•  13
    How Much Are Games Like Art?
    Analysis 81 (2): 287-296. 2021.
    In a series of stimulating writings, C. Thi Nguyen has made novel connections between the theory of art and the theory of games. In ‘Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement’, he argues that we should see the aesthetic judgement of works of art as in important ways like playing a game. And in Games: Agency as Art, he makes the converse argument: that a central feature of game-play, and the source of much of its value, is that it offers aesthetic experiences, in particular of one’s own agency.1 1 Playin…Read more
  •  26
    Against ‘Good for’/‘Well-Being’, for ‘Simply Good’
    Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4). 2021.
    This paper challenges the widely held view that ‘good for’, ‘well-being’, and related terms express a distinctive evaluative concept of central importance for ethics and separate from ‘simply good’ as used by G. E. Moore and others. More specifically, it argues that there's no philosophically useful good-for or well-being concept that's neither merely descriptive in the sense of naturalistic nor reducible to ‘simply good’. The paper distinguishes two interpretations of the common claim that the …Read more
  • Perfectionism
    In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life, Oup Usa. 1993.
  •  25
    The Parallel Goods of Knowledge and Achievement
    Erkenntnis 85 (3): 589-608. 2020.
    This paper examines what it takes to be the intrinsic human goods of knowledge and achievement and argues that they are at many points parallel. Both are compounds, and of parallel elements: belief, justification, and truth in the one case, and intentional pursuit, competence, and success in the other. Each involves a Moorean organic unity, so its full presence or value requires a connection between its elements: an outside-in connection, where what makes a belief true helps explain why it’s jus…Read more
  • Games, Sports, and Play: Philosophical Essays (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    A distinguished group of philosophers discuss a wide range of issues about games, sport, and play - a topic largely neglected in recent philosophical literature. They ask consider what games and sports have in common, pose questions about their value, and add philosophical voices to the on-going debates in game studies.
  •  89
    On ‘Hybrid’ Theories of Personal Good
    Utilitas 31 (4): 450-462. 2019.
    ‘Hybrid’ theories of personal good, defended by e.g. Parfit, Wolf, and Kagan, equate it, not with a subjective state such as pleasure on its own, nor with an objective state such as knowledge on its own, but with a whole that supposedly combines the two. These theories apply Moore's principle of organic unities, which says the value of a whole needn't equal the sum of the values its parts would have by themselves. This allows them, defenders say, to combine the attractions of purely subjective a…Read more
  •  53
    More Seriously Wrong, More Importantly Right
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1): 41-58. 2019.
  •  67
    A Surprisingly Common Dilemma
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (1): 74-84. 2019.
  •  20
    Right act, virtuous motive
    Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2): 58-72. 2010.
  •  125
    Indirect Perfectionism: Kymlicka on Liberal Neutrality
    Journal of Political Philosophy 3 (1): 36-57. 1995.
  •  12
    Review of Gabriele Taylor, Deadly Vices (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (4). 2007.
  •  65
    The Three Faces of Flourishing
    Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1): 44. 1999.
    To my knowledge, the term “flourishing” was introduced into contemporary philosophy in Elizabeth Anscombe's 1958 article “Modern Moral Philosophy.” In this article and in much of the writing subsequent to it, the concept of flourishing seems to have three principal facets, or to be associated with three philosophical views
  •  7
    Book reviews (review)
    Mind 104 (413): 178-182. 1995.
  •  91
    Normative ethics: back to the future
    In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy, Oxford University Press. 2004.
  •  59
    The Geometry of Desert, by Shelly Kagan
    Mind 125 (498): 598-604. 2016.
  •  102
  •  32
    Though primarily focussed on philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology, Scott Soames’s Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century contains several discussions of ethics. Volume 1 contains two chapters on Moore’s ethics, one on the emotivism of Ayer and Stevenson, and one on Ross; Volume 2 adds a chapter on Hare’s prescriptivism. The bulk of the Moore chapters as well as the ones on emotivism and Hare concern metaethics, but there is also discussion of Moore’s normative views and…Read more
  •  145
    Value theory
    In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, Oxford University Press. pp. 357--379. 2006.
    This chapter surveys a variety of views about which states of affairs are intrinsically good, that is, in themselves or apart from their consequences. It considers the claims to intrinsic value of such states of individuals as pleasure, the fulfillment of desire, knowledge, achievement, moral virtue, and personal relationships; the different ways such goods can be compared and aggregated both within and across individual lives; and the possibility, given a principle of “organic unities,” of good…Read more
  •  16
    This volume contains selected essays in moral and political philosophy by Thomas Hurka. The essays address a wide variety of topics, from the well-rounded life and the value of playing games to proportionality in war and the ethics of nationalism. They also share a common aim: to illuminate the surprising richness and subtlety of our everyday moral thought by revealing its underlying structure, which they often do by representing that structure on graphs. More specifically, the essays all give w…Read more
  •  80
    Underivative duty: Prichard on moral obligation: Thomas Hurka
    Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2): 111-134. 2010.
    This paper examines H.A. Prichard's defense of the view that moral duty is underivative, as reflected in his argument that it is a mistake to ask “Why ought I to do what I morally ought?”, because the only possible answer is “Because you morally ought to.” This view was shared by other philosophers of Prichard's period, from Henry Sidgwick through A.C. Ewing, but Prichard stated it most forcefully and defended it best. The paper distinguishes three stages in Prichard's argument: one appealing to…Read more
  •  405
    Perfectionism
    Oxford University Press. 1993.
    Hurka gives an account of perfectionism, which holds that certain states of humans, such as knowledge, achievement and friendship are good apart from any pleasure they may bring, and that the morally right act is always the one that most promotes these states. Beginning with an analysis of its central concepts, Hurka tries to regain for perfectionism a central place in contemporary moral debate.