•  104
    Climb every mountain?
    Ratio 22 (1): 59-77. 2009.
    The central thesis of Derek Parfit's On What Matters is that three of the most important secular moral traditions – Kantianism, contractualism, and consequentialism – all actually converge in a way onto the same view. It is in this sense that he suggests that we may all be 'climbing the same mountain, but from different sides'. In this paper, I argue that Parfit's argument that we are all metaphorically climbing the same mountain is unsound. One reason his argument does not work is that he has m…Read more
  •  233
    Moral particularists are united in their opposition to the codification of morality, and their work poses an important challenge to traditional ways of thinking about moral philosophy. Defenders of moral particularism have, with near unanimity, sought support from a doctrine they call “holism in the theory of reasons.” We argue that this is all a mistake. There are two ways in which holism in the theory of reasons can be understood, but neither provides any support for moral particularism. Moral…Read more
  •  131
    The heroism paradox: another paradox of supererogation
    Philosophical Studies 172 (6): 1575-1592. 2015.
    Philosophers are by now familiar with “the” paradox of supererogation. This paradox arises out of the idea that it can never be permissible to do something morally inferior to another available option, yet acts of supererogation seem to presuppose this. This paradox is not our topic in this paper. We mention it only to set it to one side and explain our subtitle. In this paper we introduce and explore another paradox of supererogation, one which also deserves serious philosophical attention. Peo…Read more
  •  30
    Much contemporary first-order moral theory revolves around the debate between consequentialists and deontologists. Depressingly, this debate often seems to come down to irresolvable first-order intuition mongering about runaway trolleys, drowning children in shallow ponds, lying to murderers at doors, and the like. Prima facie, common sense morality contains both consequentialist and deontological elements, so it may be no surprise that direct appeal to first-order intuitions tend towards stalem…Read more
  •  36
    Impassioned Belief
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    Michael Ridge presents an original expressivist theory of normative judgments--Ecumenical Expressivism--which offers distinctive treatments of key problems in metaethics, semantics, and practical reasoning. He argues that normative judgments are hybrid states partly constituted by ordinary beliefs and partly constituted by desire-like states.
  •  135
    E xpressivism and E pistemology: E pistemology for E cumenical E xpressivists
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1): 83-108. 2007.
  • Agent-Neutral Vs. Agent-Relative Reasons
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. forthcoming.
  •  101
    Particularism and the contingent a priori
    Acta Analytica 21 (2): 3-11. 2006.
    Particularism renders the options for a sound moral epistemology few and the prospects dim. One leading approach treats basic knowledge of particular cases as derivable from an a priori moral principle and a posteriori knowledge of the contingent non-moral facts to which the principle applies. Particularists must forgo this approach because it requires principles. Yet a purely a posteriori moral epistemology is also implausible, especially when combined with particularism. Particularists such as…Read more
  •  104
    Sincerity and Expressivism
    Philosophical Studies 131 (2): 487-510. 2006.
    What is it for a speech-act to be sincere? A very tempting answer, defended by John Searle and others, is that a speech-act is sincere just in case the speaker has the state of mind it expresses. I argue that we should instead hold that a speech-act is sincere just in case the speaker believes that she has the state of mind she believes it expresses (Sections 1 and 2). Scenarios in which speakers are deluded about their own states of mind play an important role in arguing for this account. In th…Read more
  •  143
    Mill's Intentions and Motives
    Utilitas 14 (1): 54. 2002.
    One might have thought that any right-thinking utilitarian would hold that motives and intentions are morally on a par, as either might influence the consequences of one's actions. However, in a neglected passage of Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill claims that the rightness of an action depends 'entirely upon the intention' but does not at all depend upon the motive. In this paper I try to make sense of Mill's initially puzzling remarks about the relative importance of intentions and motives in …Read more
  •  58
    Consequentialist kantianism
    Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1): 421-438. 2009.
  •  81
    The truth in ecumenical expressivism
    In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action, Cambridge University Press. 2009.
    Early expressivists, such as A.J. Ayer, argued that normative utterances are not truth-apt, and many found this striking claim implausible. After all, ordinary speakers are perfectly happy to ascribe truth and falsity to normative assertions. It is hard to believe that competent speakers could be so wrong about the meanings of their own language, particularly as these meanings are fixed by the conventions implicit in their own linguistic behavior. Later expressivists therefore tried to arrange a…Read more
  •  39
    Having It Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    In twelve new essays, contributors explore hybrid theories in metaethics and other normative domains.
  •  42
    II—Michael Ridge: Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1): 83-108. 2007.
  • Fairness and Non-Compliance
    In Brian Feltham & John Cottingham (eds.), Partiality and Impartiality: Morality, Special Relationships, and the Wider World, Oxford University Press. 2010.
  • Book Reviews (review)
    Ethics 113 (2): 447-450. 2003.
  •  150
    Preempting principles: Recent debates in moral particularism
    Philosophy Compass 3 (6): 1177-1192. 2008.
    Moral particularism, as recently defended, charges that traditional moral theorizing unduly privileges moral principles. Moral generalism defends a prominent place for moral principles. Because moral principles are often asked to play multiple roles, moral particularism aims at multiple targets. We distinguish two leading roles for moral principles, the role of standard and the role of guide. We critically survey some of the leading arguments both for and against principles so conceived.
  •  79
    Saving the ethical appearances
    Mind 115 (459): 633-650. 2006.
    An important worry about what Simon Blackburn has called ‘quasi-realism’ is that it collapses into realism full-stop. Edward Harcourt has recently pressed the worry about collapse into realism in an original way. Harcourt presents the challenge in the form of a dilemma. Either ethical discourse appears to ordinary speakers to express representational states or not. If the former then expressivism means that this appearance is not saved after all, in which case quasi-realism fails in its own term…Read more
  •  132
    There may be as much philosophical controversy about how to distinguish naturalism from non-naturalism as there is about which view is correct. In spite of this widespread disagreement about the content of naturalism and non-naturalism there is considerable agreement about the status of certain historically influential philosophical accounts as non-naturalist. In particular, there is widespread agreement that G.E. Moore's account of goodness in.