•  248
    Modelling the Moral Dimension of Decisions
    with Mark Colyvan and Katie Siobhan Steele
    Noûs 44 (3): 503-529. 2010.
    In this paper we explore the connections between ethics and decision theory. In particular, we consider the question of whether decision theory carries with it a bias towards consequentialist ethical theories. We argue that there are plausible versions of the other ethical theories that can be accommodated by “standard” decision theory, but there are also variations of these ethical theories that are less easily accommodated. So while “standard” decision theory is not exclusively consequentialis…Read more
  •  109
    Agent-based Theories of Right Action
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (5): 505-515. 2006.
    In this paper, I develop an objection to agent-based accounts of right action. Agent-based accounts of right action attempt to derive moral judgment of actions from judgment of the inner quality of virtuous agents and virtuous agency. A moral theory ought to be something that moral agents can permissibly use in moral deliberation. I argue for a principle that captures this intuition and show that, for a broad range of other-directed virtues and motives, agent-based accounts of right action fail …Read more
  •  103
    Goodman and Putnam on the making of worlds
    Erkenntnis 58 (1). 2003.
    Hilary Putnam and Nelson Goodman are two of the twentieth century's most persuasive critics of metaphysical realism, however they disagree about the consequences of rejecting metaphysical realism. Goodman defended a view he called irrealism in which minds literally make worlds, and Putnam has sought to find a middle path between metaphysical realism and irrealism. I argue that Putnam's middle path turns out to be very elusive and defend a dichotomy between metaphysical realism and irrealism.
  •  76
    Metaphysical realism and idealisation
    Philosophia 26 (3-4): 465-487. 1998.
    Hilary Putnam's famous model-theoretic arguments have the virtue of presenting metaphysical realists with a clear challenge. On pain of embracing either an implausible antifallibilism or the radical indeterminacy of reference, metaphysical realists must appeal to metalinguistic levels of interpretation richer than our own in order to fix meaning. And sense must be made of this appeal. In this paper I begin the task of developing a version of metaphysical realism that takes up this challenge.
  •  74
    An introduction to philosophy through film, _Thinking Through Film: Doing Philosophy, Watching Movies_ combines the exploration of fundamental philosophical issues with the experience of viewing films, and provides an engaging reading experience for undergraduate students, philosophy enthusiasts and film buffs alike. An in-depth yet accessible introduction to the philosophical issues raised by films, film spectatorship and film-making Provides 12 self-contained, close discussions of individual f…Read more
  •  70
    Should we strive for integrity?
    with Marguerite LaCaze and M. P. Levine
    Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (4): 519-530. 1999.
  •  64
    This book examines the centrality of integrity in relation to a variety of philosophical and psychological concerns that impinge upon the ethical life.
  •  58
    Realism and Epistemic Theories of Truth
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (4): 473-486. 2001.
    This paper explores the relation between epistemic conceptions of truth and different kinds of commitment to realism and antirealism. It argues that all epistemic conceptions of truth are versions of antirealism. Although epistemic conceptions of truth can make various concessions to realist intuition, these remain concessions only. One cannot concede all claims to antirealism and remain within the orbit of a genuinely epistemic conception of truth
  •  45
    Re-Reading: Judith Jarvis Thompson, 'A Defense of Abortion'
  •  43
    The trouble with truth-makers
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (1). 1997.
  •  37
    Putnam, Equivalence, Realism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (2): 155-170. 1997.
  •  36
    While some may argue that universities are in a state of crisis, others claim that we are living in a post-university era; a time after universities. If there was a battle for the survival of the institution it is over and done with. The buildings still stand. Students enrol and may attend lectures, though most do not. But virtually nothing real remains. What some mistakenly take to be a university is, in actuality, an “uncanny” spectral presence. The encompassing ethico-philosophical question i…Read more
  •  34
    Judging Character
    American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4): 387-398. 2013.
    A lot is at stake in character judgment. How we treat others is influenced by what kinds of persons we take them to be. Our rational plans of life depend upon our insights into our own character and the character of those close to us. Given the importance of the way we judge character, the virtues and vices of character judgment deserve much closer attention than they have received in the philosophical literature. Some philosophers have discussed duties of friendship and how they impact upon the…Read more
  •  34
    On the value of natural relations
    Environmental Ethics 19 (2): 173-183. 1997.
    In “A Refutation of Environmental Ethics” Janna Thompson argues that by assigning intrinsic value to nonhuman elements of nature either our evaluations become (1) arbitrary, and therefore unjustified, or (2) impractical, or (3) justified and practical, but only by reflecting human interest, thus failing to be truly intrinsic to nonhuman nature. There are a number of possible responses to her argument, some of which have been made explicitly in reply to Thompson and others which are implicit in t…Read more
  •  30
    In this chapter I use a film by the Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Le Fils, to explore the difference between Stoic and Anti-Stoic approaches to overcoming victimhood. The Stoic approach to overcoming victimhood emphasizes the inner-strength and resourcefulness of victims. It sets up an ideal of Stoic independence in which a person responds to becoming a victim by marshalling inner resources to overcome destructive and painful emotions. An Anti-Stoic approach to overcoming vict…Read more
  •  29
    Scepticism and the Interpreter
    Philosophical Papers 29 (2): 61-72. 2000.
    Abstract This paper defends an argument from interpretation against the possibility of massive error. The argument shares many important features with Donald Davidson's famous argument, but also key differences. I defend the argument against claims that it begs the question against scepticism and that it leaves the sceptic with an obvious means of escape
  •  29
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
  •  24
    Judgment, Deliberation, and the Self-effacement of Moral Theory
    Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (3): 289-302. 2012.
    ExtractIn developing moral theories, philosophers seek to fulfill at least two tasks: to guide moral judgment and to guide moral deliberation. In moral judgment, moral agents assess moral status. In moral deliberation, moral agents decide how to act. It is important to work out how these two things are related. One suggestion is to posit a direct connection between them according to which moral agents are required to deliberate in terms of correct moral judgment. There are various ways of spelli…Read more
  •  24
    Believing Badly
    Philosophical Papers 33 (3): 309-328. 2004.
    This paper explores the grounds upon which moral judgment of a person's beliefs is properly made. The beliefs in question are non-moral beliefs and the objects of moral judgment are individual instances of believing. We argue that instances of believing may be morally wrong on any of three distinct grounds: (i) by constituting a moral hazard, (ii) by being the result of immoral inquiry, or (iii) by arising from vicious inner processes of belief formation. On this way of articulating the basis of…Read more
  •  24
    Truth, value, and consolation
    Journal of Value Inquiry 36 (4): 413-424. 2002.
  •  22
    7 Avatar: Racism and Prejudice on Pandora
    In Dan Flory & Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo (eds.), Race, Philosophy, and Film, Routledge. pp. 50--117. 2013.
  •  22
    Review of Moral realism: A defence by R Shafer-Landau (review)
    Philosophical Books 46 (1): 92-93. 2005.
  •  20
    Reflections in a Mirror
    Diametros 41 1-12. 2014.
    In this paper, I develop a solution to the puzzle of mirror perception: why do mirrors appear to reverse the image of an object along a left/right axis and not around other axes, such as the top/bottom axis? I set out the different forms the puzzle takes and argue that one form of it – arguably the key form – has not been satisfactorily solved. I offer a solution in three parts: setting out the conditions in which an apparent left/right reversal of mirror images is generated; explaining why thes…Read more
  •  19
    BOOK REVIEW Extract: Integrity, it seems, is a matter of remaining true to oneself, or rather, it is a matter of remaining true to what one reasonably judges to be the best of oneself. In Integrity and the Virtues of Reason, Greg Scherkoske seeks to overturn this piece of conventional wisdom. It is a fine book and I learned a lot from it. Scherkoske elaborates and defends the idea that integrity is an epistemic virtue; that it is not fundamentally a matter of being true to oneself but of being a…Read more
  •  13
    Academic Virtues: Site Specific and Under Threat
    Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (4): 753-767. 2016.
    Extract: Clearly, academic life takes place at the intersection of many social practices. If MacIntyre is right, the role-specific virtues of academic life should be understood in terms of these practices.2 Academic virtues are those excellences required to obtain the internal goods of the social practices constituting academic life. And the social practices of academic life are sustained, competitive and cooperative attempts to achieve a set of academic goals and realize academic forms of excel…Read more
  •  12
    Competition, contest and the possibility of egalitarian university education
    Journal of Philosophy in Schools 6 (1): 10-25. 2019.
    Competition and contest underpin academic life in many ways, not all of them constructive or valuable. In this paper I make a start on the task of distinguishing valuable academic competition from its opposite and suggest reforms of academic institutions that would diminish the prevalence of destructive competition and approach more nearly the egalitarian goal of treating all members of the academic community—especially, but not only, students—as equally valued and equally deserving of respect. …Read more
  •  11
    Welcome to Su: the spectral university
    Angelaki 21 (2): 213-226. 2016.
    While some may argue that universities are in a state of crisis, others claim that we are living in a post-university era; a time after universities. If there was a battle for the survival of the institution it is over and done with. The buildings still stand. Students enrol and may attend lectures, though most do not. But virtually nothing real remains. What some mistakenly take to be a university is, in actuality, an “uncanny” spectral presence. The encompassing ethico-philosophical question i…Read more