• Moral agency in Eastern and Western thought: perspectives on crafting character (edited book)
    with Heinz-Dieter Meyer
    Routledge. 2025.
    This volume explores how individuals use moral agency to craft the moral dispositions and moral capabilities needed for living well-lived lives. It draws on Eastern and Western philosophical and ethical traditions to formulate and address key issues concerning character development and moral agency. In both Eastern and Western traditions, the complexities of shaping an individual's moral agency focus on sustained processes of inner self-cultivation. The chapters in this volume highlight the ways…Read more
  •  20
    Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics
    with Timothy O'Connor
    In Sophie Gibb, E. J. Lowe & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology, Oxford University Press. 2013.
  •  2
    Sustainability as style
    with H. G. J. Gremmen
  •  87
    In this paper, my central aim is to defend the Powers Theory of causation, according to which causation is the exercise of a power (or manifestation of a disposition). I will do so by, first, presenting a recent version of the Powers Theory, that of Mumford (Forthcoming). Second, I will raise an objection to Mumford’s account. Third, I will offer a revised version that avoids the objection. And, fourth, I will end by briefly comparing the proposed Powers Theory with the Neo-Humean, counterfactua…Read more
  •  182
    Causal powers: A neo-aristotelian metaphysic
    Dissertation, Indiana University. 2007.
    Causal powers, say, an electron’s power to repel other electrons, are had in virtue of having properties. Electrons repel other electrons because they are negatively charged. One’s views about causal powers are shaped by—and shape—one’s views concerning properties, causation, laws of nature and modality. It is no surprise, then, that views about the nature of causal powers are generally embedded into larger, more systematic, metaphysical pictures of the world. This dissertation is an exploration…Read more
  •  157
    Agent causation in a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics
    In Sophie Gibb, E. J. Lowe & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology, Oxford University Press. 2013.
    Freedom and moral responsibility have one foot in the practical realm of human affairs and the other in the esoteric realm of fundamental metaphysics—or so we believe. This has been denied, especially in the metaphysics-bashing era occupying the first two-thirds or so of the twentieth century, traces of which linger in the present day. But the reasons for this denial seem to us quite implausible. Certainly, the argument for the general bankruptcy of metaphysics has been soundly discredited. Argu…Read more
  •  19
    Practical Wisdom, Objectivity and Relativism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3). 1989.
  •  4
    The Unity of the Vices
    with John Zeis
    The Thomist 54 (4): 641-653. 1990.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:THE UNITY OF THE VICES JONATHAN JACOBS Oolgate University, Hamilton, New York JOHN ZEIS Oanisius Ooilege, Buffalo, New York W:E SOMETIMES describe someone 1rus "just plain,, ' ' • • 0 " ' ' • • mean, or Just plam d1shonesit, orr JUSt pJam unw." Or we say" thaJt wrus ·a just plain ·stupid thing rto do.," G~a:liizing from tlhese and lik!e descriiptions, we can ask, are there any "just plain" vices? By this I mean, are :amy vices pure, …Read more
  • Character, punishment, and the liberal order
    In Alberto Masala & Jonathan Webber (eds.), From Personality to Virtue: Essays on the Philosophy of Character, Oxford University Press Uk. 2016.
  •  1
    Putting Powers to Work (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
  •  17
    The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics (edited book)
    with Jonathan Jackson
    Routledge. 2016.
    The enormous financial cost of criminal justice has motivated increased scrutiny and recognition of the need for constructive change, but what of the ethical costs of current practices and policies? Moreover, if we seriously value the principles of liberal democracy then there is no question that the ethics of criminal justice are everybody’s business, concerns for the entire society. _The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics_ brings together international scholars to explore the most s…Read more
  •  347
    Powerful Qualities, Not Pure Powers
    The Monist 94 (1): 81-102. 2011.
    I explore two accounts of properties within a dispositional essentialist (or causal powers) framework, the pure powers view and the powerful qualities view. I first attempt to clarify precisely what the pure powers view is, and then raise objections to it. I then present the powerful qualities view and, in order to avoid a common misconception, offer a restatement of it that I shall call the truthmaker view. I end by briefly defending the truthmaker view against objections.
  •  16
    This book offers an introduction to the philosophical issues of criminal justice ethics in a way suitable for students of criminology and criminal justice. It links philosophical concepts with empirical research in criminology and introduces criminal justice ethics, in the context of political and legal order.
  •  43
    Causal Powers (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    We use concepts of causal powers and their relatives-dispositions, capacities, and abilities-to describe the world around us, both in everyday life and in scientific practice. This volume presents new work on the nature of causal powers, and their connections with other phenomena within metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind.
  •  14
    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.
  •  19
    Judaic Sources and Western Thought: Jerusalem's Enduring Presence (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2011.
    The essays in this volume bring into relief the distinctly Judaic origins of many of them and explicate how they remain valuable resources for moral and ...
  •  49
    Jon Jacobs emphasises their distinctive contributions, emphasises the shared rational emphasis of their approach to Torah, and draws out resonances with ...
  •  16
    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.
  •  53
    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
  •  41
    Why Is Virtue Naturally Pleasing?
    Review of Metaphysics 49 (1): 21-48. 1995.
    A great deal is compressed into this passage; pleasure is associated in important ways with our nature; it has a crucial role in moral education; we can be pleased and displeased correctly or incorrectly, and this has a place in making character; and pleasure is something that matters all through a human life. Some of the themes are introduced and discussed at earlier places in the Ethics; some receive fuller treatment in book 10. The idea that some things are naturally pleasant and that the vir…Read more
  •  16
    Form and Cognition
    with John Zeis
    The Monist 80 (4): 539-557. 1997.
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    Omnipotence and concurrence
    with John Zeis
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1). 1983.