•  2
    The good and the godless (review)
    The Philosophers' Magazine 26 57-57. 2004.
  •  54
    Mark Overvold’s Contribution to Philosophy
    Journal of Philosophical Research 16 333-344. 1991.
    The prevailing theory of self-interest (personal utility or individual welfare) holds that one’s Iife goes well to the extent that one’s desires are fulfilled. In a couple of seminal papers, Overvold raised a devastating objection to this theory---namely that the theory (added to commonsensical beliefs about the nature of action) makes self-sacrifice logically impossible. He then proposed an appealing revision of the prevailing theory, one which provided adequate logical space for self-sacrifice…Read more
  •  2
    US and them
    The Philosophers' Magazine 18 50-51. 2002.
  •  344
    What are the appropriate criteria for assessing a theory of morality? In this enlightening work, Brad Hooker begins by answering this question. He then argues for a rule-consequentialist theory which, in part, asserts that acts should be assessed morally in terms of impartially justified rules. In the end, he considers the implications of rule-consequentialism for several current controversies in practical ethics, making this clearly written, engaging book the best overall statement of this appr…Read more
  •  17
    Publicity in morality
    Ratio 23 111-117. 2010.
    Consider the idea that moral rules must be suitable for public acknowledgement and acceptance, i.e., that moral rules must be suitable for being ‘widely known and explicitly recognized’, suitable for teaching as part of moral education, suitable for guiding behaviour and reactions to behaviour, and thus suitable for justifying one’s behaviour to others. This idea is now most often associated with John Rawls, who traces it back through Kurt Baier to Kant.[1] My book developing ruleconsequentialis…Read more
  •  31
    The demandingness objection
    In Tim Chappell (ed.), The Problem of Moral Demandingness, Palgrave. pp. 148-62. 2009.
  •  234
    The Collapse of Virtue Ethics
    Utilitas 14 (1): 22. 2002.
    Virtue ethics is normally taken to be an alternative to consequentialist and Kantian moral theories. I shall discuss what I think is the most interesting version of virtue ethics – Rosalind Hursthouse's. I shall then argue that her version is inadequate in ways that suggest revision in the direction of a kind of rule-consequentialism
  •  4
    Just deserts?
    The Philosophers' Magazine 39 20-25. 2007.
  •  57
    Reply to Stratton-lake
    Mind 106 (424): 759-760. 1997.
  •  1
    Williams' argument against external reasons
    Analysis 46 (4): 42-44. 1986.
  •  11
    Theory vs Anti-Theory
    In Ulrika Heuer Gerald Lang (ed.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams, Oxford University Press. 2012.
    Bernard Williams influentially attacked ethical theory. This paper assesses arguments for the ‘anti-theory’ position in ethics, including mainly arguments put forward by Williams but also arguments put forward by others. The paper begins by discussing what is supposed to be theory in ethics and what ethical intuitions are taken to be by those involved in the theory versus anti-theory debate. Then the paper responds to the objections that ethical theory is mistaken to prize principles, mistaken t…Read more
  •  73
    Egoism, partiality, and impartiality
    In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 710-728. 2013.
    This chapter discusses psychological egoism, ethical egoism, rational egoism, partiality, and impartiality. Partiality involves assigning more importance to the welfare or will of some individuals or groups than to the welfare or will of others. Egoism is an extreme form of partiality in that it gives overriding importance to the welfare of just one individual. While there are different kinds of impartiality, the kind that juxtaposes with egoism and partiality is impartiality towards the welfare…Read more
  •  16
    Rule consequentialism
    In R. Shafer-Landau (ed.), Ethical Theory: An Anthology, . pp. 482-495. 2007.
  •  71
    This essay explores the reasons for thinking that Scanlon's contractualist principle serves merely as a ?spare wheel?, an element that spins along nicely but bears no real weight, because it presupposes too much of what it should be explaning. The ambitions and scope of Scanlon's contractualism are discussed, as is Scanlon's thesis that contracualism will assess candidate moral principles individually rather than as sets. The final third of the paper critizes Scanlon's account of fairness and hi…Read more
  •  69
    Promises and rule consequentialism
    In Hanoch Sheinman (ed.), Promises and Agreements, Oxford University Press. pp. 235-252. 2011.
    The duty to keep promises has many aspects associated with deontological moral theories. The duty to keep promises is non-welfarist, in that the obligation to keep a promise need not be conditional on there being a net benefit from keeping the promise—indeed need not be conditional on there being at least someone who would benefit from its being kept. The duty to keep promises is more closely connected to autonomy than directly to welfare: agents have moral powers to give themselves certain obli…Read more