Cambridge University
Faculty of Philosophy, Gonville and Caius College
PhD, 2014
Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Areas of Specialization
Meta-Ethics
Normative Ethics
  •  217
    From Thick to Thin: Two Moral Reduction Plans
    with Thomas Hurka
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4). 2009.
    Many philosophers of the last century thought all moral judgments can be expressed using a few basic concepts — what are today called ‘thin’ moral concepts such as ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ ‘right,’ and ‘wrong.’ This was the view, fi rst, of the non-naturalists whose work dominated the early part of the century, including Henry Sidgwick, G.E. Moore, W.D. Ross, and C.D. Broad. Some of them recognized only one basic concept, usually either ‘ought’ or ‘good’; others thought there were two. But they all assumed…Read more
  •  205
    Manifesting belief in absolute necessity
    with John Divers
    Philosophical Studies 158 (1): 109-130. 2012.
    McFetridge (in Logical necessity and other essays . London: Blackwell, 1990 ) suggests that to treat a proposition as logically necessary—to believe a proposition logically necessary, and to manifest that belief—is a matter of preparedness to deploy that proposition as a premise in reasoning from any supposition. We consider whether a suggestion in that spirit can be generalized to cover all cases of absolute necessity, both logical and non-logical, and we conclude that it can. In Sect. 2, we ex…Read more
  •  51
    A new revisability paradox
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3). 2007.
    In a recent article, Mark Colyvan has criticized Jerrold Katz's attempt to show that Quinean holism is self-refuting. Katz argued that a Quinean epistemology incorporating a principle of the universal revisability of beliefs would have to hold that that and other principles of the system were both revisable and unrevisable. Colyvan rejects Katz's argument for failing to take into account the logic of belief revision. But granting the terms of debate laid down by Colyvan, the universal revisabili…Read more
  •  51
    Review of Value, Reality, and Desire (review)
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (1): 159-161. 2008.
  •  36
    Against Sonderholm: Still Committed to Expressivism
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1). 2007.
    Jorn Sonderholm (2005) has argued that Simon Blackburn's commitment semantics for evaluative discourse is unable to explain the validity of simple inferences involving disjunction. This is true insofar as the basic rules which Blackburn suggests are not strong enough, but it is relatively simple to augment those rules so as to meet Sonderholm's challenge, whilst respecting the spirit of commitment semantics. One way of doing this is to add a reduction rule such that if accepting p commits one to…Read more
  •  10
    The Truth Fairy and the Indirect Epistemic Consequentialist
    In Peter J. Graham & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Entitlement, . pp. 344-360. 2020.
    Friends of Wright-entitlement cannot appeal to direct epistemic consequentialism (believe or accept what maximizes expected epistemic value) in order to account for the epistemic rationality of accepting Wright-entitled propositions. The tenability of direct consequentialism is undermined by the “Truth Fairy”: a powerful being who offers you great epistemic reward (in terms of true beliefs) if you accept a proposition p for which you have evidence neither for nor against. However, this chapter a…Read more
  •  5
    R.M. Hare had an ambitious scheme of providing a unified account of meta-ethics and normative ethics by combining expressivism with Kantianism and utilitarianism. The project of this thesis is to defend Hare’s theory in its most ambitious form. This means not just showing how the expressivist, Kantian and utilitarian elements are consistent, or that the three are each correct, but also that they are interdependent. The only defensible form of expressivism is Kantian; the only defensible Kantian …Read more