•  5
    This book investigates the reality of the past by connecting arguments across areas which are conventionally discussed in isolation from each other. Breaking the impasse within the narrower analytic debate between Dummett’s semantic anti-realists and the truth value link realists as to whether the past exists independently of our methods of verification, it is argued, through an examination of the puzzles concerning identity over time, that only the present exists. Drawing on Lewis’s analogy b…Read more
  •  71
    Hume’s view that the object of moral feeling is a natural passion, motivating action, causes problems for justice. There is apparently no appropriate natural motive, whilst, if there were, its “partiality” would unfit it to ground the requisite impartial approval. We offer a critique of such solutions as that the missing non-moral motive is enlightened self-interest, or that it is feigned, or that it consists in a just disposition. We reject Cohon’s postulation of a moral motive for just acts, a…Read more
  •  13
    Agency and Necessity
    Philosophical Books 29 (2): 94-96. 1988.
  •  4
    Shirley R. Letwin, "The Gentleman in Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct" (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 33 (33): 408. 1983.
  •  8
    No Title available: New Books (review)
    Philosophy 70 (272): 290-292. 1995.
  •  15
    Acts, Omissions and Keeping Patients Alive in a Persistent Vegetative State: Sophie Botros
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 38 99-119. 1995.
    There are many conflicting attitudes to technological progress: some people are fearful that robots will soon take over, even perhaps making ethical decisions for us, whilst others enthusiastically embrace a future largely run for us by them. Still others insist that we cannot predict the long term outcome of present technological developments. In this paper I shall be concerned with the impact of the new technology on medicine, and with one particularly agonizing ethical dilemma to which it has…Read more
  •  18
  •  106
    Hume’s Morality: Feeling and Fabrication (review)
    Hume Studies 34 (2): 289-292. 2008.
    Hume's project, in Book 3 of the Treatise, of showing that virtue and vice are discerned by feeling, not reason, is notorious for its contradictions. Armies of Humean scholars have fought valiantly, ingeniously, but unsuccessfully, to resolve them, and in the first half of Hume's Morality, Cohon shows herself an admirably doughty follower in their footsteps. The second half concerns Hume's division between natural and artificial virtues. We learn how self-interest is redirected, and moral sentim…Read more
  •  89
    An error about the doctrine of double effect
    Philosophy 74 (1): 71-83. 1999.
    This paper claims as erroneous the current widespread representation of the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE) as primarily condemning as intrinsically bad actions involving intentional harm. The DDE's Four Conditions are in fact used solely for justifying certain intrinsically good actions with both intended good and unintended bad effects. Though contemporary writers assign a minor justificatory role to the DDE this is incompatible with their attribution to it of a primary prohibitive role. Not o…Read more
  •  28
    The Cautious Jealous Virtue (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 65 (3): 641-642. 2012.
  •  30
    On a supposed contradiction in Hume
    Philosophy 82 (4): 643-646. 2007.
    One of the most powerful arguments in meta-ethics today is that of Treatise, Book 3, in which Hume seeks to show that morality's practical influence precludes its being based on reason. H.O. Mounce, in his review of my Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction, rejects my central contention that this argument contains a contradiction. This review is however flawed on several counts.
  •  12
    Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism
    Philosophical Books 27 (3): 142-144. 1986.
  •  57
    Hume's Morality: Feeling and Fabrication
    Philosophical Review 121 (1): 131-137. 2012.
    Hume's project, in Book 3 of the Treatise, of showing that virtue and vice are discerned by feeling, not reason, is notorious for its contradictions. Armies of Humean scholars have fought valiantly, ingeniously, but unsuccessfully, to resolve them, and in the first half of Hume's Morality, Cohon shows herself an admirably doughty follower in their footsteps. The second half concerns Hume's division between natural and artificial virtues. We learn how self-interest is redirected, and moral sentim…Read more
  •  59
    Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Hume's hugely influential attempt in book three of his _Treatise of Human Nature _to derive the conclusion that morality is a matter of feeling, not reason, from its link with action. Claiming that Hume's argument contains a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this …Read more
  •  71
    In replying to my article ‘An Error about the Doctrine of Double Effect’, Kaufman claims that the permission given by the four-condition Doctrine for certain mixed actions is merely complementary to an absolute prohibition—which he claims is the DDE's primary function. I point out again that in many cases this makes an appeal to the DDE's fourth condition not merely redundant but incoherent. Furthermore, his claim that I am a utilitarian maximizer, frustrated by a doctrine prohibiting intentiona…Read more
  •  12
    The Gentleman In Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct
    with Shirley Robin Letwin
    Philosophical Quarterly 33 (133): 408. 1983.
  • On a Supposed Contradiction in Hume [with Reply]
    with H. O. Mounce
    Philosophy 82 (322): 643-648. 2007.
  • SLOTE, MICHAEL From Morality to Virtue (review)
    Philosophy 70 (n/a): 290. 1995.
  •  25
    There are many conflicting attitudes to technological progress: some people are fearful that robots will soon take over, even perhaps making ethical decisions for us, whilst others enthusiastically embrace a future largely run for us by them. Still others insist that we cannot predict the long term outcome of present technological developments. In this paper I shall be concerned with the impact of the new technology on medicine, and with one particularly agonizing ethical dilemma to which it has…Read more
  •  77
    Acceptance and Morality
    Philosophy 58 (226). 1983.
    As a moral ideal, accepting the circumstances of one's life and its attendant miseries is, if not positively repugnant to modern ears, at least utterly puzzling. Historians might attempt to trace this aversion to the French Rationalists and English Utilitarians who believed that once the laws of human behaviour were discovered all social problems would be solved and who even tried to establish communities in which unhappiness would simply be eradicated. In this optimistic climate of social engin…Read more
  •  1
    Philosophy and Technology
    Cambridge University Press. 1995.