•  257
    Forgiveness: From Conceptual Pluralism to Conceptual Ethics
    In Court Lewis (ed.), The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Volume V, Vernon. forthcoming.
    Forgiveness theorists focus a good deal on explicating the content of what they take to be a shared folk concept of forgiveness. Our empirical research, however, suggests that there is a range of concepts of forgiveness present in the population, and therefore that we should be folk conceptual pluralists about forgiveness. We suggest two possible responses on the part of forgiveness theorists: (1) to deny folk conceptual pluralism by arguing that forgiveness is a functional concept and (2) to ac…Read more
  •  201
    Is evil action qualitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4). 2007.
    Adam Morton, Stephen de Wijze, Hillel Steiner, and Eve Garrard have defended the view that evil action is qualitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing. By this, they do not that mean that evil actions feel different to ordinary wrongs, but that they have motives or effects that are not possessed to any degree by ordinary wrongs. Despite their professed intentions, Morton and de Wijze both offer accounts of evil action that fail to identify a clear qualitative difference between evil and ordin…Read more
  •  163
    Dispositional accounts of evil personhood
    Philosophical Studies 149 (2). 2010.
    It is intuitively plausible that not every evildoer is an evil person. In order to make sense of this intuition we need to construct an account of evil personhood in addition to an account of evil action. Some philosophers have offered aggregative accounts of evil personhood, but these do not fit well with common intuitions about the explanatory power of evil personhood, the possibility of moral reform, and the relationship between evil and luck. In contrast, a dispositional account of evil pers…Read more
  •  112
    In Uneasy Virtue, Julia Driver advocates a consequentialist account of the virtues. In so far as her view is , Driver's account is superior to the psychologically rich theories of virtue offered by Aristotle, Hume and Kant. However, Driver is also committed to about virtue: a trait is a virtue only if it has instrumental value. In contrast, I argue for a form of minimalism, according to which a character trait counts as a virtue if it has either instrumental or intrinsic value. The common intuit…Read more
  •  110
    Is situationism all bad news?
    Utilitas 21 (4): 443-463. 2009.
    Situationist experiments such as the Milgram experiment and the Princeton Seminary experiment have prompted philosophers to warn us against succumbing to fear of embarrassment and sliding down slippery slopes. Yet it would be a mistake to conclude that situationism is all bad news for moral agents. Fear of embarrassment can often motivate right actions, and slippery slopes can slide us away from wrongdoing. The reason that philosophers have seen situationism as bringing all bad news is that they…Read more
  •  99
    See the World
    Dialogue 45 (1): 69-88. 2006.
    ABSTRACT: McDowell argues that the shortcomings of recent theories of experience are the product of the modern scientistic conception of nature. Reconceive nature, he suggests, and we can explain how perceptual experience can be an external constraint on thought that, moreover, has conceptual import. In this article I argue that McDowell’s project is unsuccessful. Those wishing to construct normative theories, including theories of perceptual experience, face the normative trilemma—they must cho…Read more
  •  98
    Evil, Monsters and Dualism
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1): 45-58. 2010.
    In his book The Myth of Evil , Phillip Cole claims that the concept of evil divides normal people from inhuman, demonic and monstrous wrongdoers. Such monsters are found in fiction, Cole maintains, but not in reality. Thus, even if the concept of evil has the requisite form to be explanatorily useful, it will be of no explanatory use in the real world. My aims in this paper are to assess Cole’s arguments for the claim that there are no actual evil persons, and, in so doing, to develop a clearer …Read more
  •  85
    Forgiving While Punishing
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4): 704-718. 2016.
    ABSTRACTHieronymi and Zaibert think that forgiving requires resolving not to inflict any further punishment. Murphy, Garrard, Allais, and Pettigrove suggest that it is always possible for a victim to forgive a perpetrator while continuing to punish. In this paper I defend a middle-ground position: the non-adversarial account of forgiveness, according to which forgiving is sometimes but not always compatible with continuing to punish. When the perpetrator accepts continued punishment, it is no ob…Read more
  •  74
    He did it because he was evil
    American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3). 2009.
    In his book The Myth of Evil, Phillip Cole argues that we ought to abandon the concept of evil. Cole claims that the concept of evil forms part of a dualistic worldview that divides normal people from inhuman, demonic, and monstrous wrongdoers. Such monsters are found in fiction, Cole suggests, but not in reality, so evil is of no explanatory use. Yet even if there were actual evil persons, Cole maintains, evil would be a redundant, pseudo-explanatory concept, a psychological black hole that is …Read more
  •  65
    Evil: A Philosophical Investigation
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    When asked to describe wartime atrocities, terrorist acts, and serial killers, many of us reach for the word 'evil'. But what does it really mean? Luke Russell defends a new account of the nature of evil action and persons. Although the concept of evil is extreme and often misused, it has a legitimate place in contemporary secular moral thought
  •  51
    Evil and Incomprehensibility
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 36 (1): 62-73. 2012.
  •  44
    The who, the what, and the how of forgiveness
    Philosophy Compass 15 (3). 2020.
    Philosophy Compass, EarlyView.
  •  39
    Tryhards, fashion victims, and effortless cool
    In Jessica Wolfendale & Jeanette Kennett (eds.), Fashion - Philosophy for Everyone: Thinking with Style, Blackwell. pp. 37--49. 2011.
  •  15
    Being Evil: A Philosophical Perspective
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    With the media bringing us constant tales of terrorism and violence, questions regarding the nature of evil are highly topical. Luke Russell explores the philosophical thinking and psychological evidence behind evil, alongside portrayals of fictional villains, considering why people are evil, and how it goes beyond the normal realms of what is bad.
  •  13
    Messy Forgiveness: A Reply to Fricker
    Australasian Philosophical Review 3 (3): 274-287. 2019.
    ABSTRACT In ‘Forgiveness: An Ordered Pluralism’, Miranda Fricker aims to show that two seemingly incompatible conceptions of forgiveness are unified insofar as they ascribe the same moral function to forgiveness. Both Moral Justice Forgiveness and Gifted Forgiveness, she maintains, remove redundant blame feeling. In reply, I contend that Fricker’s two targets do not actually share the same function. Gifted Forgiveness of unrepentant wrongdoers often removes blame feeling that is anything but red…Read more
  •  12
    Good and Evil in Recent Discussion: Defending the Concept of Evil
    Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 5 (1): 77-82. 2022.
    This paper addresses the question of whether the concept of evil is philosophically adequate. It sets out a secular conception of evil that is sufficiently clear to be used in philosophical theorising. Evil, so conceived, is not merely a fiction or an illusion, but is a moral property possessed by some actions and some persons in the real world. While several philosophers have claimed that it is inescapably dangerous to use the concept of evil, the reality is that the concept of evil, when used …Read more