•  10
    Aristotle's Mesotēs in theory and practice
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 39 (4): 323-337. 2022.
    Aristotle's theory of a virtuous Mean, or mesotēs, has a range of application that is widely underestimated. A Mean, stripped of extraneous properties, is best thought of as a case of goal-oriented goodness. Contrary to what many commentators assume, it need not be objectionably quantitative. The theory of the Mean applies to both acts and dispositions. It is not restricted to intermediate states of feeling or emotion, and it can cover many cases of obligation. It deserves to be rehabilitated, s…Read more
  •  17
    Intrinsic and Instrumental Values
    Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 68 71-74. 2018.
    This paper concerns the distinction between intrinsic and instrumental goodness, and the claim that intrinsic goodness is somehow prior to instrumental goodness. Although the idea is ancient, one version of it going back at least to Aristotle, and although it may initially seem obvious, I suggest that its truth is not obvious at all. In fact, I try to make out a case for thinking that all goodness is fundamentally goal-oriented and contributory. It is goodness for an objective, in the sense of b…Read more
  •  15
    Fit for an End
    Analysis 80 (1): 110-122. 2020.
    To my mind, a central insight of Stephen Finlay’s remarkable book Confusion of Tongues lies in his rejection of two opposing extremes in the theory of value. The first mistake he avoids is thinking that goodness is some property, entirely independent of interests and belonging to particular goods, which is asserted to obtain when something is favourably evaluated. According to a theory like Finlay’s, value is not in fact a simple, irreducible property shared by all and only good things. We canno…Read more
  •  31
    The Archer and Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean
    Peitho 3 (1): 155-168. 2012.
    It is sometimes claimed that Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is false or unhelpful: moral virtues are not typically flanked by two opposing vices as he claimed. However, an explicit restatement of Aristotle’s view in terms of sufficiency for an objective reveals that the Mean is more widely applicable than has sometimes been alleged. Understood as a special case of sufficiency, it is essential to many judgments of right and wrong. I consider some objections by Rosalind Hursthouse to Aristotle’s…Read more
  •  19
    While Socrates was in his own way a deeply religious man, the Euthyphro is often thought to provide a refutation of the divine command theory of morality: the theory that what is morally good is good because it is divinely approved. Socrates seems to suggest that what is holy or pious is pleasing to the gods because it is holy, and not holy because it pleases them. Thus the dialogue is sometimes presented as showing that what is morally good and bad must be independent of the divine will. I argu…Read more
  • Lawrence E. Johnson, Focusing on Truth (review)
    Philosophy in Review 13 237-239. 1993.
  •  1
    Fictional Objects
    Dissertation, University of Waterloo (Canada). 1996.
    The dissertation explores certain puzzles about fiction and existence. Some historical discussion of Brentano, Meinong and Russell sets the stage for an extended account of three neo-Meinongian semantic theories: those of Terence Parsons, Richard Routley , and Edward Zalta. It is argued that these authors rely on a false understanding of fiction. A distinction between setting out linguistic precedents in storytelling and following such precedents helps allow for the notion of being true in a sto…Read more
  • Report of the UNESCO Conference on Ethical Worldviews of Nature
    with Darryl Macer
    Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 18 (5): 138-142. 2008.
  • Lawrence E. Johnson, Focusing on Truth Reviewed by
    Philosophy in Review 13 (5): 237-239. 1993.
  •  49
    Brentano's relation to Aristotle
    with Rolf George
    In Abraham Zvie Bar-On (ed.), Grazer Philosophische Studien, Distributed in the U.s.a. By Humanities Press. pp. 249-266. 1986.
    The paper tries to illustrate the influence of Aristotle's thought upon Brentano by arguing that the view that all psychological phenomena have objects was proably derived from the Aristotelian conception that the mind can know itself only en parergo, and that this knowledge presupposes that some other thing be in the mind "objectively". Brentano's contribution to Aristotle scholarship is illustrated by reviewing some of his arguments against Zeller's claim that Aristotle's God, contemplating on…Read more
  •  13
    Definitional imprecisions in strategic and non-strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
    with Darryl R. J. Macer
    International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy 3 (2): 121. 2008.
  •  28
    Character, Situation and Intelligence
    Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 10 245-260. 2008.
    Gilbert Harman and other situationists have argued, on thefollowing grounds, that many ordinary moral judgments are false.First, many moral judgments posit robust personal character traits inthe course of describing or explaining individual human behavior.Second, the empirical evidence strongly suggests these traits do notexist. I sketch some of the reasoning behind situationism and arguethat Harman’s view cannot be entirely right. He is himselfcommitted to there being at least one robust indivi…Read more
  •  33
    Love as Intense Liking
    Dialogue 50 (4): 725-740. 2011.
    ABSTRACT: Love is a broad mental phenomenon, its objects not restricted to thinking beings. Yet most philosophical theories of love focus on some case of interpersonal intimacy. Such theories ignore a wide range of relevant instances and thus fail to capture what is distinctive of love generally. I explore a straightforward alternative hypothesis that deserves a hearing but has been discussed less often: Love consists in intense desire for and delight in its objects. The account is defended agai…Read more
  •  13
    Sensory Qualities (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 48 (4): 889-890. 1995.
    Talk of sensory qualities soon runs into puzzles, both about the nature of properties and about the status of mental predicates. Clark wishes to prepare the way for an eventual reduction of qualia-talk to neurophysiology, while postponing or taking an indirect approach to some of the large philosophical questions involved. Thus, for instance, rather than wading directly into the debate about what color is, he concentrates on the problem of why a particular stimulus looks colored to a particular …Read more
  •  19
    Moral Anatomy and Moral Reasoning (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 49 (1): 139-140. 1995.
    Is the Golden Rule a fundamental principle of morals? Robert Hannaford believes it is. On his interpretation, the Rule requires that we "consider our actions from the perspective of those affected and respond with concern to meet each other's needs". There are two main parts to this injunction. First, one is asked to imagine oneself in the place of those affected by one's actions. The act of imagining is supposed to alter one's intentions in such a way that one becomes impartial, prepared to "un…Read more
  •  40
    Human goodness and the golden mean
    Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (2): 179-194. 2003.
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    Kezwer also shows the reader how the practice of meditation can be incorporated into his or her own life to bring the benefits of good health, happiness, clear ..