•  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.
  •  90
    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
  •  54
    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.
  •  406
    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.
  •  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
  •  46
    Moore's moral philosophy
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    G.E. Moore's Principia Ethica of 1903 is often considered a revolutionary work that set a new agenda for 20 th-century ethics. This historical view is hard to sustain, however. In metaethics Moore's non naturalist position was close to that defended by Henry Sidgwick and other late..
  •  110
    Asymmetries In Value
    Noûs 44 (2): 199-223. 2010.
    Values typically come in pairs. Most obviously, there are the pairs of an intrinsic good and its contrasting intrinsic evil, such as pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, and desert and undesert, or getting what one deserves and getting its opposite. But in more complex cases there can be contrasting pairs with the same value. Thus, virtue has the positive form of benevolent pleasure in another’s pleasure and the negative form of compassionate pain for his pain, while desert has the positive form …Read more
  • Intrinsic value
    In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Reference. pp. 4--719. 2006.
  •  30
    Self-Interest, Altruism, and Virtue
    Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1): 286. 1997.
    My topic in this essay is the comparative moral value of self-interest and altruism. I take self-interest to consist in a positive attitude toward one's own good and altruism to consist in a similar attitude toward the good of others, and I assess these attitudes within a general theory of the intrinsic value of attitudes toward goods and evils. The first two sections of the essay apply this theory in a simple form, one that treats self-interest and altruism symmetrically. The third section exam…Read more
  •  233
    Why Value Autonomy?
    Social Theory and Practice 13 (3): 361-382. 1987.
  •  28
    From the Editorial Board
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29 (2): 5-5. 1999.
  •  197
    Virtuous act, virtuous dispositions
    Analysis 66 (1): 69-76. 2006.
    Everyday moral thought uses the concepts of virtue and vice at two different levels. At what I will call a global level it applies these concepts to persons or to stable character traits or dispositions. Thus we may say that a person is brave or has a standing trait of generosity or malice. But we also apply these concepts more locally, to specific acts or mental states such as occurrent desires or feelings. Thus we may say that a particular act was brave or that a desire or pleasure felt at a p…Read more
  •  2
    Critical notice
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (3): 449-470. 1983.
  •  74
    As its title suggests, Robert Audi’s The Good in the Right1 defends an intuitionist moral view like W.D. Ross’s in The Right and the Good. Ross was an intuitionist, first, in metaethics, where he held that there are self-evident moral truths that can be known by intuition. But he was also an intuitionist in the different sense used in normative ethics, since he held that there are irreducibly many such truths. Some concern the intrinsic goods, which are in turn plural, so there are prima facie d…Read more