•  166
    Hooker on Rule-Consequentialism and Virtue
    Utilitas 25 (3): 421-432. 2013.
    In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker proposes an account of the relation between his rule-consequentialism and virtue according to which the virtues (1) have intrinsic value and (2) are identical with the dispositions that are of the ideal code. While it is not clear whether Hooker actually intends to endorse this account or only intends to moot it for discussion, I argue that for him to adopt it would be a mistake. Not only would this mean that his moral theory was no longer properly a conseq…Read more
  •  164
    The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2014.
    Utilitarianism, the approach to ethics based on the maximization of overall well-being, continues to have great traction in moral philosophy and political thought. This Companion offers a systematic exploration of its history, themes, and applications. First, it traces the origins and development of utilitarianism via the work of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, and others. The volume then explores issues in the formulation of utilitarianism, including act versus rule utilitaria…Read more
  •  75
    Brown on Mill’s moral theory: A critical response
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (1): 47-66. 2010.
    In this article, I argue that the reading of Mill that D.G. Brown presents in ‘Mill’s Moral Theory: Ongoing Revisionism’ is inconsistent with several key passages in Mill’s writings. I also show that a rule-utilitarian interpretation that is very close to the one developed by David Lyons is able to account for these passages without difficulty
  •  74
    On Millgram on mill
    Utilitas 16 (1): 96-108. 2004.
    In a recent article in Ethics, Elijah Millgram presents a novel reconstruction of J. S. Mill's ‘proof’ of the principle of utility. Millgram's larger purpose is to critique instrumentalist approaches to practical reasoning. His reading of the proof makes Mill out to be an instrumentalist, and Millgram thinks that the ultimate failure of Mill's argument usefully illustrates an inconsistency inherent in instrumentalism. Yet Millgram's interpretation of the proof does not succeed. Mill is not an in…Read more
  •  71
  •  67
    Bernard Williams charges that the moral psychology built into R. M. Hare’s utilitarianism is incoherent in virtue of demanding a bifurcated kind of moral thinking that is possible only for agents who fail to reflect properly on their own practical decision making. I mount a qualified defence of Hare’s view by drawing on the account of the ‘reactive attitudes’ found in P. F. Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’. Against Williams, I argue that the ‘resilience’ of the reactive attitudes ensures that…Read more
  •  38
    Axiological actualism and the converse intuition
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1). 2003.
    In 'Axiological Actualism' Josh Parsons argues that 'axiological actualism', which is 'the doctrine that ethical theory should refrain from assigning levels of welfare, or preference orderings, or anything of the sort to merely possible people', lends plausibility to 'the converse intuition'. This is the proposition that 'the welfare a person would have, were they actual, can give us a reason not to bring that person into existence'. I show that Parsons's argument delivers less than he promises.…Read more
  •  37
    In “’But It Would Be Wrong,’” Stephen Darwall advances a mixed view regarding “deontic buck-passing.” He holds that a wrong action’s “wrong-making features” are our reasons for reactive attitudes like blame; with respect to these reasons, the action’s wrongness “passes the buck” to these features. Yet the action’s being wrong is itself an additional reason for the agent not to do the action, Darwall contends, a “second-personal” moral reason. So with respect to reasons for action, the buck doesn…Read more
  •  35
    John Stuart Mill and the Art of Life (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2010.
    The 'Art of Life' is John Stuart Mill's name for his account of practical reason. In this volume, eleven leading scholars elucidate this fundamental, but widely neglected, element of Mill's thought. Mill divides the Art of Life into three 'departments': 'Morality, Prudence or Policy, and Æsthetics'. In the volume's first section, Rex Martin, David Weinstein, Ben Eggleston, and Dale E. Miller investigate the relation between the departments of morality and prudence. Their papers ask whether Mill …Read more
  •  35
    One meat-eater’s modus ponens...: A response to Norcross
    Southwest Philosophy Review 20 (2): 175-177. 2004.
  •  34
    Mill's Misleading Moral Mathematics
    Southwest Philosophy Review 24 (1): 153-161. 2008.
  •  34
    John Stuart Mill's Civic Liberalism
    History of Political Thought 21 (1): 88-113. 2000.
    Although it is frequently overlooked, J.S. Mill's political philosophy has a significant civic component; he is a committed believer in the value of active and disinterested participation in public affairs by the citizens of liberal democracies, and he advocates a programme of civic education intended to cultivate public spirit. In the first half of this essay I present a brief but systematic exploration of his thought's civic dimension. In the second half I defend Mill's civic liberalism agains…Read more
  •  34
    Mill's `socialism'
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2): 213-238. 2003.
    Insofar as John Stuart Mill can be accurately described as a socialist, his is a socialism that a classical liberal ought to be able to live with, if not to love. Mill's view is that capitalist economies should at some point undergo a `spontaneous' and incremental process of socialization, involving the formation of worker-controlled `socialistic' enterprises through either the transformation of `capitalistic' enterprises or creation de novo. This process would entail few violations of core libe…Read more
  •  34
    A Letter from the Editor
    Utilitas 29 (1): 1-2. 2017.
  •  29
    This book offers a clear and highly readable introduction to the ethical and social-political philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Dale E. Miller argues for a "utopian" reading of Mill's utilitarianism. He analyses Mill's views on happiness and goes on to show the practical, social and political implications that can be drawn from his utilitarianism, especially in relation to the construction of morality, individual freedom, democratic reform, and economic organization. By highlighting the utopian th…Read more
  •  28
    Moral Education and Rule Consequentialism
    Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1): 120-140. 2021.
    Rule consequentialism holds that an action's moral standing depends on its relation to the moral code whose general adoption would have the best consequences. Heretofore rule consequentialists have understood the notion of a code's being generally adopted in terms of its being generally obeyed or, more commonly, its being generally accepted. I argue that these ways of understanding general adoption lead to unacceptable formulations of the theory. For instance, Brad Hooker, Michael Ridge, and Hol…Read more
  •  24
    A Letter from the Editor
    Utilitas 34 (2): 119-119. 2022.
  •  22
    Atomists, liberals and civic republicans: Taylor on the ontology of citizenship
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (4). 2001.
    (2001). Atomists, Liberals and Civic Republicans: Taylor on the Ontology of Citizenship. Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 465-478.
  •  21
    "Freedom and Resentment" and Consequentialism
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2): 1-23. 2014.
    In The Second-Person Standpoint, Stephen Darwall offers an interpretation of P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” according to which the essay advances the thesis that good consequences are the “wrong kind of reason” to justify “practices of punishment and moral responsibility.” Darwall names this thesis “Strawson’s Point.” I argue for a different reading of Strawson, one according to which he holds this thesis only in a qualified way and, more generally, is not the unequivocal critic of co…Read more
  •  20
    Compunction, Second-Personal Morality, and Moral Reasons
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3): 719-733. 2018.
    In The Second-Person Standpoint and subsequent essays, Stephen Darwall develops an account of morality that is “second-personal” in virtue of holding that what we are morally obligated to do is what others can legitimately demand that we do, i.e., what they can hold us accountable for doing through moral reactive attitudes like blame. Similarly, what it would be wrong for us to do is what others can legitimately demand that we abstain from doing. As part of this account, Darwall argues for the p…Read more
  •  19
    Harriet Taylor mill
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.