•  1607
    Beneficence
    In Richard Ashcroft Angus Dawson & Heather Draper John McMillan (eds.), Principles of Health Care Ethics, Wiley. pp. 19-26. 2007.
    Garrett Cullity.
  •  434
    Asking Too Much
    The Monist 86 (3). 2003.
    Most of us think that it can be wrong not to help someone in chronic need — someone whose life you could easily save, say. And many of us find it hard to see how the remoteness of needy people, either physical, social or psychological, should make a difference to this. Maybe it makes a difference to how wrong it is not to help, but it is hard to see how it can make a difference to whether not helping is wrong.
  •  231
    Decisions, Reasons and Rationality
    Ethics 119 (1): 57-95. 2008.
    What difference do our decisions make to our reasons for action and the rationality of our actions? There are two questions here, and good grounds for answering them differently. However, it still makes sense to discuss them together. By thinking about the relationships that reasons and rationality bear to decisions, we may be able to cast light on the relationship that reasons and rationality bear to each other.
  •  211
    Acts, Omissions, Emissions
    In Jeremy Moss (ed.), Climate Change and Justice, Cambridge University Press. pp. 148-64. 2015.
    What requirements does morality impose on us in relation to climate change? This question can be asked of individuals, of the entire global population, and of groups of various sizes in between. Given the case for accepting that we all collectively ought to be causing less climate-affecting pollution than we do, what follows from that about the moral status of the actions of members of the larger group? I examine two main ways in which moral requirements on group members can derive from requirem…Read more
  •  209
    International aid and the scope of kindness
    Ethics 105 (1): 99-127. 1994.
    This paper argues that it is morally wrong for the affluent not to contribute money or time to famine relief. It begins by endorsing an important methodological line of objection against the most prominent philosophical advocate of this claim, Peter Singer. This objection attacks his strategy of invoking a principle the acceptability of which is apparently based upon its conformity with "intuitive" moral judgements in order to defend a strongly counterintuitive conclusion. However, what follows …Read more
  •  204
    Moral Virtues and Responsiveness for Reasons
    In Stewart Braun & Noell Birondo (eds.), Virtue's Reasons: New Essays on Virtue, Character, and Reasons, Routledge. pp. 11-31. 2017.
    Moral discourse contains judgements of two prominent kinds. It contains deontic judgements about rightness and wrongness, obligation and duty, and what a person ought to do. As I understand them, these deontic judgements are normative: they express conclusions about the bearing of normative reasons on the actions and other responses that are available to us. And it contains evaluative judgements about goodness and badness. Prominent among these are the judgements that evaluate the quality of our…Read more
  •  194
    The circumstances that create the need for humanitarian action are rarely morally neutral. The extremes of deprivation and want that demand a humanitarian response are often themselves directly caused by acts of war, persecution or misgovernment. And even when the direct causes lie elsewhere—when suffering and loss are caused by natural disaster, endemic disease or poverty of natural resources—the explanations of why some people are afflicted, and not others, are not morally neutral. It is those…Read more
  •  181
    Ethics and Practical Reason (edited book)
    with Berys Gaut
    Oxford University Press. 1997.
    These thirteen new, specially written essays by a distinguished international line-up of contributors, including some leading contemporary moral philosophers, give a rich and varied view of current work on ethics and practical reason. The three main perspectives on the topic, Kantian, Humean, and Aristotelian, are all well represented. Issues covered include: the connection between reason and motivation; the source of moral reasons and their relation to reasons of self-interest; the relation of …Read more
  •  158
    Weighing reasons
    In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity, Oxford University Press. 2019.
    What is involved in weighing normative reasons against each other? One attractive answer offers us the following Simple Picture: a fact is a reason for action when it bears to an action the normative relation of counting in its favour; this relation comes in different strengths or weights; the weights of the reasons for and against an action can be summed; the reasons for performing the action are sufficient when no other action is more strongly supported, overall; the reasons are decisive when …Read more
  •  155
    Virtue ethics, theory, and warrant
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3): 277-294. 1999.
    Are there good grounds for thinking that the moral values of action are to be derived from those of character? This virtue ethical claim is sometimes thought of as a kind of normative ethical theory; sometimes as form of opposition to any such theory. However, the best case to be made for it supports neither of these claims. Rather, it leads us to a distinctive view in moral epistemology: the view that my warrant for a particular moral judgement derives from my warrant for believing that I am a …Read more
  •  149
    Public goods and fairness
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1). 2008.
    To what extent can we as a community legitimately require individuals to contribute to producing public goods? Most of us think that, at least sometimes, refusing to pay for a public good that you have enjoyed can involve a kind of 'free riding' that makes it wrong. But what is less clear is under exactly which circumstances this is wrong. To work out the answer to that, we need to know why it is wrong. I argue that when free riding is wrong, the reason is that it is unfair. That is not itself a…Read more
  •  143
    Moral Free Riding
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (1): 3-34. 1995.
    This paper presents a moral philosophical account of free riding, specifying the conditions under which failing to pay for nonrival goods is unfair. These conditions do not include the voluntary acceptance of the goods: this controversial claim is supported on the strength of a characterization of the kind of unfairness displayed in paradigm cases of free riding. Thus a "Principle of Fairness" can potentially serve as a foundation for political obligations. The paper also discusses the relatio…Read more
  •  131
    Demandingness, "Ought", and Self-Shaping
    In Marcel van Ackeren Michael Kuhler (ed.), The Limits of Moral Obligation: Moral Demandingness and Ought Implies Can, Routledge. pp. 147-62. 2016.
    Morality, it is commonly argued, cannot be extreme in the demands it makes of us, because “ought” implies “can”, and normal human psychology places limits on the extent to which most of us are capable of devoting our lives to the service of others. To evaluate this argument, we need to distinguish different uses of “ought” and “can”. Having distinguished these uses, we find that there is more than one defensible version of the principle that “ought” implies “can”. However, these distinctions can…Read more
  •  124
    Pooled beneficence
    In Michael Almeida (ed.), Imperceptible Harms and Benefits, Kluwer. pp. 9-42. 2000.
    There can be situations in which, if I contribute to a pool of resources for helping a large number of people, the difference that my contribution makes to any of the people helped from the pool will be imperceptible at best, and maybe even non-existent. And this can be the case where it is also true that giving the same amount directly to one of the intended beneficiaries of the pool would have made a very large difference to her. Can non-contribution to the pool be morally justified on this gr…Read more
  •  118
    Introduction
    with Berys Gaut
    In Garrett Cullity Berys Gaut (ed.), Ethics and Practical Reason, Oxford University Press. pp. 1-27. 1997.
  •  106
    Beneficence, rights and citizenship
    Australian Journal of Human Rights 9 85-105. 2006.
    What are we morally required to do for strangers? To answer this question – a question about the scope of requirements to aid strangers – we must first answer a question about justification: why are we required to aid them (when we are)? The main paper focuses largely on answering the question about justification, but does so in order to arrive at an answer to the question about scope. Three main issues are discussed. First, to what extent should requirements of beneficence – requirements to be…Read more
  •  100
    The Moral Demands of Affluence
    Oxford University Press UK. 2004.
    How much are we morally required to do to help people who are much worse off than us? On any credible moral outlook, other people's pressing need for assistance can ground moral requirements on us to help them---requirements of beneficence. How far do those requirements extend?One way to think about this is by means of a simple analogy: an analogy between joining in efforts to help people at a distance and rescuing a needy person yourself, directly. Part I of Garrett Cullity's book examines this…Read more
  •  100
    Pyrrhic pyrrhonism (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233): 720-731. 2008.
    Journal compilation © 20098 The Editors of The Philosophical Quarterly
  •  87
    Stupid Goodness
    In Karen Jones & Francois Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms, Oxford University Press. 2020.
    In Paradise Lost, Satan’s first sight of Eve in Eden renders him “Stupidly good”: his state is one of admirable yet inarticulate responsiveness to reasons. Turning from fiction to real life, I argue that this is an important moral phenomenon, but one that has limits. The essay examines three questions about the relation between having a reason and saying what it is – between normativity and articulacy. Is it possible to have and respond to morally relevant reasons without being able to articulat…Read more
  •  77
    The Moral, the Personal and the Political
    In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 54-75. 2008.
    What is the relation between moral reasons and reasons of “political necessity”? Does the authority of morality extend across political decision-making; or are there “reasons of state” which somehow either stand outside the reach of morality or override it, justifying actions that are morally wrong? This chapter argues that attempts to claim a contra-moral justification for political action typically suffer from a fundamental confusion – a confusion about the nature and expression of practical …Read more
  •  74
    Particularism and presumptive reasons
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 76 169-90. 2006.
    The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
  •  70
    Moral Character and the Iteration Problem
    Utilitas 7 (2): 289. 1995.
    Moral evaluation is concerned with the attribution of values whose distinction into two broad groups has become familiar. On the one hand, there are the most general moral values of lightness, wrongness, goodness, badness, and what ought to be or to be done. On the other, there is a great diversity of more specific moral values which these objects can have: of being a theft, for instance, or a thief; of honesty, reliability or callousness. Within the recent body of work attempting to restore to …Read more
  •  67
    Many writers have followed Peter Singer in drawing an analogy between assisting needy people at a distance and saving someone’s life directly. Arguments based on this analogy can take either a subsumptive or a non-subsumptive form. Such arguments face a serious methodological challenge.
  •  61
    Particularism and moral theory: Particularism and presumptive reasons: Garrett Cullity
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1). 2002.
    Weak particularism about reasons is the view that the normative valency of some descriptive considerations varies, while others have an invariant normative valency. A defence of this view needs to respond to arguments that a consideration cannot count in favour of any action unless it counts in favour of every action. But it cannot resort to a global holism about reasons, if it claims that there are some examples of invariant valency. This paper argues for weak particularism, and presents a fram…Read more
  •  58
    Exceptions in Nonderivative Value
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1): 26-49. 2019.
    According to most substantive axiological theories – theories telling us which things are good and bad – pleasure is nonderivatively good. This seems to imply that it is always good, even when directed towards a bad object, such as another person’s suffering. This implication is accepted by the Mainstream View about misdirected pleasures: it holds that when someone takes pleasure in another person’s suffering, his being pleased is good, although his being pleased by suffering is bad. This view g…Read more
  •  51
    Sympathy, discernment, and reasons
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1). 2004.
    According to "the argument from discernment", sympathetic motivation is morally faulty, because it is morally undiscriminating. Sympathy can incline you to do the right thing, but it can also incline you to do the wrong thing. And if so, it is no better as a reason for doing something than any other morally arbitrary consideration. The only truly morally good form of motivation--because the only morally non-arbitrary one--involves treating an action's rightness as your reason for performing it. …Read more
  •  46
    Public Goods
    In Lawrence C. Becker Charlotte B. Becker (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, Vol. III, Routledge. pp. 1413-16. 2007.
    Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books, Inc.