•  140
    Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Critical Essays (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield. 1997.
    This collection of essays, the first of its kind in nearly thirty years, introduces the reader to some of the most important studies of the book from the past ...
  •  125
    Telecare, remote monitoring and care
    with Heather Draper
    Bioethics 27 (7): 365-372. 2013.
    Telecare is often regarded as a win/win solution to the growing problem of meeting the care needs of an ageing population. In this paper we call attention to some of the ways in which telecare is not a win/win solution but rather aggravates many of the long-standing ethical tensions that surround the care of the elderly. It may reduce the call on carers' time and energy by automating some aspects of care, particularly daily monitoring. This can release carers for other caring activities. On the …Read more
  •  100
    SCIENTISM AND 'SCIENTIFIC EMPIRICISM' WHAT IS SCIENTISM? Scientism is the belief that science, especially natural science, is much the most valuable part of ...
  •  94
    Patients' responsibilities in medical ethics
    with Heather Draper
    Bioethics 16 (4). 2002.
  •  76
    Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy (edited book)
    with G. A. J. Rogers
    Oxford University Press. 2005.
    Philosophy written in English is overwhelmingly analytic philosophy, and the techniques and predilections of analytic philosophy are not only unhistorical but anti-historical, and hostile to textual commentary. Analytic usually aspires to a very high degree of clarity and precision of formulation and argument, and it often seeks to be informed by, and consistent with, current natural science. In an earlier era, analytic philosophy aimed at agreement with ordinary linguistic intuitions or common …Read more
  •  59
    Leviathan After 350 Years (edited book)
    with Luc Foisneau
    Oxford University Press. 2004.
    Tom Sorell and Luc Foisneau bring together original essays by the world's leading Hobbes scholars to discuss Hobbes's masterpiece after three and a half centuries. The contributors address three different themes. The first is the place of Leviathan within Hobbes's output as a political philosopher. What does Leviathan add to The Elements of Law (1640) and De Cive (1642; 1647)? What is the relation between the English Leviathan and the Latin version of the book (1668)? Does Leviathan deserve its …Read more
  •  54
    Descartes: A Very Short Introduction
    Oxford University Press. 1987.
    Rene Descartes had a remarkably short working life, yet his contribution to philosophy and physics have endured to this day. He is perhaps best known for his statement, "Cogito, ergo sum," the cornerstone of his metaphysics. Descartes did not intend the metaphysics to stand apart from his scientific work, which included important investigations into physics, mathematics, and optics. In this book, Sorell shows that Descarates was, above all, an advocate and practitioner of the new mathematical ap…Read more
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    Descartes, Hobbes and The Body of Natural Science
    The Monist 71 (4): 515-525. 1988.
    Descartes was disappointed with most of the Objections collected to accompany the Meditations in 1641, but he took a particularly dim view of the Third Set. ‘I am surprised that I have found not one valid argument in these objections,’ he wrote, close to the end of a series of curt and dismissive replies. The author of the objections was Thomas Hobbes. There was one other unfriendly exchange between Descartes and Hobbes in 1641. Descartes received through Mersenne some letters criticizing theses…Read more
  •  40
    Two ideals and the death penalty
    Criminal Justice Ethics 21 (2): 27-35. 2002.
  •  38
    Robot carers, ethics, and older people
    with Heather Draper
    Ethics and Information Technology 16 (3): 183-195. 2014.
  •  37
    Aggravated Murder and Capital Punishment
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 10 (2): 201-213. 1993.
    It is possible to defend the death penalty for aggravated murder in more than one way, and not every defence is equally compelling. The paper takes up arguments put forward by two very distinguished advocates of the death penalty, Mill and Kant. After reviewing Mill's argument and some weaknesses in it, I shall sketch another line of reasoning that combines his conclusion with premisses to be found in Kant. The hybrid argument provides at least the basis for a sound defence of execution for the …Read more
  •  35
    The customer is not always right
    Journal of Business Ethics 13 (11). 1994.
    Consumers can sustain markets that are morally questionable. They can make immoral or morally suspect demands of individual businesses, especially small businesses. Even when they do not, the costs to firms of consumer protection can sometimes drive them to ruin. This paper presents cases where deference to the consumer is variously unwarranted, cases that may prompt second thoughts about some kinds of consumerism.
  •  34
    Self, Society and Kantian Impersonality
    The Monist 74 (1): 30-42. 1991.
    What view of the person must prevail in a society that claims to be just? There is supposed to be a Kantian answer to this question, according to which people must regard themselves and their fellows as free, equal and capable to acting rationally. In A Theory of Justice Rawls tries to give content to the idea of free, equal and rational persons, but in such a way, according to certain critics, that social relations between these figures appear impoverished. Sandel, for example, has described a …Read more
  •  34
    Morality and emergency
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1). 2002.
    Agents sometimes feel free to resort to underhand or brutal measures in coping with an emergency. Because emergencies seem to relax moral inhibitions as well as carrying the risk of great loss of life or injury, it may seem morally urgent to prevent them or curtail them as far as possible. I discuss some cases of private emergency that go against this suggestion. Prevention seems morally urgent primarily in the case of public emergencies. But these are the responsibility of defensibly partisan a…Read more
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    "Modern" philosophy in the West is said to have begun with Bacon and Descartes. Their methodological and metaphysical writings, in conjunction with the discoveries that marked the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, are supposed to have interred both Aristotelian and scholastic science and the philosophy that supported it. But did the new or "modern" philosophy effect a complete break with what preceded it? Were Bacon and Descartes untainted by scholastic influences? The theme of this boo…Read more
  •  29
    Telecare, Surveillance, and the Welfare State
    with Heather Draper
    American Journal of Bioethics 12 (9): 36-44. 2012.
    In Europe, telecare is the use of remote monitoring technology to enable vulnerable people to live independently in their own homes. The technology includes electronic tags and sensors that transmit information about the user's location and patterns of behavior in the user's home to an external hub, where it can trigger an intervention in an emergency. Telecare users in the United Kingdom sometimes report their unease about being monitored by a ?Big Brother,? and the same kind of electronic tags…Read more
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    Power and surveillance
    The Philosophers' Magazine 63 65-71. 2013.
  •  25
    Descartes' Meditations: Background Source Materials (edited book)
    with Roger Ariew and John Cottingham
    Cambridge University Press. 1998.
    No single text could be considered more important in the history of philosophy than Descartes' Meditations. This unique collection of background material to this magisterial philosophical text has been translated from the original French and Latin. The texts gathered here illustrate the kinds of principles, assumptions, and philosophical methods that were commonplace when Descartes was growing up. The selections are from: Francisco Sanches, Christopher Clavius, Pierre de la Ramee, Francisco Suár…Read more
  •  24
    Morality and Emergency
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1): 21-37. 2003.
    Agents sometimes feel free to resort to underhand or brutal measures in coping with an emergency. Because emergencies seem to relax moral inhibitions as well as carrying the risk of great loss of life or injury, it may seem morally urgent to prevent them or curtail them as far as possible. I discuss some cases of private emergency that go against this suggestion. Prevention seems morally urgent primarily in the case of public emergencies. But these are the responsibility of defensibly partisan a…Read more
  •  22
    Descartes and the passionate mind - by Deborah J. brown
    Philosophical Books 49 (1): 47-48. 2008.
  •  21
    Hobbes and History (edited book)
    with G. A. John Rogers and Thomas Sorell
    Routledge. 2000.
    Much of Thomas Hobbes's work can be read as historical commentary, taking up questions in the philosophy of history and the rhetorical possibilities of written history. This collection of scholarly essays explores the relation of Hobbes's work to history as a branch of learning.
  •  20
    The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes
    with David Boonin
    Philosophical Review 107 (3): 491. 1998.
    The aim of this volume is to "serve as a reference work for students and nonspecialists" and to provide "the most convenient, accessible guide to Hobbes available." As with any such anthology, the quality of the individual contributions and the degree to which they contribute to these goals vary somewhat from paper to paper. But on the whole, the work succeeds admirably and constitutes a valuable resource for those interested in learning more about the great English philosopher. Space does not p…Read more
  •  20
    Experimental philosophy and the history of philosophy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (5): 829-849. 2018.
    ABSTRACTContemporary experimental philosophers sometimes use versions of an argument from the history of philosophy to defend the claim that what they do is philosophy. Although experimental philosophers conduct surveys and carry out what appear to be experiments in psychology, making them methodologically different from most analytic philosophers working today, techniques like theirs were not out of the ordinary in the philosophy of the past, early modern philosophy in particular. Or so some of…Read more
  •  19
    The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 1996.
    It was as a political thinker that Thomas Hobbes first came to prominence, and it is as a political theorist that he is most studied today. Yet the range of his writings extends well beyond morals and politics. Hobbes had distinctive views in metaphysics and epistemology, and wrote about such subjects as history, law, and religion. He also produced full-scale treatises in physics, optics, and geometry. All of these areas are covered in this Companion, most in considerable detail. The volume also…Read more