•  127
    A study of fundamental issues in metaethics and in moral psychology, surveying important approaches with an emphasis on the disputed status of moral value and the roles of cognition and sensibility. Coverage of the issues includes discussion of significant thinkers from antiquity to the present.
  •  44
    Plasticity and perfection: Maimonides and Aristotle on character
    Religious Studies 33 (4): 443-454. 1997.
    Many of the basic elements of Maimonides' moral psychology are Aristotelian, but there are some important respects in which Maimonides departs from Aristotle. One of those respect concerns the possibility of changing one's character. There is, according to Maimonides, redemptive possibility that Aristotle does not recognize. There is, according to Maimonides, a redemptive possibility that Aristotle does not recognize. This is based on the fact of revealed law. That is, if there is revealed law, …Read more
  •  42
    Criminal Justice and the Liberal Polity
    Criminal Justice Ethics 30 (2): 173-191. 2011.
    There are several reasonable conceptions of liberalism. A liberal polity can survive a measure of disagreement over just what constitutes liberalism. In part, this is because of the way a liberal order makes possible a dynamic, heterogeneous civil society and how that, in turn, can supply participants with reasons to support a liberal political order. Despite the different conceptions of justice associated with different conceptions of liberalism, there are reasons to distinguish the normative f…Read more
  •  40
    Jon Jacobs emphasises their distinctive contributions, emphasises the shared rational emphasis of their approach to Torah, and draws out resonances with ...
  •  36
    Jacobs' interpretation is developed in contrast to the overlooked work of Maimonides, who also used Aristotelian resources but argued for the possibility of ...
  •  36
    Metaethics and Teleology
    Review of Metaphysics 55 (1). 2001.
    THERE IS AN IMPORTANT RESPECT in which virtue-centered ethical realism needs to be more Aristotelian than it is typically willing to admit. This concerns the way in which teleological considerations need to be more explicitly acknowledged. Reflection on moral phenomenology, discourse, and practice supports realism and also reveals that teleological considerations cannot be entirely disowned by it. The teleology is not a grand teleology, however; it is not the view that there is a unique perfecti…Read more
  •  31
    Moral Imagination, Objectivity, and Practical Wisdom
    International Philosophical Quarterly 31 (1): 23-37. 1991.
  •  30
    The place of virtue in happiness
    Journal of Value Inquiry 19 (3): 171-182. 1985.
  •  27
    Omnipotence and concurrence
    with John Zeis
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1). 1983.
  •  23
    Lemos, Ramon M. The Nature of Value: Axiological Investigations
    Review of Metaphysics 50 (2): 410-411. 1996.
  •  22
    Deliberation, Self-conceptions, and Self-improvement
    Idealistic Studies 19 (n/a): 1. 1989.
    It is only for persons that the question, “How shall I live?” arises, and it arises inevitably, even if in an inarticulate and unreflective manner. Persons must deliberate, decide, plan, and schedule their actions. Openness with respect to ends confronts them, and they must structure and direct their lives by determining what sort of career to trace out, even if it proves to be a career of routine or unambitious undertakings. Circumstances can constrain and compel, and the openness persons confr…Read more
  •  20
    Friendship, Self-Love and Knowledge
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 66 (1): 21-37. 1992.
  •  19
    Judaic Sources & Western Thought: Jerusalem's Enduring Presence (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2011.
    A collection of ten new papers by ten authors, exploring respects in which there are Judaic sources for important (and often contested) Western moral and political ideas and ideals. It focuses on distinctively Judaic roots of the so-called 'Judeo-Christian tradition.'
  •  15
    Reason, Religion, and Natural Law: From Plato to Spinoza (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2012.
    A collection of new papers by ten philosophers exploring relations between conceptions of natural law and theism, ranging from Plato to the early modern period. Rather than defending a a specific view of natural law, the papers explicate the complex texture of the relations between the diverse conceptions of natural law and diverse conceptions of theism and its significance for moral and political thought.
  •  14
  •  14
    Luck and retribution
    Philosophy 74 (4): 535-555. 1999.
    The main claims are the following. If we keep before us the distinction between the justification of punishment and its aims, we see that retribution is not an aim of punishment, and that there is a central place for retributivist considerations in the justification of punishment. Justifications based upon aims or consequentialist considerations suffer from a serious epistemic vulnerability not shared by retributivism. There are ethically sound sentiments that underwrite retributivist justificat…Read more
  •  13
    How Is Criminal Justice Related to the Rest of Justice?
    Criminal Justice Ethics 39 (2): 111-136. 2020.
  •  10
    Practical Wisdom, Objectivity and Relativism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3). 1989.
  •  7
    A Tapestry Of Orbits (review)
    British Journal for the History of Science 26 (3): 377-378. 1993.
  •  3
    Note from the Editor
    Criminal Justice Ethics 40 (1): 1-1. 2021.
  •  2
    A detailed study of the moral philosophy of medieval Jewish thinkers Saadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses Maimonides. Jon Jacobs emphasizes their distinctive contributions, emphasises the shared rational emphasis of their approach to Torah, and draws out resonances with contemporary moral philosophy.
  •  2
    The Nature of Value: Axiological Investigations (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 50 (2): 410-410. 1996.
    This book is a systematic defense of a nonnaturalist, intuitionist moral realism. It supplies an account of moral facts according to which moral value is supervenient, undefinable, and nonreducible. The author also argues that "we must accept without proof some claim to the effect that a given thing is intrinsically good or bad if we are to prove that anything at all is so". The project is explicitly in the tradition of philosophers such as Brentano, Moore, and Ross. The author focuses on develo…Read more
  •  1
    The Virtues of Externalism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (3): 285-299. 1996.
  •  1
    The Unity of the Vices
    with John Zeis
    The Thomist 54 (4): 641-653. 1990.
  • Practical Realism and Moral Psychology
    Georgetown University Press. 1995.
    In this original study, Jonathan Jacobs provides a new account of ethical realism that combines both abstract meta-ethical issues defining the debate on realism and concrete topics in moral psychology. Jacobs argues that practical reasoners can both understand the ethical significance of facts and be motivated to act by that understanding. In that sense, objective considerations are prescriptive. In his discussion of the theory of practical realism, he extends themes and claims originating in Ar…Read more
  • This book begins with a critique of moral relativism and proceeds to develop a realist account of practical wisdom. The central claims are that there are objective moral facts and that knowledge of these facts can be action-guiding. The justification for these claims involves explaining the role of imagination in moral judgment and action and also showing how a realist approach to morality enables us to better account for immorality, revealing it to involve ignorance, error or falsification. The…Read more
  • Jonathan Jacobs examines the injustice of incarceration in the U.S. and U.K., both during incarceration and upon release into civil society. Situated at the intersection of criminology and political philosophy, Jacobs's focus is on moral reasoning, and he argues that the current state of incarceration is antithetical to the project of liberal democracy, as it strips incarcerated people of their agency. He advocates for reforms through a renewed commitment to the values and principles of liberal …Read more