicaps decent people in their pursuit of worthwhile goals. This is especially likely to happen when those with power in society have badly mistaken ideas about what morality requires. A good person might not last long in a bad society
  •  290
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4). 2005.
    The main body of this paper assesses a leading recent theory of fairness, a theory put forward by John Broome. I discuss Broome's theory partly because of its prominence and partly because I think it points us in the right direction, even if it takes some missteps. In the course of discussing Broome's theory, I aim to cast light on the relation of fairness to consistency, equality, impartiality, desert, rights, and agreements. Indeed, before I start assessing Broome's theory, I discuss two very …Read more
  •  124
    This paper replies to Carson's attacks on an earlier paper of Hooker's. Carson argued that rule-consequentialism--the theory that an act is morally right if and only if it is allowed by the set of rules and corresponding virtues the having of which by everyone would bring about the best consequences considered impartially--can and does require the comfortably off to make enormous sacrifices in order to help the needy. Hooker defends rule-consequentialism against Carson's arguments
  •  9
    The meaningful life: subjectivism, objectivism, and divine support
    In Nafsika Athanassoulis & Samantha Vice (eds.), The Moral Life: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham, Palgrave. pp. 184-200. 2008.
  •  136
    Moral Particularism (edited book)
    with Brad Hooker and Margaret Olivia Little
    Oxford University Press. 2000.
    A timely and penetrating investigation, this book seeks to transform moral philosophy. In the face of continuing disagreement about which general moral principles are correct, there has been a resurgence of interest in the idea that correct moral judgements can be only about particular cases. This view--moral particularism --forecasts a revolution in ordinary moral practice that has until now consisted largely of appeals to general moral principles. Moral particularism also opposes the primary a…Read more
  •  46
    Scanlon versus Moore on goodness
    with Philip Stratton-Lake
    In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore, Oxford University Press. pp. 149. 2006.
  •  83
    On what matters
    The Philosophers' Magazine 50 (50): 66-67. 2010.
  •  50
    Reply to Arneson and McIntyre
    Philosophical Issues 15 (1). 2005.
    Richard Arneson and Alison McIntyre have done me a great honor by reading my book Ideal Code, Real World so carefully.1 In addition, they have done me a great kindness by reading it sympathetically. Nevertheless, they each find the book ultimately unconvincing, though in very different ways. But the cause of their dissatisfaction with the book is not mistaken interpretation. They have interpreted the book accurately, and they have advanced penetrating criticisms of it. One group of their critici…Read more
  •  65
    Rule-consequentialism and obligations toward the needy
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1). 1998.
    Most of us believe morality requires us to help the desperately needy. But most of us also believe morality doesn't require us to make enormous sacrifices in order to help people who have no special connection with us. Such self-sacrifice is of course praiseworthy, but it isn't morally mandatory. Rule-consequentialism might seem to offer a plausible grounding for such beliefs. Tim Mulgan has recently argued in _Analysis and _Pacific Philosophical Quarterly that rule-consequentialism cannot do so…Read more
  •  438
    Variable versus fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231). 2008.
    Fixed-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism evaluate rules in terms of the expected net value of one particular level of social acceptance, but one far enough below 100% social acceptance to make salient the complexities created by partial compliance. Variable-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism instead evaluate rules in terms of their expected net value at all different levels of social acceptance. Brad Hooker has advocated a fixed-rate versio…Read more
  •  11
    Feldman, Rule-consequentialism, and Desert
    In K. McDaniel, J. Raibley, R. Feldman & M. J. Zimmerman (eds.), The Good, the Right, Life and Death: Essays in Honor of Fred Feldman, . pp. 103-114. 2006.
  •  20
    Up and down with aggregation
    Social Philosophy and Policy 26 (1): 126-147. 2009.
    This paper starts by addressing some objections to the very idea of aggregate social good. The paper goes on to review the case for letting aggregate social good be not only morally relevant but also sometimes morally decisive. Then the paper surveys objections to letting aggregate social good determine personal or political decisions. The paper goes on to argue against the idea that aggregate good is sensitive to desert and the idea that aggregate good should be construed as incorporating agent…Read more
  •  25
    Dancy on How Reasons Are Related to Oughts
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (S1): 114-120. 2003.
  •  1503
    The Elements of Well-Being
    Journal of Practical Ethics 3 (1): 15-35. 2015.
    This essay contends that the constitutive elements of well-being are plural, partly objective, and separable. The essay argues that these elements are pleasure, friendship, significant achievement, important knowledge, and autonomy, but not either the appreciation of beauty or the living of a morally good life. The essay goes on to attack the view that elements of well-being must be combined in order for well-being to be enhanced. The final section argues against the view that, because anything …Read more
  •  109
    Cudworth and Quinn
    Analysis 61 (4). 2001.
  •  13
    E. E. Constance Jones was a student of Henry Sidgwick's. Her article is mainly about the idea that there are ‘two supreme principles of human action, both of which we are under a “manifest obligation” to obey.’ One is the principle of Rational Benevolence and the other is the principle of Rational Self-Love. Jones contends that ‘Rational Benevolence implies or includes the Rationality of Self-Love’. There is one reading of Jones's contention that makes it undeniable but other readings that make …Read more
  •  135
    An international line-up of fourteen distinguished philosophers present new essays on topics relating to well-being and morality, prominent themes in contemporary ethics and particularly in the work of James Griffin, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford, in whose honour this volume has been produced. Professor Griffin offers a fascinating development of his own thinking on these topics in his replies to the essays.
  • Liberty and Justice
    Philosophical Books 29 (4): 244-247. 1988.
  •  16
    Right, wrong, and rule-consequentialism
    In Henry West, Julia Henry Henry & Devin Henry (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Mill's Utilitarianism, Blackwell. pp. 233-248. 2006.
  •  99
    Brink, Kagan, Utilitarianism and Self-Sacrifice
    Utilitas 3 (2): 263. 1991.
    Act-utilitarianism claims that one is required to do nothing less than what makes the largest contribution to overall utility. Critics of this moral theory commonly charge that it is unreasonably demanding. Shelly Kagan and David Brink, however, have recently defended act-utilitarianism against this charge. Kagan argues that act-utilitarianism is right, and its critics wrong, about how demanding morality is. In contrast, Brink argues that, once we have the correct objective account of welfare an…Read more
  •  101
    When is Impartiality Morally Appropriate?
    In Brian Feltham & John Cottingham (eds.), Partiality and Impartiality: Morality, Special Relationships, and the Wider World, Oxford University Press. pp. 26-41. 2010.
    With respect to morality, the term ‘impartiality’ is used to refer to quite different things. My paper will focus on three: 1. Impartial application of good (first-order) moral rules 2. Impartial benevolence as the direct guide to decisions about what to do 3. Impartial assessment of (first-order) moral rules What are the relations among these three? Suppose there was just one good (first-order) moral rule, namely, that one should choose whatever one thinks will maximize aggregate good. If there…Read more