Moralities Much of contemporary moral philosophy presupposes a view of how we should think about moral difference, disagreement and conflict. Are we constrained to argue 'as though the truth is single?' Do moral disagreements bottom out in contingent differences between people, times and places? Is there necessarily a single true morality, or are moralities more helpfully thought of as contingent and plural? Moral philosophers have often regarded variation, difference and disagreement as something that an acceptable moral theory should ideally iron out. Are they right? Are moralities objects of thought to be discovered through intellectual inquiry, or are they cultural artifacts we make?
I am currently working on a series of papers in which I pursue these, and other, questions in both a historical and contemporary context. One of these papers, entitled 'Projection, Indeterminacy and Moral Skepticism' will be published in Diego Machuca (ed.) Moral Skepticism: New Essays (Routledge), and can be downloaded here:
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Rethinking Responsibility Many discussions of moral responsibility are focused on cases where the prior agency of the persons held responsible can safely be presupposed. Yet some attributions of moral responsibility involve states of affairs where there is no obviously relevant prior exercise of agency on the part of the persons held responsible. Do such attributions of responsibility make sense, or are they based on a mistaken conception of moral responsibility that fails to respect the nature and value of personal autonomy? In recent years, I have been involved in a number of interdisciplinary collaborations on these issues involving philosophers, anthropologists and historians of moral and political thought.
You can read some of my unpublished work on some of these issues by downloading the pdf. below. The attached draft paper is based on the notes for a talk I gave at a Birkbeck Guilt Colloquium in 2014; a workshop on Rethinking Responsibility at Birkbeck, University of London in 2015; a CRASSH conference on Hierarchy, Egalitarianism and Responsibility at Cambridge in 2016; and a symposium on Modalities of the Good organised by The Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University, Prague, in 2016.