•  11
    Against Nagel - In Favour of a Compound Human Ergon
    Dialogue 38 (2-3): 77-82. 1996.
    Thomas Nagel argues that Aristotle identifies rationality as the ergon idion of the human being. Against Nagel, I defend a reading of Aristotle which depicts a complex human ergon. This complex identity involves desire. It is in Book X of the Nichomachean Ethics that my understanding of Aristotle's position is clinched.
  •  9
    Many contemporary moral theories accept and rely upon a singular (often unstated) premise. Contractualisms, traditionally construed rights theories and Millian utilitarianisms all accept a uniquely indefensible claim about the nature of the moral value of rationality. As a result, these moral theories are, despite their differences, equally and seriously marked for reliance on what I will call "the rationality premise". In this work I explain how it is that said reliance guarantees that a the…Read more
  •  37
    Denis Diderot’s thoroughly materialist metaphysics undergird prescient philosophical analyses; his forays into the field of ethics arguably tend toward what we today would class amongst the range of forward-looking alternative perspectives. It isn’t just that Diderot sketches or even defends the cutting-edge which motivates this paper, but also his use of female characters to reveal crucial insights. Anyone familiar with the prolific author’s body of work realizes that Diderot’s women are certai…Read more
  •  24
    If everything in the universe is material, how can master painters create images of nature which enable us to see, to know, beauty more perfect than can ever exist in reality? What materially real thing does the master painter access to portray on canvas? The work of the 18th century French philosopher Denis Diderot responds to this conundrum. Diderot’s answer pulls from his rich scientific thought coupled with the unique form of art criticism he develops. In both cases the role of genius is…Read more
  •  8
    Denis Diderot, Samuel Richardson and the Colour of Philosophy
    le Monde Français du Dix-Huitième Siècle 5 (1). 2020.
    This essay responds to scholarly neglect which Diderot’s “Éloge de Richardson” has met for being regarded as too colourful (“trop coloré”). Focus on the emotive aspect of the “Éloge” is, here, shown to reveal commentary on philosophy itself; Samuel Richardson’s work thus occasions a fresh take on philosophical discourse. Diderot’s “Éloge” proves to be a new twist in literary criticism as well as an important contribution to philosophy proper.
  •  26
    Introduction of Philosophy for Children into the Montessori Curriculum
    Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 15 (1): 22-29. 2000.
  •  24
    Oversight in the Canon: The Animals Issue Rekindled
    Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara. 1996.
    I take issue with an argument to the effect that because contractualism proves--both practically and theoretically--the philosophically superior moral theory, we have the result that nonhuman animals can have no, nor ought be extended any, moral standing. The combined argument belongs to Peter Carruthers, and appears in his The Animals Issue. My response involves demonstration that on careful analysis contractualism fares even less well than the two theories against which Carruthers compares it-…Read more