Jimmy Lenman HomePage / Metaethics Bibliography I-P
Return to Index
"Practical Reason Divided: Aquinas and his Critics" in Cullity and Gaut, Ethics and Practical Reason
"Defining the Autonomy of Ethics" in Philosophical Review 83, 1974.
"Internal Conflicts in Desire and Morals" in American Philosophical Quarterly 22, 1985.
"Critical Notice of Susan Hurley's Natural Reasons: Personality and Polity" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70, 1992.
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)
"Non-Cognitivism, Normativity, Belief" in Ratio 12, 1999.
Someone who believes that p and that if p then q ought to believe that q. This is a normative constraint on whether something counts as a belief and there are others. But if noncognitivism about normativity is correct there can be no such thing as satisfying a normative constraint and hence no such thing as a belief. This is a reductio of noncognitivism about normativity. As noncognitivism about ethics and about rationality plausibly stand or fall together, being supported by effectively the same strategies of argument, this is bad news too for noncognitivism about morality."Non-Cognitivism, Validity and Conditionals" in Jamieson, Singer and his Critics
An ingenious and attractively simply attempt to address the Frege-Geach problem. Suppose non-cognitivism is right: ethical sentences express non-cognitive attitudes and so are never true. But say that they are q-true if the things said to be e.g. good or right have in fact the properties at which the correlative attitudes are directed. Then say a sentence is *true if it is true or q-true. Now say that an argument is *valid if its conclusion's *truth follows from that of its premises. *Validity is the extension of the notion of validity the non-cognitivist needs; it makes good sense, has an intimate connection to meaning, confers validity on what, intuitively, we want it to, and, given our interest in ethical consistency, is something there is a clear point to our being interested in."Cognitivsm, A Priori Deduction and Moore" in Ethics 113, 2003, pp. 557-575.
"Minimal Realism and Truth-Aptness" in Mind 1994.
Truth-aptness, argue J, O and S, is not minimal in the way Crispin Wright supposes because of the platitudinous link between truth and belief, where beliefs are states with a certain functional role that contrasts with that of desire. A truth-apt sentence is one that can give the content of a belief and it is just this condition which, according to non-cognitivists, moral sentences do not satisfy.
"Moral Functionalism and Moral Motivation" in Philosophical Quarterly
45, 1995, pp. 20-40.
"Moral Functionalism, Suervenience and Reductionism" in Philosophical Quarterly 46, 1996
"A Problem for Expressivism" in Analysis 58, 1998, pp. 239-251.
"Locke, Expressivism, Conditionals" in Analysis 63, 2003, pp. 86-92.
Expressivists deny that ethical sentences report beliefs. Rather they express attitudes. But for ethical language, so characterised, to be possible these must be attitudes that we are able to recognize and we must be prepared sincerely to utter a moral sentence only when we believe we have the corresponding attitude. But that is just to say that moral sentences serve to report just these beliefs and are true when and only when these beliefs are true. And that is what expressivism denies.
"Semantic Character and Expressive Content" in Philosophical Papers 26, 1997
"Wittgenstein on the Transcendence of Ethics" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75, 1997
"Method and Moral Theory" in Singer, A Companion to Ethics
(ed.): Singer and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999)
"Science, Ethics and Objectivity" in Altham and Harrison, World, Mind and Ethics
"Commending and Choosing" in Mind 66, 1957.
"Ethical Intuitionism: A Restatement" in Philosophical Quarterly
"On Moral Disagreements" in Mind 68, 1959
Moral Knowledge (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1966)
"Aesthetic Objectivity and the Analogy with Ethics" in Vesey, Philosophy and the Arts
"Blanshard's Critique of Ethical Subjectivism" in Idealistic Studies 1990.
""Is" and "Ought": A Different Connection" in Journal of Value Inquiry 1991.
"Reasons and Advice for the Practically Rational" in Philosophy amd Phenomenological
Research 57, 1997
"Minding One's Manners: Revisiting Moral Explanations", Philosophical Studies90, 1998
"Internal Reasons and the Conditional Fallacy" in The Philosophical Quarterly 49, 1999, pp. 53-71.
"Dispositional Theories of Value" in P.A.S.S. 1989, pp. 139-174.
"Objectivity Refigured" in Haldane and Wright, Reality, Representation and Projection
"The Authority of Affect" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63, 2002
A defence of realism about "sensory values", values Johnston takes to be immeditaley disclosed to us in experience. We should, argues Johnston, be detectivists and not projectivists about these because the detectivist can explain the "authority" of effect and the projectivist cannot. Action motivated by affectless desire is more or less unintelligible to us. Adopting a dispositional, response-dependence account of sensory value doesn't lessen these worries about projectivism as the only forms which even pretend to do so turn out to be incoherent in various ways. Accepting projectivism shifts our attention away from the affective authority of other people and things in the world, focusing instead simply on their agreeableness to us. As such it sustains a deep evaluative egocentricity and is nothing less than "the ideology of the pornographic attitude." Etc., etc."Is Affect Always Mere Effect?" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63, 2002.
"Imperatives and Logic" in Erkenntnis 7, 1938
The Myth of Morality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)
"Moral Realism and Teleosemantics" in Biology and Philosophy 16, 2001, pp 725-734.
"Expressivism and Motivational Internalism" in Analysis 62, 2002.
Expressivism . the view that moral judgements function to express certain pro attitudes - does not imply the motivational internalist claim that necessarily if x judges that y is right x is motivated in favour of performing y. Compare apologies. Apologies, inter alia, function to express regret. But I can apologize while not feeling regret at that time. (I can even sincerely apologize while not feeling regret at the time.) Nor does the reverse entailment hold. For just because some sort of expression is necessarily linked to some sort of mental state does not imply that the former functions to express the latter."Moral Fictionalism" in Kalderon, Fictionalism in Metaphysics, pp.287-313.
"The Additive Fallacy" in Ethics 99, 1988, pp. 5-31.
The Limits of Morality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)
"Rethinking Intrinsic Value" in The Journal of Ethics 2, 1998.
"Thinking about Cases" in Social Philosophy and Policy 18, 2001
"Open Questions and the Manifest Image" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68, 2004, pp. 251-289.
(ed.): Fictionalism in Metaphysics (Oxford University Press: 2005)
"Are Moral Judgements Assertions?" in Philosophical Review 51, 1942
"Logical Empiricism and Value Judgements" in Schilpp, The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap
"A Framework for an Empirical Ethics" in Philosophy of Science 40, 1970.
"Some Valid (but no Sound) Arguments Trivially Span the "Is"-"Ought" Gap"in Mind 97, 1988
"the Reconciliation Project" in Copp and Zimmerman, Morality, Reason and Truth
"Moral Realism and Arbitrariness" in The Southern Journal of Philosophy 43, pp. 109-129.
"Pluralism and the Value of Life" in Paul, Cultural Pluralism and Moral
"The Emergence of Morality in Personal Relationships" in Wren, The Moral Domain
"Moral Attitudes and Moral Judgements" in Philosophical Quarterly
"A Categorical Imperative?" in Ethics 65, 1954.
"Pain and Evil" in Philosophy 29, 1954.
Ethical Naturalism: Hobbes and Hume (London: MacMillan, 1970)
"Korsgaard's Kantian Arguments for the Value of Humanity" in Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31, pp. 23-52.
"Reason, Sentiment and Categoriccal Imperatives" in Dreier, Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory
"Concepts of Supervenience" in Philosophy and Phnomenological Research
"Moral Kinds and Natural Kinds: What's the Difference - for a Naturalist" in Philosophical Issues 8, 1997.
"Quasi-Realism, Sensibility Theory and Ethical Relativism" in Inquiry
"Ethical Phenomenology and Metaethics" in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6, 2003, pp. 241-264.
"Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument" in European Journal of Philosophy 11, 2003, pp. 54-71.
"Essence and Perfection" in Ethics 110, 2000
"An Alleged Difficulty Cencerning Moral Properties" in Mind 93, 1984
"The Claim to Moral Adequacy of a Highest Stage of Moral Judgment" in Journal
of Philosophy 70, 1973.
"A Reply to Owen Flanagan's "Virtue, Sex and Gender" and Some Comments on the Puka-Goodpaster Exchange" in Ethics 92, 1982.
"Expressivism and the Syntactic Uniformity of Declarative Sentences" in Crítica
Truth without Objectivity (London: Routledge 2002).
The scope of this clear and enjoyable short book is wider than simply metaethics but given its concern with what we can best say about truth and objectivity in contexts where objectivity is problematic, among which contexts evaluative contexts feature saliently, it is highly relevant to metaethical concerns. Objectivity is understood as a property a claim has if we cannot disagree about its truth without at least one of us making a mistake. Kölbel rejects an expressivism which denies truth-evaluability to propositions of such problematic sorts on the grounds that the only ways to solve the Frege-Geach problem commit us to a .radical expressivism. that would generalize this denial in implausible ways. He also denies .revisionism. which reinterprets such sentences along the lines of reading .Liquorice is tasty. as .I find liquorice tasty.. Such views solve the problem of disagreement without mistake by reinterpreting such cases, highly implausibly, as involving no real disagreement at all. He denies however that truth requires objectivity. Truth on a deflationary understanding is perfectly compatible with a lack of objectivity. (In the long and fascinating fifth chapter he argues that the widespread supposition that truth in some robust . or indeed in any - sense is a central explanatory concept in the theory of meaning rests on a misunderstanding.) Truth he argues is relative to perspectives. In some areas of discourse, there is objectivity where that is a matter of any proposition that is true in anyone.s perspective necessarily being true in everybody.s perspective. In other areas there is non-objectivity where that is a matter of it being possible that what is true in one person.s perspective is not true in another.s. (Some areas, including perhaps ethics, may be complex insofar as some propositions within them may be objective while others are not.)
"Deliberation is of Ends" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
62, 1962, pp. 195-218.
"Aesthetic and Moral Experience: The Five Contrasts" in British Journal of Aesthetics 11, 1971.
"Contrasting the Ethical with the Aesthetical" in British Journal of Aesthetics 12, 1972.
Ethics, Value and Reality (Indianapolis: Hacket, 1978)
"The Ghost of the Naturalistic Fallacy" in Philosophy 55, 1980.
“Why Be Rational?” in Mind 114, 2005, pp. 509–63.
"State or Process Requirements?" in Mind 116, 2007, pp. 371-385.
"Two Distinctions in Goodness" in The Philosophical Review 91, 1983 and Creating the Kingdom of Ends.
Namely: that between instrumental and final and that between intrinsic and extrinsic. CK warns against confusing them by seeing intrinsic and instrumental as correlative. This can lead to a false dichotomy between a subjectivism that sees our making something an end as conferring intrinsic value and an objectivism whereby it is things with intrinsic value that ought to be our ends. For Kant only a good will has intrinsic ("unconditioned") goodness but the goodness of our rationally chosen ends is both extrinsic and final. His theory is good (and better than Moore's theory of organic wholes) at dealing with messy cases of mixed goods - thus a mink coat or a good meal may be valued partly for their own sakes (final) but only under certain conditions of life (extrinsic).
"Aristotle and Kant on the Source of Value" in Ethics 96, 1986 and
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.
"Scepticism about Practical Reason" in Journal of Philosophy 83, 1986, pp. 5-25 and Creating the Kingdom of Ends.
Instrumental reason, taking the means to one's ends, is not just a matter of getting the right beliefs about what these means are. One must also, given these beliefs, be motivated to act accordingly. We may be expected to do this only insofar as we are rational. This qualification, essential here, may plausibly be understood as generally applicable to Williams' central claim - the internalism requirement - that reasons for action must be capable of motivating us - True, says CK, but only insofar as we are rational. Once the qualification is in place, the status as principle of rationality of e.g. some principle of prudence depends merely on how we rate it qua rational principle. If we take it to constitute such a principle, then, insofar as someone is rational, we will expect him to be motivated accordingly. There is no further difficulty for skepticism about the force of reason as a motive to bring to the scene. Williams is right to argue that all reasons are internal reasons if this is read as CK would have it - they must be capable of motivating a rational person. But this cuts no ice against the Kantian, as Williams is wrong to take it there is a problem here with universal reasons binding on any rational being as such. There may or may not be but if there are, there is no problem with their satisfying the internalism requirement.
"The Reasons We Can Share: An Attack on the Distinction Between Agent-Relative
and Agent-Neutral Values" in Social Philosophy and Policy 10, 1993
and Creating the Kingdom of Ends.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
The Sources of Normativity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
What in the world, asks Korsgaard, in this published version of her 1992 Tanner Lectures, could possibly ground the supposition that we are, as we take ourselves to be, obligated to do things? She considers four answers to this, the normative question. (1) The first is the kind of voluntarism typified by Pufendof and Hobbes. This takes obligation to stem from the commands of some legitimate authority. The "legitimate" is essential as mere power could not robustly obligate us - if we could contrive to evade its sanctions the obligation would evaporate. But, as the notion of legitimacy presupposes normativity, this gets us nowhere. (2) The second is substantive moral realism, so called to distinguish it from the sort of Kantian constructivist view (procedural moral realism) CK endorses. Substantive moral realism takes there to be a domain of moral facts independent of the procedures by which we seek to reach answers to moral questions, characterizing ethics, erroneously, as a theoretical inquiry. As an account of the source of normativity, this is empty, offering no insight into why we should care about these putative moral facts. There is no reason to believe in such facts other than our confidence in the reality of obligation and hence the former belief can offer no sort of ground to the latter confidence. (3) This leads CK to consider a Humean reflective endorsement approach that appeals to this very confidence to answer the normative question, one whereby the demand morality make on us meet with approval when we reflect on them from the standpoint of our natural human motivations of sympathy and self-love and this is taken to be all the warrant we can intelligibly demand. This is close to correct, argues CK, but she insists that normativity only gets into the picture when these demands and these motivations are seen, not simply as forces operating on us but as reasons. To make this insistance is to move from a Humean picture to (4) a Kantian one that grounds obligation in autonomy. In autonomous deliberation, we conceive of ourselves as standing above our various motivations and choosing which of them to act on and this requires that we have some conception of ourselves that our choices express. To be understood as furnishing us with reasons, this conception of ourselves must be a conception in terms of which we value ourselves. An autonomous agent must have some conception of himself in terms of which he values himself and which he sees as expressed in his actions and choices in such a way as to give rise to obligations, demands he makes on himself not to betray this value-laden self-conception: this is Korsgaard's understanding of how integrity is fundamental to a proper understanding of obligation. There are many possible such self-conceptions varying from person to person. But there is also the noncontingent conception of oneself as a creature that can be described in these terms, "a reflective animal who needs reasons to act and to live." This conception of ourselves as human stands behind all our more contingent and particular identities which we can only take seriously insofar as we take our identities as human seriously by valuing our humanity. This does not get us all the way to the moral law for, even if I must value my own humanity, why must I value yours? This worry is addressed in the fourth lecture where she argues, following Wittgenstein that reasons are essentially public: to recognize my reasons is to have at least a capacity to recognize yours. I might nonetheless think I can just disregard your reasons, taking as normatively significant the fact that I am me but, following Nagel, she argues that I cannot intelligibly do this if I am understand you, if I am to hear your words as speech and not merely as noise. This Kantian picture is, she concludes by arguing, consistent with a broad philosophical naturalism. But it answers Mackie's worry about how, consistently with such naturalism, there could possibly be "intrinsically normative" entities in the world. From the standpoint of practical reason (which is not the standpoint of science), we ourselves are such entites.
"The Normativity of Instrumental Reason" in Cullity and Gaut, Ethics and Practical Reason, pp. 215-254.
For Hume we do not take the means to the ends we rationally ought to pursue as there are no such ends; and we cannot but take the means to the ends we are going to pursue. So for Hume there can be no such thing as instrumental practical reason. For the dogmatic rationalist there are facts independent of my will about what there is reason to do. But what would these facts have to do with me, why should I care about them? Perhaps they speak to ends I must, if I am rational, have, so I must act as they prescribe as a means to these ends. But that already presupposes an instrumental rationality that is not independent of my will. The dogmatic rationalist thus admits a gap between willing the ends and willing the means that he has then no resources to close. The Humean identifies them and so makes instrumental reason something trivial that we cannot fail to satisfy. The solution is to see willing an end not merely as desiring it but as a commitment to do what it takes to attain it: in willing something I make a law for myself, taking my act of will as normative for me. Only thus does what I do take on the unity required to make these doings agency and their doer a person.
"The General Point of View: Love asnd Moral Approval in Hume's Ethics" in Hume Studies 25, 1999, pp. 3-42.
Moral Notions (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967)
"Against the Ritual of "Is" and "Ought"" in Midwest Studies3, 1978
"In Defence of Common Moral Sense" in Dialogue 38, 1999.
"Explaining moral variety" in Paul, Cultural Pluralism and Moral Knowledge and Social Philosophy and Policy 11, 1994
"The Analytic-Synthetic and the Descriptive-Evaluative Distinctions" in Journal of Value Inquiry 3, 1969.
"Value Judgments" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42,
"Moral Realism and Metaphysical Antirealism" in Metaphilosophy 18, 1987.
"Ethical Fallibility" in Ratio 1, 1988.
"Ethics for Extraterrestrials" in American Philosophical Quarterly 28, 1991
"Axiological Realism" in Philosophy 71, 1996.
Value... And What Follows (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)
"How Values Congeal into Facts" in Ratio 12, 2000.
The Structure of a Moral Code (Cambridge, Ma.:Harvard University Press, 1957)
"The Truth in Ethical Relativism." Journal of Social Philosophy, 1991.
(ed.)The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000)
The Value Judgment (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1955)
"The Rule Following Considerations and Metaethics" in European journal of Philosophy 9, 2001, pp. 190-209.
This paper is valuable for its singularly lucid and clear-headed reconstruction of the McDowellian argument from the Wittgensteinian Rule Following Considerations to moral realism. This is followed by a critique the central point of which is that even granting the central morals McDowell draws from the RFC still allows clear distinctions to be drawn between discourses admitting of greater or lesser degrees of objectivity, the RFC as such doing nothing to settle where on this spectrum moral discourse is best positioned.
"Salience, Supervenience, and Layer Cakes in Sellars's Scientific Realism, McDowell's Moral Realism, and the Philosophy of Mind" in Philosophical Studies 103, 2000.
"Pluralism and reasonable disagreement" in Paul, Cultural Pluralism and Moral Knowledge
"Ethics, Mathematics and Relativism" in Mind 92, 1983.
"Moral Objectivity" in S. C. Brown, Objectivity and Cultural Divergence
"Mr Rynin on Definitions of "Value" in Journal of Philosophy 45,
"Concerning the Positivist View in Value Theory" in Journal of Philosophy 46, 1949.
"On the Logical Status of Value" in Philosophical Review 59, 1950
"Preference and Transitivity" in Analysis 44, 1984
"Williams, Ought, and Logical Form," Analysis, 47, 1987
(Ed.)Objectivity in Law and Morals (Cambridge: Cambridge University
"Objectivity, Morality and Adjudication" in Leiter, Objectivity in Law and Morals
"Moral Facts and Best Explanations" in Social Philosophy and Policy 18, 2001, pp. 79-101.
"Belief, Desire and Motivation: An Essay in Quasi-Hydraulics" in American Philosophical Quarterly 33, 1996.
Following Nagel, a number of writers, while conceding that desires must always play a part in the rational motivation of action, insist that these in turn may be motivated simply by beliefs. However, the same teleological considerations that inform the concession are shown to tell equally against this sophisticated anti-Humean strategy. There might certainly be a causal process that took us from beliefs, and only beliefs, to desires but this could not be a rational process of motivation by reasons. This defence of a Humean position is developed with reference to work by Darwall, Wallace and Smith.
"The Externalist and the Amoralist" in Philosophia 27, 1999.
For an externalist like Brink, someone - an amoralist - can be coherently imagined who make moral judgements that leave her indifferent. Internalists such as Hare and Smith deny this, claiming that such a person fails to make genuine, full blooded moral judgements. Here I defend internalism, focusing on the case of a whole society who make moral judgements but take no practical interest in them. This thought experiment, I claim, makes little sense and its absurdity supports the view that the amoralist's moral judgements invite an "inverted commas" reading that sees them as parasitical on the full-blooded moral judgements of others.
"Michael Smith and the Daleks: Reason, Morality and Contingency" in Utilitas 11, 1999.
Smith has defended the rationalist's conceptual claim that moral requirements are categorical requirements of reason, arguing that no status short of this would make sense of our taking these requirements as seriously as we do. Against this I argue that Smith has failed to show either that our moral commitments would be undermined by possessing only an internal contextual justification or that they need presuppose any expectation that rational agents must converge on their acceptance.
"Preferences in their Place" in Environmental Values 9, 2000
In at least some of their forms, Cost-Benefit techniques for the evaluation of environmental projects and policies treat the preferences of citizens as the sole determinants of the value of outcomes. There are two salient ways in which this supposition might be defended. The first is metaethical and appeals to considerations about how we must understand talk of environmental and other values. The second is political and appeals to considerations about proper democratic legitimacy and the proper aims of public policy. Metaethical considerations, I argue, are something of a red herring here. Roughly subjectivist understandings of our talk of values may be appealingly metaphysically unassuming, but in their most plausible formulations they do not support a view of preferences as the sole determinants of value. Political considerations, on the other hand, are to be taken very seriously. They offer, however, no straightforward rationale for any crudely preferentialist measure of social value. Findings obtained from the use of cost-benefit techniques might sometimes have a legitimate role as an input into, but not as a substitute for, political deliberation. Questions about the scope and limits of such legitimacy are properly addressed in political and not in metaethical terms..Disciplined Syntacticism and Moral Expressivism. in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66, 2003, pp. 32-57.
Moral Expressivists typically concede that, in some minimal sense, moral sentences are truth-apt but claim that in some more robust sense they are not. The Immodest Disciplined Syntacticist, a species of minimalist about truth, raises a doubt as to whether this contrast can be made out. I address this challenge by motivating and describing a distinction between reducibly and irreducibly truth-apt sentences. In the light of this distinction the Disciplined Syntacticist must either adopt a more modest version of his theory, friendlier to expressivism., or substantially modify it, abandoning one of its central conditions on truth-aptness. One natural and promising such modification, the Pure Discipline View, is described and its implications for an understanding of Expressivism briefly discussed."Moral Deviants and Amoral Saints: A Dilemmas for Moral Externalism" in Southern Journal of Philosophy 41, 2003, pp. 223-240.
This paper argues that if the externalist moral realist is a naturalist about moral value, he faces famliiar difficulties about making clear sense of moral disagreement. If, on the other hand, he is a nonnaturalist about moral value, a rather less familiar difficulty looms: such a position leaves conceptual space not only for an "amoralist" but for an amoralist whose amoralism is no kind of moral defect and consistent with moral sainthood. This serves to reinforce the suspicion that "morality" as the externalist moral realist understands it has remarkably little to do with morality."Noncognitivsm and the Dimensions of Evaluative Judgement", Bears, 2003.
Michael Smith has cooked up an argument against noncognitivsm urging that noncognitivists cannot captu7re the way evaluative judgements differ in the contrasting dimensions of certitude, importance and robustness. I show here how they can."Noncognitivism and Wishfulness" in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6, 2003, pp. 265-274.
In response to Dorr's "Non-Cognitivism and Wishful Thinking", I argue that noncognitivists can in fact make excellent sense of inferences to factual conclusions from premises at least one of which is moral as involving no irrational wishful thinking.
"How to Live, What to Do: A Critical Study of Allan Gibbard: Thinking How to Live" in Journal of Moral Philosophy 3, 2006, pp. 359-369.
"Moral Naturalism" in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2006.
"The Saucer of Mud, The Kudzu Vine and the Uxorious Cheetah: Against Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism in Metaethics" in European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1, 2005, pp. 37-50.
The early part of this paper criticizes Anscombe and Quinn on the relationship between value and desire. Their influential discussions of strange and unusual desires do not, I argue, show what they are intended to show. The remainder focuses primarily on the views of foot, discussing her objections to subjectivism and in particular expressivism. The expressivist, she claims, can not make adequate sense of the way we apply evaluative terms to nonsentient living things such as plants. I argue to the contrary and urge that the metaethical significance of such applications is greatly exaggerated by foot and other neo-Aristotelian naturalists.
"The Verifiability of Different Kinds of Facts and Values" in Philosophy
of Science 7, 1940.
"The Identity of Fact and Value" in Philosophy of Science 10, 1943.
"Three Relations of Facts and Values" in Philosophical Review 52, 1943.
"Fact, Value and Meaning" in Philosophical Review 54, 1945.
Verifiability of Value (New York: Columbia University Press, 1944).
(ed.)Value: A Coperative Enquiry (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949).
(ed.)The Language of Value (New York: Columbia U.P., 1957)
"Perception as Input and as Reason for Action" in Couture and Nielsen, On the Relevance of Metaethics
Trust and Governance (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1998)
(ed.)Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection (New york: Cambridge University Press, 1998)
"Moore on the Naturalistic Fallacy" in Proc. Brit. Ac. 50, 1964.
An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation (LaSalle, Ill., Open Court, 1946)
"Desire as Belief" in Mind 97, 1988, pp. 323-332
"Dispositional Theories of Value" in P. A. S. S. 1989, pp. 113-137.
"Desire as Belief II" in Mind 105, 1996, pp. 303-313.
Contemporary British Philosophy (London: Allen and Unwin, 1976)
Commitment, Value and Moral Realism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)
"Smith on Moral Fetishism" in Analysis 57, 1997.
"Analytic Dispositionalism and Practical Reason" in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2, 1999.
"Normative Antirealism" in Southern Journal of Philosophy 37, 1999
"Revisionary Dispositionalism and Practical Reason" in The Journal of Ethics 4, 2000.
"Moral Realism I: Naturalism" in Philosophical Books 35, 1994
"Moral Realism II: Non-Naturalism" in Philosophical Books 35, 1994
"Seeing and Caring: The Role of Affect in Feminist Moral Epistemology" in Hypatia 1995
"Virtue as Knowledge: Objections from the Philosophy of Mind" in Nous 1997, pp. 59-79.
"Moral Generalities Revisited" in Hooker and Little, Moral Particularism, pp. 276-304.
"The Trivializability of Universalizability" in Philosophical Review
"Beliefs, Desires and reasons for Action" in American Philosophical Quarterly 19, 1982
"What's Wrong With Moral Internalism?" in Ratio 11, 1998
"Full-Information Theories of Individual Good" in Social theory and Practice
"Generality and Moral Justification" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56, 1996.
"Must a Moral Irrealist be a Pragmatist" in American Philosophical Quarterly 33, 1996
"Moral Realism and the Argument from Disagreement" ni Philosophical Studies 90, 1998
Realism and Imagination in Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983)
"Ethical Upbringing: From Connivance to Cognition" in Lovibond and Williams, Identity, Truth and Value
(eds.)Idenity, Truth and Value: Essays for David Wiggins (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994)
"Ethical Intuitionism II" in Philosophy 46, 1971
"Dubious Doubts" in Doeser and Kraay, Facts and Values
"How to Derive 'Ought' from 'May'" in Ratio 19, 1977.
"Moral Facts and Moral Knowledge in Gillespie, Moral Realism, pp. 79-94.
"Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence" in Ethics 86, 1976, pp. 107-121.
"Towards an Objectivist Ethic" in Ethics 73, 1962.
"A Difficulty for Some Non-Objectivist Metaethics" in Philosophical Studies 14, 1963.
"Objectivism in Aesthetics" in Ethics 74, 1963.
"D-Words, A-Words and G-Words" in Philosophical Studies 16, 1965.
Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethics (The Hague: Martinus Ninjhoff, 1969)
"Intuitionism and Rational Ends: Regan's Account of teh Intuitionist's Dilemma" in Journal of Value Inquiry 9, 1975.
"The Right to Political Power and the Objectivity and Values" in Southern Journal of Philosophy 15, 1977.
"Universalized Prescriptivism and Utilitarianism: Hare's Attempted Forced Marriage" in Journal of Value Inquiry 13, 1979.
"Moral Dilemmas and Consistency in Ethics" in Canadian journal of Philosophy
"Metaethical Principles, Meta-Prescriptions and Moral Theories" in American Philosophical Quarterly 22, 1985.
"On the Nature and Scope of Morality" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54, 1994.
(ed.) Fact, Science and Morality (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986)
"Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives?" in P.A.S.S. 52, 1978,
"Virtue and Reason" in The Monist 62, 1979, pp. 331-350.
"Non-Cognitivism and Rule-Following" in Holzmann and Leich, Wittgenstein: To Follow A Rule
"Aesthetic Value, Objectivity and the Fabric of the World" in Schaper,.Pleasure, Preference and Value
"Values and Secondary Qualities" in Honderich, Morality and Objectivity
We need to distinguish two senses of the "objective"/"subjective" distinction. In one some property is objective if "what it is for something to have it can be adequately understood otherwise than in terms of dispositions to give rise to certain subjective states" and otherwise subjective. In the other a property is objective if it is "there to be experienced, as opposed to being a mere figment of the subjective state that purports to be an experience of it" and otherwise subjective. Colours and other secondary qualities exemplify for McDowell the combination of subjectivity in the first sense with objectivity in the second. After a lengthy defence of this realist understanding of secondary qualities, he suggests that we think of value as analogus in similar terms There is nonetheless a crucial disanalogy. Values are not merely such as to elicit the relevant response from us but such as to merit that response. We make sense of our responses in terms of their being merited by their objects. This is certainly not causal explanation - and McDowell thinks values have no role to play in causal explanation. But it is certainly explanation and explanation which requires us to accept values as objectively (sense 2) there. When we can offer such explanation of our responses, showing that their objects merit such responses and how they do, we vindicate our claims to knowledge of moral properties. Blackburn's projectivism, like Mackie's presupposes a false picture of an external value-free reality onto which value is imposed by our psychogical processing mechanism. This is metaphysically objectionable, thinks McDwell. It is also objectionable in terms of ethics as it implies the possibility of a detached external understanding of this mechanism. And that would require us to think of our ethical competence as capturable by some set of principles in a way uncongenial to the particularism McDowell favours.
Projection and Truth in Ethics (Kansas: Lindley Lecture, 1987)
For the realist intuitionist moral attitudes are responses to properties. For the projectivist the properties are projections of the attitudes. McDowell tries here to articulate a middle position. He denies that we can get a conceptual purchase on the attitudes in question without exploiting the concepts of the properties in question. Hence, he thinks, the former cannot be explanatorily prior to the latter. We "earn" truth for ethical claims by locating them in the "space of reasons" rather than by trying to "place" them within a metaphysical perspective external to them. The projectivist wants to deny there are ethical facts and then earn a notion of ethical truth. But the question what to count as facts cannot be viewed as prior to and independent of the question what to count as truths. What we need to place are not just sentiments but pairs of sentiments and features, "an interlocking complex of subjective and objective, of response and feature responded to".
Mind and World (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1996), especially
"Might There Be External Reasons" in Altham and Harrison, World, Mind and Ethics
"Two Sorts of Naturalism" in Hursthouse, Lawrence and Quinn, Virtues and Reasons
"Response-Dependence Without Reduction?" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76, 1998.
"From Universal Prescriptivism to Utilitarianism: A Logical Gap" in Philosophy
Research Archives 12, 1987.
"Universal Prescriptivism and Practical Skepticism" in Philosophical Papers 19, 1990.
"What Morality is Not" in Philosophy 32, 1957.
"Imperatives, Reasons for Action and Morals" in Journal of Philosophy 62, 1965 and in Against the Self-Images of the Age.
A Short History of Ethics (London: Routledge, 1967).
"The Antecedents of Action" in Williams and Montefiore, British Analytic Philosophy.
Against the Self-Images of the Age (London: Duckworth, 1971)
After Virtue (London: Duckworth, 1981)(Second Edition, 1984).
"How Moral Agents Became Ghosts" in Synthese 53, 1982.
"Relativism, Power and Philosophy," in Proceedings and Addresses of The American Philosophical Association 59, 1985
"Practical Rationalities as forms of Social Structure" in Irish Philosophical Journal 4, 1987.
Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (London: Duckworth, 1988).
"Moral Dilemmas" in Philosophyand Phenomenological Research 50, 1990.
Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry (London: Duckworth, 1990).
"Pecis of Whose Justice? Which Rationality?" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51, 1991.
"Reply to Dahl, Baier and Schneewind" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51, 1991
"Moral Relativism: Truth and Justification" in Gormally, Truth and Tradition in Ethics
"What Can Moral Philosophers Learn From the Study of the Brain?" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58, 1998.
"A Refutation of Morals" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 24,
Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (Harmonsworth, Penguin, 1977)
"Prescriptivism and Rational Behaviour" in Philosophical Quarterly
"Moral Skepticism and Moral Conduct" in Philosophy 59. 1984
"Moral Intuition" in LaFollette, The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory
Moral Vision (Blackwell 1988)
"An Unconnected Heap of Duties?" Philosophical Quarterly 46, 1996
"Agent-Relativity and the Doing-Happening Distinction", in Philosophical
"Honoring and Promoting Values", Ethics 102, 1992
"Deontology and Agency", Monist 76, 1993
"Value and Agent-Relative Reasons", Utilitas 1995
"Naturalism and Normativity" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, 2003, pp. 24-45.
"True and False in Morals" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
"Reason and Desire" in Philosophy 28, 1953
"A Note on Independence" in Philosophical Studies 30, 1976
"Epistemology and Moral Knowledge" in Review of Metaphysics 36, 1982
"Why it Appears that Objective Ethical Claims are Subjective" in Philosophia 26, 1998.
"Freres Ennemis: The Common Root of Expressivism and Constructivism" in Topoi 21, 2002
Magri notes that moral expressivism and neo-Kantian constructivism share an insistence that morality can only be made intelligible from a distinctively practical standpoint and a tendency to regard questions of correctness and justification as arising within our moral practice and answerable to criteria internal to it. However both views, Magri suggests, while they give an account of how moral justification is possible within our moral practices fail somehow to explain how it is possible for there to be practices like that and in the absence of such an explanation leave open the possibility that the authority we attach to certain moral claims is simply an illusion.
"Closing the 'Is'-'Ought' Gap" in Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12, 1982
"Moral Dilemmas and Consistency" in Journal of Philosophy 77, 1980.
"More about Moral Dilemmas" in Mason, Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory
"Moral Dilemmas, Collective Responsibility, and Moral Progress" in Philosophical Studies 104, 2001, pp. 203-225
(ed.) The Ways of Desire: New Essays in Philosophical Psychology and on the Concept of Wanting (Chicago: Precedent Publishing, 1986.)
"Realistic Interpretations of Moral Questions" in Midwest Studies
(ed.) Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).
"Evaluative and Descriptive" in Mind 67, 1958.
"The Expiration of Morality" in Paul, Cultural Pluralism and Moral Knowledge
"Mr Hampshire on Fallacies in Moral Philosophy" in Mind 59, 1950.
"Objectivity in Morals" in Philosophy 26, 1951.
"Commitments and Reasons" in Mind 64, 1955.
(ed.)Thoughtful Economic Man (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
(ed.) Essays in Moral Philosophy (Seattle: 1958)
"Intending and the Balance of Motivation" in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
66, 1984, pp. 370-376.
"Are Intentions Self-Referential?" in Philosophical Studies 52, 1987, pp. 309-329.
"Against a Belief-Desire Analysis of Intention" in Philosophia 18, 1988, pp. 239-242.
"Effective Reasons and Intrinsically Motivated Actions" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48, 1988, pp. 723-731.
"Motivational Internalism: the Powers and Limits of Practical Reasoning" in Philosophia 19, 1989, pp. 417-436.
Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behaviour (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992)
"Motivation: Essentially Motivation-Constituting Attitudes" in Philosophical Review 104, 1995, pp. 387-423.
"Internalist Moral Cognitivism and Listlessness" in Ethics 106, 1996, pp. 727-753.
Motivation and Agency (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
"Normative Realism, or Bernard Williams and Ethics at the Limit," Australasian
Journal of Philosophy 67, 1989.
"Objective Value and Subjective States," in Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 50, 1990.
"AN Objectivist's Guide to Subjective Value" in Ethics 102, 1992, pp. 512-534.
"The Objectivity of Value Judgments" in Philosophical Quarterly 21, 1971.
"An Objection to Smith's Argument for Internalism" in Analysis 56,
"Emotivism and the Verification Principle" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98, 1998.
"In Defence of a Logic of Imperatives" in Metaphilosophy 15, 1984.
"Ways of Moral Learning" in Philosophical Review 94, 1985, pp. 502-550.
"Pleasure in Practical Reasoning" in The Monist 76, 1993, pp. 394-415.
"Inhaltsreiche ethische Begriffe und die Unterscheidung zwischen Tatsachen und Werten" in Fehige, Zum moralischen Denken, volume 1, pp. 354-388.
Millgram notes the widespread belief that there is an argument from our mastery of thick ethical concepts (TECs) to the failure of the fact-value distinction (FVD) but contends that no such argument has ever really been made. Williams challenges advocates of the FVD to explain how to distinguish the descriptive and evaluative components of thick concepts but offers little by way of convincing argument to persuade us that the challenge cannot be met (Millgram describes a way of meeting it adapted from Hare). McDowell considers the idea of factoring out the meaning of thick concepts in terms of some descriptive concept plus some rule and claims that the rules in question are uncodifiable. But this argument is only effective if we (incorrectly) suppose grasping and applying a TEC fully and unequivocally to determine how one will act in the situation it applies to. Virtue concepts are special for McDowell as their full mastery confers moral infallibility. But if we understand virtue concepts like that, there is no reason to suppose anyone has ever mastered one. Putnam's arguments against the FVD make no essential reference to TECs and are based less on the uncontroversial premise that we are masters of such concepts than on his "internal realism". And Murdoch's rejection of the FVD was motivated by considerations about moral psychology, not language. (A neat paper that deserves to be better known: someone should publish an English version.)"Williams' Argument Against External Reasons" in Nous 30, 1996, pp. 197-220.
We couldn't just get ourselves to desire things by e.g. taking pills that made do so. For desires with such a poor inferential pedigree would be unstable. The unity of agency, presupposed by practical reasoning's having any point, demands that one's practical and other judgements be structured by a complex array of potential and actual inferential links, in particular "upsteam" links that furnish our desires with rational underpinning and the possibility of defeat; such links also furnish these things to those "somewhat general" practical judgements with which we connect and prioritise among our desires. What we find when we follow such links backwards to their most fundamental source is a practical form of observation, more specifically pleasure: "the rock-bottom judgment of desirability of an object of present experience." A key role is also played by the practical judgements of others, and in particular of our friends, judgements to which we accord a status close to our own as inputs into in practical reasoning. This practical learning from experience, generalizing from relatively particular practical observations and testimony to relatively general practical judgements, is what Millgram understands by "practical induction", the capacity for which he argues is indispensable given the complexity of the world and the pervasive novelty we encounter there. In the light of this picture of practical reason we may reject an instrumental understanding of practical reasoning as responsible simply to antecedently given desires. Suggestive, engaging and original."Deciding to Desire" in Fehige and Wessels, Preferences, pp. 3-25.
An ingenious reconstruction and criticism of Mill's Proof. Millgram seeks to generalize his criticism to all who combine (a) an instrumentalist view of practical reason whereby practical reasoning is exhausted by means-end reasoning with (b) a privileging of the desires of people who meet a certain standard (the desires of Mill's experienced judges or - on more modern accounts - of fully informed and rational agents). (b) only makes much sense if there is a story to be told about why desires that meet the standard are somehow correct ones to have. But successfully to tell that story would be to engage in a piece of noninstrumental practical reasoning of the sort forbidden by (a).
"Commensurability in Perspective" in Topoi 21, 2002, pp. 217-226.
"Deliberative Coherence" in Synthese, 108, July 1996, pp. 63-88..
"Moral Deadlock" in Philosophy, 1986
"Rights and Wrongs' in American Philosophical Quarterly 23, 1986
"Skepticism and Moral Justification" in The Monist 76, 1993
"Contractarian Constructivism" in Journal of Philosophy 92, 1995
Recommends the adoption of an ideal hypothetical agreement understanding of ethics as a metaethical position that avoids implausible metaphysical commitment but allows us to make good sense of moral judgements as true and, at least sometimes, as objectively true in a way which may be evidence transcendent but which is also stance-dependent in that moral properties are constituted by an attitude, real or hypothetical, held towards their bearers. IN order to secure for the theory the correct subject matter the idealizing conditions of the contracting parties must be chosen with a view to the principles on which they agree embodying genuine impartiality of some sort and including such paradigmatic moral principles as prohibitions on lying, cheating and stealing. Beyond that these conditions should be maximally normatively neutral. If the upshot is a significant degree of indeterminacy with respect to what such contracting parties can agree that is acceptable: once a core of objective moral truth is secure, Milo is happy to accept a relativistic understanding of other parts of the moral domain.
"Defending Instrumental Reason" in Southern Journal of Philosophy 36, 1998
"Pragmatism, Empiricism and Morality" in Lovibond and Williams, Identity, Truth and Value
"Are Moral Principles Really Necessary?" in Australasian Journal of
Philosophy 41, 1963.
"Some Comments on Ethical Distinctions" in Philosophical Quarterly 13, 1963.
"Must we Talk about 'Is' and 'Ought'?" in Mind 77, 1968.
"Mill's Theory of Value" in Theoria 36, 1970.
"Why Should I be Moral?" in Ratio 12, 1970.
"On the Alleged Methodological Infirmity of Ethics" in American Philosophical
Quarterly 27, 1990.
"Gender and the Complexity of Moral Voices" in Card, Feminist Ethics
Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture and Philosophy (Cambridge. Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1997)
"The Virtues of Nussbaum's Essentialism" in Metaphilosophy 29, 1998.
"On There Being Nothing Else to Think, or Want, or Do" in Lovibond and Williams, Identity, Truth and Value
Principia Ethica (Cambridge: C.U.P., 1903)
Ethics (London: Williams and Norgate, 1912)
Philosophical Studies (London: Paul, Trench and Trubner, 1922), VIII, "The Concept of Intrinsic Value" and X "The Nature of Moral Philosophy"
"A Reply to My Critics" in Schilpp , The Philosophy of G. E. Moore, pp. 535-687.
"Moral Philosophy and Meta-Ethics" in Journal of Philosophy 49,
"C. I. Lewis: Hedonistic Ethics on a Kantian Model" in Philosophical Studies 5, 1954.
"The Use of Normative Language" in Journal of Philosophy 52, 1955.
"Moral Knowledge" in Journal of Philosophy 56, 1959.
"Agents, Critics and Moral Philosophers" in Mind 69, 1960.
"Anscombe's Account of the Practical Syllogism" in Philosophical Review 71, 1962.
"The Moral Dilemmas Debate" in Mason, Moral Dilemmas
"Moral Arguments and Moral Beliefs" in Logique et Analyse 17, 1974.
(eds.) Philosophy and Linguistics (Boulder: Westview Press, 1999)
"Practical Reason and Moral Psychology in Aristotle and Kant" in Social Philosophy and Policy 18, 2001
"On the Explanation, the Justification and the Interpretation of Action"
in Nous 29, 1995
"The Inescapability of Moral Reasons" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59, 1999.
The Possibility of Altruism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970)
The View From Nowhere (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)
"The Foundations of Impartiality" in Seanor and Fotion, Hare and Critics
"Universality and the Reflective Self" in Korsgaard, The Sources of Normativity
For Nagel the detached character of the view we take of ourselves in reflection is such that in valuing myself I thereby accord authority equally to my own reasons and those of others. Korsgaard.s Kantian argument, on the other hand only establishes, in the first instance, egoistic reasons and a second Wittgensteinian step is required to take us further. But the second step does not work and her reliance on it makes her theory unattractively egoistic.
"Intrinsic Good and the Ethical 'Ought'" in Journal of Philosophy
"An Examination of Toulmin's Analytical Ethics" in Philosophical Quarterly 9, 1959.
"On the Naturalistic Fallacy" in Neri-Castañeda and Nakhnikian, Morality and the Language of Conduct
"Generalization in Ethics" in Review of Metaphysics 17, 1964.
"Kantian Universalizability and the Objectivity of Moral Judgments" in Potter and Timmons, Morality and Universality
"Intuitionism and Conservativism" in Metaphilosophy 21, 1990
"Intuitionism and Subjectivism" in Metaphilosophy 22, 1991.
"Is it Always Fallacious to Derive Values from Facts?" in Argumentation, Vol.9 1995
"Morally Serious Critics of Moral Inuitions" in Ratio 12, 1999
"The Functions of Moral Discourse" in Philosophical Quarterly 7,
"Is "Why Should I Be Moral?" an Absurdity?" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 36, 1958.
"The "Good Reasons" Approach and "Ontological Justification" of Morality" in Philosophical Quarterly 9, 1959.
"On Moral Truth" in Rescher, Studies in Moral Philosophy
"Anthropology and Moral Theory" in Journal of Value Inquiry 5, 1971.
"On Refusing to Play the Sceptics' Game" in Dialogue 11, 1972.
"Covert and Overt Synonymity: Brandt and Moore on the 'Naturalistic Fallacy" in Philosophical Studies 25, 1974.
"On Considered Judgments" in Ratio 19, 1977.
"On Deriving an Ought from an Is: A Retrospective Look" in Review of Metaphysics 32, 1979.
"Considered Judgments Again" in Human Studies 5, 1982.
"On Needing a Moral Theory: Rationality, Considered Judgments and the Grounding of Morality" in Metaphilosophy 13, 1982.
"Against Ethical Rationalism" in Regis, Gewirth's Ethical Rationalism
"Universalisability and the Commitment to Impartiality" in Potter and Timmons, Morality and Universalizability
"In Defence of Wide Reflective Equilibrium" in Odegard. Ethics and Justification.
"Reflective Equilibrium and the Transformation of Philosophy" in Metaphilosophy 20, 1989.
Why Be Moral? (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1989)
"Relativism and Wide Reflective Equilibrium" in The Monist 76, 1993
"The Child as Philosopher of Values: The Development of a Distinct Perception
of Values in Childhood" in Journal of Moral Education 17, 1988.
"Moral Balance: A Model of How People Arruive at Moral Decisions" in Wren, The Moral Balance
"Personal Identity and Education for the Desirable" in Journal of Moral Education 25, 1996.
"The Nature of Motivation (And Why It Matters Less to Ethics than One Might Think)" in Philosophical Studies 87, 1997, pp. 87-111.
"Moral Fictionalism versus The Rest" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83, 2005, pp. 307-329.
Reasons for Action (Oxford: Blackwell, 1971)
"Making Sense of Moral Realism" in Philosophical Investigations 20, 1987.
"Moral Relativism and Strict Universalism" in Wren, The Moral Domain
"The Discernment of Perception" in Proc. Boston Area Colloquim in Ancient
Philosophy 1, 1985.
The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: C.U.P. 1986)
"Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Philosophy and the Moral Task of Literature" in Cascardi, Philosophy and the Moral Task of Literature
"Nature, Function and Capability: Aristotle on Political Distribution" in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Supp Vol 1, 1988.
"Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach" in Midwest Studies, 1988.
"Aristotle, Nature and Ethics" in Altham and Harrison, World, Mind and Ethics.
(eds.) Women, Culture and Development (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995)
"Internal Criticism and the Indian Rationalist Tradition" in Krausz (ed),
Relativism: Interpretation and Confrontation
(ed.) The Quality of Life (New York: O.U.P., 1993)
"Normativity and Interpersonal Reasons" in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1, 1998
"Supervenience, Goodness and higher-Order Universals" in Australasian
Journal of Philosophy 1991.
"Harmony, Purity, Truth" in Mind 103, 1994, pp.451-472.
"Moral Realism, Moral Relativism and Moral Rules: A Compatibility Argument" in Synthese 117, 1999.
"Axiological Atomism" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79, 2001, pp. 313-332.
Value, Reality and Desire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)
(ed.) Perspectives on Moral Relativism (Lilliken: Agathon, 1991)
"Objectivity of Norms and Value Judgements According to Recent Scandinavian
Philosophy" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 12, 1951.
"Broad on Ought and Can" in Theoria 21, 1955
"The Functions of Moral Philosophy" in Inquiry 1, 1958.
"Frankena on Ought and Can" in Mind 68, 1959.
"A Note on John Searle's Derivation of 'Ought'from 'Is'" in Inquiry 8, 1965
"Emotivism and Moral Skepticism" in Journal of Philosophy 1959
"Minimalism and Truth" in Nous 31, 1997
"How to Stand up for Non-Cognitivists" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74, 1996, pp. 275-292.
O'L & P distinguish semantic characterizations of noncognitivism (in terms of truth-aptness) and pyshcological ways (in terms of belief). Both views are threatened by minimalist positions that reject thick or substantial notions of truth and/or belief. Jackson, Oppy and Smith, O'l & P argue stand up for noncognitivists the wrong way, appealing to 'platitudes' about motivation less explicitly embodied in folk practice than is what the noncognitivist is denying. They argue that noncognitivists should explore a 'third-leg' strategy, one that focuses on the diversity of function found in different parts of language but without insisting on a substantial notion of truth.
Reasons and Persons (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984)
"Reasons and Motivation" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 71, 1997
Parfit seeks to show that Williams' arguments that there could not be external reasons are inconclusive. We should accept that reasons are such that, if we are rational and know the facts, we will be motivated accordingly. But this does not show that reasons must be internal reasons if we reject, as he thinks we should, a Humean theory of motivation; or if we gloss "rational" as having a substantive and not merely procedural sense. He concedes that it is hard to give a clear sense to external reason statements, but urges that, whatever reasons are, they cannot be understood in the reductive way Williams proposes - or in any other reductive way. Normative facts are too radically different from facts of other kinds for any form of reductionist or naturalist account of them to be credible. To see this, he urges, it is important we distinguish certain facts which are normatively significant from the fact that they are normatively significant. Once we deny reductionism, he then claims, internalism about reasons is no more plausible than externalism.
The Good Will (London: Allen and Unwin, 1927)
"The Emotive Theory of Ethics" in P.A.S.S., 1948.
(Ed.): Norms, Values and Society (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994).
(eds.)Cultural Pluralism and Moral Knowledge (Cambridge: C.U.P., 1994)
The Realm of Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), especially chapters 7 and 8.
"Moral Intuitions and Philosophical Method" in Westphal, Pragmatism, Reason and Norms
General Theory of Value (New York: Longmans, Green and Co, 1926)
"Evaluative "Realism" and Interpretation" in Holzmann and Leich, Wittgenstein:
To Follow a Rule
"Humeans, Anti-Humeans and Motivation" in Mind 1987.
"Virtus Normativa: Rational Choice Perspectives" in Ethics 100, 1990
"Practical Beliefs and Philosophical Theory" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76, 1998
"Two Sources of Morality" in Social Philosophy and Policy 18, 2001
(eds.): Reason and Value. Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
"Backgrounding Desire" in Philosophical Review 99, 1990.
Among the most important recent contributions to moral psychology. Pettit and Smith argue that we can insist that desire always have a motivational role in human decision-making - figuring in the background of decision - without always appearing in the content of deliberation - figuring in the foreground. (They call this the strict background view of desire.) Deliberation, they contend, always features some representation of the proposed action or outcome as having some desirable property. It would be implausible to suppose that this property is always just the property of being desired for that would leave us unable to make sense of desires that lack a "desire-related scope", categorical desires not conditional on their own existence. Because desires that figure only in the background need not be phenomenologically salient this understanding of decision-making undermines phenomenological objections to a Humean theory of motivation. Because the fact that an action will satisfy a desire of mine is often nothing to do with my deliberative reason for doing it, we can resist the Harean argument from universalizability to utilitarianism. Because I can take my own desires particularly seriously in deliberation without necessarily taking them seriously qua my desires we can endorse Williams integrity-objection to utilitarianism without integrity seeming just to be "a questionable partiality to self". Because the desires on which we act are not always in the foreground we should not conceive of the autonomous agent as one who always endorses these desires but rather as one whose stable desires for certain kinds of action and outcome are not undermined by pathological- capricious or compulsive - desires. And because we need not foreground the desires on which we act, we can understand the prudent agent as sensitive in deliberation to the facts about what she will desire in a way not mediated by consideration of his now-for then desires without following Nagel in putting an anti-Humean gloss on such an understanding.
"Embracing Objectivity in Ethics" in Leiter, Objectivity in Law and Morals
"How to Be a Moral Relativist" in Southern Journal of Philosophy
"The Middle Ground in Moral Semantics" in American Philosophical Quarterly 35, 1998
"Prima Facie Obligations, Ceteris Paribus Laws in Moral Theory" in Ethics 103, 1993, pp. 489-515.
"Anscombe on 'Ought'" in Philosophical Quarterly 38, 1988.
"Logic and the Autonomy of Ethics" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67, 1989
"Geach on Good" in Philosophical Quarterly 40, 1990.
"Ought-Implies-Can: Erasmus, Luther and R. M. Hare" in Sophia 29, 1990.
"Naturalism" in Singer, A Companion to Ethics
"Doing What is Best" in Philosophical Quarterly 50, 2000
"Normative Practical Reasoning" in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society , Supplementary Volume 75, 2001
"Instrumentalism, Objectivity and Moral Justification" in American Philosophical Quarterly 23, 1986
Ways of Meaning (London: Routledge, 1979), esp. chapter 10.
"Moral Reality and the End of Desire" in Platts, Reference, Truth and Reality, pp. 69-82.
(ed.) Reference, Truth and Reality (London: Routledge, 1980)
"Hume and Morality as a Matter of Fact" in Mind 97, 1988
Moral Realities (London: Routledge, 1992)
(ed.) Ethical Theory (Belmont: Wadsworth, 1988)
"Gilbert Harman's Internalist Moral Relativism," The Modern Schoolman, Vol. 68 (November, 1990)
Moral Relativism Avoided" in Personalist 60, 1979
"Werner's Ethical Realism" in Ethics 95, 1985
(Eds.) Morality and Universality (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985)
"Varieties of Objectivity and Values" in P. A. S. 82, 1983
Belief (London: Allen and Unwin, 1969), esp. Lectures 7 and 8.
"Semantic Minimalism and the Frege Point" in Tsohatzidis, Foundations of Speech Act Theory, pp. 132-155.
"Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake" in Mind 21, 1912
Logic and the Basis of Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948)
"The Autonomy of Etics" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 38, 1960
"The Place of Facts in a World of Values" in Huff and Prewett, The Nature
of the Physical Universe and Realism with a Human Face
Reason, Truth and History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), esp chapters 6-9.
"Beyond the Fact-Value Dichotomy" in Critica 14, 1982 and Realism with a Human Face
How Not to Solve Ethical Problems (Kansas: Lindley Lecture, 1983) reprinted in Realism with a Human Face
"The French Revolution and the Holocaust: Can Ethics be Ahistorical?" in Elliot Deutsch, Culture and Modernity, reprinted as "Pragmatism and Relativism: Universal Values and Traditional Ways of Life" in Words and Life
Realism with a Human Face (Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1990)
Renewing Philosophy (Cambridge, Ma.:Harvard University Press, 1992), especially chapter 5.
"Objectivity and the Science-Ethics Distinction" in Nussbaum and Sen, The Quality of Life and Realism with a Human Face
"Pragmatism and Moral Objectivity" in Words and Life and Nussbaum and Glover, Women, Culture and Development
Words and Life (Cambridge, Ma.,:Harvard University Press, 1994)
"Are Moral and Legal Values Made or Discovered" in Legal Theory 1, 1995, pp. 5-19.
"Creating Facts and Values" in Philosophy 60, 1985.
"Weaving Seamless Webs" in Philosophy 62, 1987.
Moral values are constructed in our choices but they are not arbitrary. Like other things we construct they answer to our needs. Which lacks are needs is itself a morally loaded question but the mutual entaglement of the factual and the normative is entirely pervasive. Given their place in a web of facts and values, our values can be evaluated in holistic ways and, insofar as our various webs intersect, they can be argued about."Understanding Lincoln" in American Philosophical Quarterly 25, 1988.
Return to Top
Return to Index