•  523
    Aesthetic Creation
    Oxford University Press. 2007.
    What is the purpose of art? What drives us to make it? Why do we value it? Nick Zangwill argues that the function of art is to have certain aesthetic properties in virtue of its non-aesthetic properties, and this function arises because of the artist's insight into the nature of these dependence relations and her intention to bring them about.
  •  393
    Music, emotion and metaphor
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (4): 391-400. 2007.
    We describe music in terms of emotion. How should we understand this? Some say that emotion descriptions should be understood literally. Let us call those views “literalist.” By contrast “nonliteralists” deny this and say that such descriptions are typically metaphorical.1 This issue about the linguistic description of music is connected with a central issue about the na- ture of music. That issue is whether there is any essential connection between music and emotion. According to what we can ca…Read more
  •  365
    Moral dependence
    In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 3, Oxford University Press. pp. 109-27. 2008.
    What is the relation between moral and natural properties? And how do we conceive of this relation? By ‘moral’ properties I will mean properties such as being evil, just or virtuous or having duties or rights; and by ‘natural’ properties I will mean properties such as psychological, sociological and physical properties.1 Suppose we judge that Queen Isabella of Spain was evil in 1492, or at least that many of her actions in 1492 were evil. Then we do not think that she had various natural propert…Read more
  •  303
    Appropriate Musical Metaphors
    Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 20 (38). 2009.
    I argue that we should avoid a unitary account of what makes metaphorical descriptions of music in terms of emotion appropriate. There are many different ways in which musical metaphors can be appropriate. The right view of metaphorical appropriateness is a generously pluralist one
  •  288
    The normativity of the mental
    Philosophical Explorations 8 (1): 1-19. 2005.
    I describe and defend the view in a philosophy of mind that I call 'Normative Essentialism', according to which propositional attitudes have normative essences. Those normative essences are 'horizontal' rational requirements, by which I mean the requirement to have certain propositional attitudes given other propositional attitudes. Different propositional attitudes impose different horizontal rational requirements. I distinguish a stronger and a weaker version of this doctrine and argue for the…Read more
  •  286
    Externalist moral motivation
    American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (2): 143-154. 2003.
    “Motivational externalism” is the externalism until they see more of what view that moral judgements have no motisuch a theory would be like. The mere posvational efficacy in themselves, and that sibility of such a theory is not sufficiently when they motivate us, the source of motireassuring, even given strong arguments vation lies outside the moral judgement in against the opposite position. For there may a separate desire. Motivational externalism also be objections to externalism. contrasts …Read more
  •  275
    Besires and the Motivation Debate
    Theoria 74 (1): 50-59. 2008.
    Abstract:  This article addresses a number of difficulties and complications in the standard formulations of motivational internalism, and considers what besires might be in the light of those difficulties and complications. Two notions of besire are then distinguished, before considering how different kinds of motivational internalism and different conceptions of besire fare against the significant argument that we may be indifferent to the demands of morality without irrationality.
  •  273
    Normativity and the Metaphysics of Mind
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1). 2010.
    I consider the metaphysical consequences of the view that propositional attitudes have essential normative properties. I argue that realism should take a weak rather than a strong form. I argue that expressivism cannot get off the ground. And I argue that eliminativism is self-refuting
  •  270
    Against emotion: Hanslick was right about music
    British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1): 29-43. 2004.
    I argue that Hanslick was right to think that music should not be understood in terms of emotion. In particular, it is not essential to music to possess emotions, arouse emotions, express emotions, or represent emotions. All such theories are misguided.
  •  265
    Direction of fit and normative functionalism
    Philosophical Studies 91 (2): 173-203. 1998.
    What is the difference between belief and desire? In order to explain the difference, recent philosophers have appealed to the metaphor of
  •  241
    Non-Cognitivism and Consistency
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 65 (4): 465-484. 2011.
  •  236
    Quietism
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 17 (1): 160-176. 1992.
    Metaphysics-—the enquiry into the constitution of reality-seems like the very crown of philosophy. What could be more exciting, more important, and more substantive than the pursuit of such a discipline? The majority of philosophers have been content to assume that metaphysics is a viable enterprise; they have held various metaphysical views and engaged in metaphysical arguments. But there has always been a small but persistent maverick minority of philosophers who have cast aspersions on the wh…Read more
  •  234
    In defence of moderate aesthetic formalism
    Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201): 476-493. 2000.
    Most of the debate for and against aesthetic formalism in the twentieth century has been little more than a sequence of assertions, on both sides. But there is one discussion that stands out for its argumentative subtlety and depth, and that is Kendall Walton’s paper ‘Categories of Art’.1 In what follows I shall defend a certain version of formalism against the antiformalist arguments which Walton deploys. I want to show that while Walton’s arguments do indeed create insurmountable difficulties fo…Read more
  •  222
    Non-cognitivism and motivation
    In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 416--24. 2009.
    In sum, the non-cognitivist account of motivation is far from unproblematic. The non-cognitivist has trouble telling us what moral attitudes are in a way that is consistent with the phenomenon of variable motivation. Given that the cognitivist has an easy explanation of variable motivation, it seems that cognitivism is preferable to non-cognitivism on the score of motivation, which is a reversal of the way the issue is usually perceived.
  •  214
    Daydreams and Anarchy: A Defense of Anomalous Mental Causation
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2): 253-289. 2006.
    Must mental properties figure in psychological causal laws if they are causally efficacious? And do those psychological causal laws give the essence of mental properties? Contrary to the prevailing consensus, I argue that, on the usual conception of laws that is in play in these debates, there are in fact lawless causally efficacious properties both in and out of the philosophy of mind. I argue that this makes a great difference to the philosophical relevance of empirical psychology. I begin by …Read more
  •  208
    Feasible aesthetic formalism
    Noûs 33 (4): 610-629. 1999.
    Aesthetic Formalism has fallen on hard times. At best it receives unsympathetic discussion and swift rejection. At worst it is the object of abuse and derision. But I think that there is something to be said for it. In this paper, I shall try to find and secure the truth in formalism. I shall not try to defend formalism against all of the objections to it.1 Instead I shall articulate a moderate formalist view that draws on aesthetic0nonaesthetic determination and Kant’s distinction between free …Read more
  •  206
    Against analytic moral functionalism
    Ratio 13 (3). 2000.
    I argue against the analytic moral functionalist view propounded by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit. I focus on the ‘input’ clauses of our alleged ‘folk moral theory’. I argue that the examples they give of such input clauses cannot plausibly be interpreted as analytic truths. They are in fact substantive moral claims about the moral ‘domain’. It is a substantive claim that all human beings have equal moral standing. There are those who have rejected this, such as Herman Göring. He was loyal to …Read more
  •  204
    Defusing anti-formalist arguments
    British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (3): 376-383. 2000.
    ANTI-FORMALISM has become the consensus in aesthetics. But in my view anti-formalism is not true to our aesthetic experience; it gives a revisionary account of the aesthetic properties that we think we find in works of art. The thesis I think we should hold is not extreme formalism—the view that all or almost all aesthetic properties are formal—but the moderate thesis that many are. This view has not been given its due because so many aestheticians have been convinced by anti-formalist arguments…Read more
  •  203
    Art and audience
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57 (3): 315-332. 1999.
    D0 works 0f an essentially involve a relation t0 an audience'? Many otherwise very different theories of art agree than they do. S0 the question ‘Wha1 is art?" has no be answered by describing than relation. I shall argue 10 the ccmmrary [hm a theory of wha; ir is m be art should nm invoke any relacicm m an audience. Art has nothing esscmial to do with an audience.
  •  194
    Constitution and Causation
    Metaphysica 13 (1): 1-6. 2012.
    I argue that the constitution relation transmits causal efficacy and thus is a suitable relation to deploy in many troubled areas of philosophy, such as the mind–body problem. We need not demand identity
  •  191
    Are there counterexamples to aesthetic theories of art?
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (2). 2002.
    Do all works of art have an aesthetic purpose? It aesthetic properties are those possessed by is not particularly controversial that many works works of art or that they are those it is the funcof art have an aesthetic purpose. What will be..
  •  174
    Rocks and Sunsets: A Defence of Ignorant Pleasures
    Rivista di Estetica 45 (2). 2005.
    §1. How much do we have to know about what we evaluate? Many aestheticians say that all or most aesthetic evaluations of artworks and natural things require that we know not just about its immediately perceivable aspects but also about its history or deeper nature or wider role. I agree that quite a lot of aesthetic evaluation is like this. But I also think that much is not. Much of our aesthetic life is a matter of a relatively uninformed aesthetic appreciation of what is immediately given in o…Read more
  •  161
    §1.1 What m otivated the perpetrators of the holocaust? Christopher Browning and Daniel Goldhagen differ in their analysis of Reserve Police Battalion 101 (Browning 1992, Goldhagen 1996). The battalion consisted of around 500 ‘ordinary’ Germ ans who, during the period 1942-44, killed around 40,000 Jews and who deported as m any to the death cam ps. Browning and Goldhagen differ over the m otivation wit h which the m en killed. I want to com m ent on a central aspect of this debate.
  •  160
    Supervenience, reduction, and infinite disjunction
    Philosophia 24 (3-4): 321-30. 1995.
    Can a certain sort of property supervene on another sort of property without reducing to it? Many philosophers find the superveniencel irreducibility combination attractive in the philosophy of mind and in moral philosophy. They think that mental properties supervene upon physical properties but do not reduce to them, or that moral properties supervene upon natural properties without reducing to them. Other philosophers have tried to show that the combination is ultimately untenable, however att…Read more
  •  158
    Kant on Pleasure in the Agreeable
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (2). 1995.
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1995.
  •  157
    Moral Supervenience
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1): 240-262. 1995.
    morality? I want to pursue these questions by examining an argument against moral realism that Simon Blackburn has developed.' In parts 1 and 2, I consider..
  •  156
    A way out of the Euthyphro dilemma
    Religious Studies 48 (1). 2012.
    I defend the view that morality depends on God against the Euthyphro dilemma by arguing that the reasons that God has for determining the moral-natural dependencies might be personal reasons that have non-moral content. I deflect the 'arbitrary whim' worry, but I concede that the account cannot extend to the goodness of God and His will. However, human moral-natural dependencies can be explained by God's will. So a slightly restricted version of divine commandment theory is defensible
  •  143
    The indifference argument
    Philosophical Studies 138 (1). 2008.
    I argue against motivational internalism. First I recharacterise the issue over moral motivation. Second I describe the indifference argument against motivation internalism. Third I consider appeals to irrationality that are often made in the face of this argument, and I show that they are ineffective. Lastly, I draw the motivational externalist conclusion and reflect on the nature of the issue.