•  5
    Wise Choices, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgement
    Philosophical Quarterly 41 (163): 252-256. 1991.
  •  69
    Some have attempted to justify benefit/ cost analysis by appealing to a moral theory that appears to directly ground the technique. This approach is unsuccessful because the moral theory in question is wildly implausible and, even if it were correct, it would probably not endorse the unrestricted use of benefit/ cost analysis. Nevertheless, there is reason to think that a carefully restricted use of benefit/ cost analysis will be justifiable from a wide variety of plausible moral perspectives. F…Read more
  •  5
    The Nature of Rationality
    Ethics 105 (3): 659-662. 1993.
  •  7
    Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?: A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics
    with Louise Antony, William Lane Craig, John Hare, Paul Kurtz, C. Stephen Layman, Mark C. Murphy, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, and Richard Swinburne
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2009.
    Is Goodness Without God Good Enough contains a lively debate between William Lane Craig and Paul Kurtz on the relationship between God and ethics, followed by seven new essays that both comment on the debate and advance the broader discussion of this important issue. Written in an accessible style by eminent scholars, this book will appeal to students and academics alike.
  •  6
    Rape and the Reasonable Man
    Law and Philosophy 18 (2): 113-139. 1999.
    Standards of reasonability play an important role in some of the most difficult cases of rape. In recent years, the notion of the “reasonable person” has supplanted the historical concept of the “reasonable man” as the test of reasonability. Contemporary feminist critics like Catharine MacKinnon and Kim Lane Scheppele have challenged the notion of the reasonable person on the grounds that reasonability standards are “gendered to the ground” and so, in practice, the reasonable person is just the …Read more
  •  6
    Converging on values
    Analysis 59 (4): 355-361. 1999.
  • Justice and the Moral Community
    Dissertation, The University of Arizona. 1978.
  •  37
    Human reproductive interests: Puzzles at the periphery of the property paradigm
    Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1): 106-125. 2012.
    Research Articles Donald C. Hubin, Social Philosophy and Policy, FirstView Article
  •  455
    The Moral Justification of Benefit/Cost Analysis: Donald C. Hubin
    Economics and Philosophy 10 (2): 169-194. 1994.
    Benefit/cost analysis is a technique for evaluating programs, procedures, and actions; it is not a moral theory. There is significant controversy over the moral justification of benefit/cost analysis. When a procedure for evaluating social policy is challenged on moral grounds, defenders frequently seek a justification by construing the procedure as the practical embodiment of a correct moral theory. This has the apparent advantage of avoiding difficult empirical questions concerning such matter…Read more
  •  663
    Rape and the reasonable man
    Law and Philosophy 18 (2): 113-139. 1999.
    Standards of reasonability play an important role in some of the most difficult cases of rape. In recent years, the notion of the reasonable person has supplanted the historical concept of the reasonable man as the test of reasonability. Contemporary feminist critics like Catharine MacKinnon and Kim Lane Scheppele have challenged the notion of the reasonable person on the grounds that reasonability standards are gendered to the ground and so, in practice, the reasonable person is just the reason…Read more
  •  204
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (4). 1991.
    Contractarians view justice as being defined by a contract made by rational individuals. No one supposes that this contract is actual, and the fact that it is merely hypothetical raises a number of questions both about the assumptions under which it would be actual and about the force of hypothetical agreement that is contingent on these assumptions.Particular contractarian theories must specify the circumstances of the agreement and the endowments, beliefs, desires, and degree and type of ratio…Read more
  •  482
    Desires, Whims and Values
    The Journal of Ethics 7 (3): 315-335. 2003.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalists hold that an agent's reasons for acting are grounded in the agent's desires. Numerous objections have been leveled against this view, but the most compelling concerns the problem of "alien desires" - desires with which the agent does not identify. The standard version of neo-Humeanism holds that these desires, like any others, generate reasons for acting. A variant of neo-Humeanism that grounds an agent's reasons on her values, rather than all of her desires, avoids t…Read more
  •  219
    Self-Subverting Principles of Choice
    with Michael Perkins
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1). 1986.
    The thesis that rationality consists in the straight-forward maximization of utility has not lacked critics. Typically, however, detractors reject the Humean picture of rationality upon which it seems based; they seek to emancipate reason from the tyranny of the passions. It is, then, noteworthy when an attack on this thesis comes from ‘within the ranks.’David Gauthier's paper ‘Reason and Maximization’ is just such an attack; and for this reason, among others, it is interesting. It is not succes…Read more
  •  510
    The groundless normativity of instrumental rationality
    Journal of Philosophy 98 (9): 445-468. 2001.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalist theories of reasons for acting have been presented with a dilemma: either they are normatively trivial and, hence, inadequate as a normative theory or they covertly commit themselves to a noninstrumentalist normative principle. The claimed result is that no purely instrumentalist theory of reasons for acting can be normatively adequate. This dilemma dissolves when we understand what question neo-Humean instrumentalists are addressing. The dilemma presupposes that neo-H…Read more
  •  416
    Prudential Reasons
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 10 (1). 1980.
    Several authors, including Thomas Nagel and David Gauthier, have defended the view that reasons of self-interest (prudential reasons) are rationally binding. That is, there is always a reason, bearing on the rational advisability, based on one's self-interest and, as a result, a person may act irrationally by knowingly acting against such reasons regardless of the person's desires or values. Both Nagel and Gauthier argue from the rationally mandatory nature of prudential reasons to the conclusio…Read more
  •  1770
    Irrational desires
    Philosophical Studies 62 (1). 1991.
    Many believe that the rational evaluation of actions depends on the rational evaluation of even basic desires. Hume, though, viewed desires as "original existences" which cannot be contrary to either truth or reason. Contemporary critics of Hume, including Norman, Brandt and Parfit, have sought a basis for the rational evaluation of desires that would deny some basic desires reason-giving force. I side with Hume against these modern critics. Hume's concept of rational evaluation is admittedly to…Read more
  •  14
  •  185
    The scope of justice
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 9 (1): 3-24. 1979.
  •  3
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (4): 441-468. 1991.
    in Morals by Agreement, David Gauthier assumes that the contractors' preferences are non-tuistic--that they take "no interest in one another's interests." This is the analog of John Rawls's assumption of "mutual disinterest." Gauthier's assumption of non-tuism is ambiguous in important ways and he sometimes shifts between quite distinct meanings. I examine the various plausible interpretations of non-tuism and then critically evaluate Gauthier's justification for assuming that it is only agents'…Read more
  •  19
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    Surveys theories of paternity/fatherhood.
  •  4
  •  3915
    Parental Rights and Due Process
    The Journal of Law and Family Studies 1 (2): 123-150. 1999.
    The U.S. Supreme Court regards parental rights as fundamental. Such a status should subject any legal procedure that directly and substantively interferes with the exercise of parental rights to strict scrutiny. On the contrary, though, despite their status as fundamental constitutional rights, parental rights are routinely suspended or revoked as a result of procedures that fail to meet even minimal standards of procedural and substantive due process. This routine and cavalier deprivation of pa…Read more
  •  346
    Justice and future generations
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (1): 70-83. 1976.
    In A Theory of Justice, Rawls attempts to ground intergenerational justice by "virtual representation" through a thickening of the veil of ignorance. Contractors don't know to what generation they belong. This approach is flawed and will not result in the just savings principle Rawls hopes to justify. The project of grounding intergenerational duties on a social contractarian foundation is misconceived. Non-overlapping generations do not stand in relation to one another that is central to the c…Read more
  •  245
    Converging on values
    Analysis 59 (4). 1999.
    In 'The Moral Problem', Michael Smith defends a conception of normative reasons that is nonrelative. Given his understanding of normative reasons, nonrelativity commits him to the convergence hypothesis: that, as a result of the process or correction of beliefs and rational deliberation, 'all' agents would converge on having the same set of desires. I develop several reasons for being pessimistic about the truth of this hypothesis. As a result, if normative reasons exist, we have a reason to be …Read more
  • Untitled (review)
    Ethics 103 572-574. 1993.
  •  11
    Review of Dancy's Moral Reasons (review)
    Ethics 106 (1): 187-189. 1995.
  •  161
    Newcomb's perfect predictor
    with Glenn Ross
    Noûs 19 (3): 439-446. 1985.
  •  218
    Hypothetical motivation
    Noûs 30 (1): 31-54. 1996.