•  61
    There is much in Thomas Hobbes’s political theory that contemporary political philosophy cannot readily accept—including Hobbes’s egoism, his unconditional right of self-defense, and his insistence that peace is only possible under absolute sovereign rule.[1] Nevertheless, we can and should embrace one of Hobbes’s central insights: that problems of assurance are of fundamental importance for questions of social justice, even, or especially, justice questions of global scale. In general, agents f…Read more
  •  139
    This paper seeks to deflate G. A. Cohen ’s recent meta-ethical argument that fundamental principles must be “fact-insensitive.” That argument does not advance Cohen ’s dispute with Rawls and other social contract theorists. There is attenuated sense of “factinsensitivity” which they can happily grant, which Cohen never rules out on specifically metaethical grounds. While his barrage of substantive arguments may retain independent force, the argument from fact-insensitivity is largely inconsequen…Read more
  •  8
    Taking the 'error' out of Ruse's error theory
    Biology and Philosophy 12 (3). 1997.
    Michael Ruse‘s Darwinian metaethics has come under just criticism from Peter Woolcock (1993). But with modification it remains defensible. Ruse (1986) holds that people ordinarily have a false belief that there are objective moral obligations. He argues that the evolutionary story should be taken as an error theory, i.e., as a theory which explains the belief that there are obligations as arising from non-rational causes, rather than from inference or evidential reasons. Woolcock quite rightly o…Read more