•  19
    Compromising with Convention
    American Philosophical Quarterly 31 (4). 1994.
  •  84
    Moral particularism and the real world
    In Mark Norris Lance, Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik (eds.), Challenging Moral Particularism, Routledge. pp. 12--30. 2007.
    The term ‘moral particularism’ has been used to refer to different doctrines. The main body of this paper begins by identifying the most important doctrines associated with the term, at least as the term is used by Jonathan Dancy, on whose work I will focus. I then discuss whether holism in the theory of reasons supports moral particularism, and I call into question the thesis that particular judgements have epistemological priority over general principles. Dancy’s recent book Ethics without Pri…Read more
  •  37
    Just deserts?
    The Philosophers' Magazine 39 20-25. 2007.
  •  95
    Sidgwick and Common–Sense Morality
    Utilitas 12 (3): 347. 2000.
    This paper begins by celebrating Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics. It then discusses Sidgwick's moral epistemology and in particular the coherentist element introduced by his argument from common-sense morality to utilitarianism. The paper moves on to a discussion of how common-sense morality seems more appealing if its principles are formulated as picking out pro tanto considerations rather than all-things-considered demands. Thefinal section of the paper considers the question of which version of …Read more
  •  30
    Griffin on Human Rights
    Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1): 193-205. 2010.
    This review article considers James Griffin's book On Human Rights, which is an immensely important contribution to moral and political thought. The review article starts by explaining why Griffin thinks that the term ‘human right’ suffers from an unacceptable indeterminateness of sense, and then summarizes Griffin's objections to various prominent accounts of human rights. An outline of Griffin's own account of human rights follows. His theory grounds human rights in ‘personhood’ and practicali…Read more
  •  51
    Rule-Consequentialism, Incoherence, Fairness
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95. 1995.
  •  250
    The demandingness objection
    In T. Chappell (ed.), The Problem of Moral Demandingness, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 148-162. 2009.
    This paper’s first section invokes a relevant meta-ethical principle about what a moral theory needs in order to be plausible and superior to its rivals. In subsequent sections, I try to pinpoint exactly what the demandingness objection has been taken to be. I try to explain how the demandingness objection developed in reaction to impartial act-consequentialism’s requirement of beneficence toward strangers. In zeroing in on the demandingness objection, I distinguish it from other, more or less c…Read more
  •  205
    A critical account arguing that Williams did not succeed in undermining the possibility of external reasons. Hooker takes Williams’s conception of reason to be instrumentalistic in a problematic way.
  •  871
    Rule-consequentialism
    Mind 99 (393): 67-77. 1990.
    The theory of morality we can call full rule - consequentialism selects rules solely in terms of the goodness of their consequences and then claims that these rules determine which kinds of acts are morally wrong. George Berkeley was arguably the first rule -consequentialist. He wrote, “In framing the general laws of nature, it is granted we must be entirely guided by the public good of mankind, but not in the ordinary moral actions of our lives. … The rule is framed with respect to the good of …Read more