•  6
    Linda Zagzebski recently put forward a new theory, moral exemplarism, that is meant to provide an alternative to theories like consequentialism and deontology, and which proposes to define key moral terms by direct reference to exemplars. The theory’s basic structure is straightforward. A virtuous person is defined as a person like that, where that points to individuals like Leopold Socha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, and so on. A key component of this theory is the function played by the emotions, …Read more
  •  57
    Functional Beauty, Pleasure, and Experience
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3): 516-530. 2020.
    I offer a set of sufficient conditions for beauty, drawing on Parsons and Carlson’s account of ‘functional beauty’. First, I argue that their account is flawed, whilst falling short of...
  •  31
    Moral beauty and education
    Journal of Moral Education 48 (4): 395-411. 2019.
    This article seeks to rekindle a version of the age-old view that aesthetic education can contribute to the development of virtue. It proceeds as follows. First, it introduces the moral beauty view, whereby the moral virtues are beautiful, and the moral vices ugly, character traits. Second, two ways in which moral beauty and ugliness can manifest themselves are considered: in people and in artworks. Third, it is argued that character education couched partly in aesthetic terms, and coupled with …Read more
  •  54
    The ‘Moralism’ in Immoralism: A Critique of Immoralism in Aesthetics
    British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1): 13-33. 2018.
    According to immoralists, some artworks are better aesthetically in virtue of their immorality. A. W. Eaton recently offered a novel defence of this view, seeking to overcome shortcomings in previous accounts, thereby occasioning a reconsideration of immoralism. Yet, as I argue in this paper, Eaton’s attempt is unsuccessful, insofar as it consists partly of inadequately supported claims, and partly—and more interestingly, albeit paradoxically––of covert moralist assumptions that are, eo ipso, in…Read more
  •  45
    On Form, and the Possibility of Moral Beauty
    Metaphilosophy 49 (5): 711-729. 2018.
    There is a tendency in contemporary (analytic) aesthetics to consider- ably restrict the scope of things that can be beautiful or ugly. This peculiarly modern tendency is holding back progress in aesthetics and robbing it of its potential contribution to other domains of inquiry. One view that has suffered neglect as a result of this tendency is the moral beauty view, whereby the moral virtues are beautiful and the moral vices are ugly. This neglect stems from an assumption to the effect that vi…Read more
  •  37
    Art, Morality and Human Nature: Writings (review)
    British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1): 105-109. 2019.
    Art, Morality and Human Nature: Writings by BeardsmoreRichard W.HaldaneJohn and LloydIeuan imprint academic. 2017. pp. 340. £19.95.
  •  42
    The Empirical Case for Moral Beauty
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4): 642-656. 2018.
    ABSTRACTAlthough formative of modern value theory, the moral beauty view—which states that moral virtue is beautiful and moral vice is ugly—is now mostly neglected by philosophers. The two contemporary defences of the view mostly capitalize on its intuitive attractiveness, but to little avail: such considerations hardly convince sceptics of what is nowadays a rather unpopular view. Historically, the view was supported by thought experiments; and although these greatly increase its plausibility, …Read more
  •  73
    The Deformity-Related Conception of Ugliness
    British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2): 139-160. 2017.
    Ugliness is a neglected topic in contemporary analytic aesthetics. This is regrettable given that this topic is not just genuinely fascinating, but could also illuminate other areas in the field, seeing as ugliness, albeit unexplored, does feature rather prominently in several debates in aesthetics. This paper articulates a ‘deformity-related’ conception of ugliness. Ultimately, I argue that deformity, understood in a certain way, and displeasure, jointly suffice for ugliness. First, I motivate …Read more
  •  93
    Considerable progress in personality and social psychology has been largely ignored by philosophers, many of whom still remain sceptical concerning whether the conception of character presupposed by virtue theory is descriptively adequate. Here, I employ the five-factor model of personality, currently the consensus view in personality psychology, to respond to a strong reading of the situationist challenge, whereby most people lack dispositions that are both cross-situationally consistent and te…Read more