Department of Philosophy
Professor of Philosophy
Director of Graduate Admissions
Full contact details
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
I am a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Before coming here, I was a schoolboy in Dundee, Scotland; then an undergraduate student at St Catherine's College, Oxford University reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics; then a graduate student at St Andrews University studying for an M.Phil. and then a PhD in Moral Philosophy; then a Lecturer at Lancaster University and lastly a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
In 2002-2003 I was a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University. When not at work, I can sometimes be found wandering around on hills.
BA (Oxford), MPhil, PHD (St Andrews)
- Research interests
I work mainly on ethics and especially metaethics. My recent work has dealt with issues relating to moral realism, moral expressivism, moral psychology, moral epistemology, and moral responsibility, compatibilism, consequentialism, contractualism, constructivism and contingency.
I find some other bits of philosophy interesting too.
The Possibility of Moral Community.
- Constructivism in Practical Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
- Thomson on Goodness. Metafísica y persona(19), 181-188. View this article in WRRO
- An Ecumenical Matter?. The Philosophical Quarterly. View this article in WRRO
- Reasons Without Humans. Analysis, 77(3), 586-595. View this article in WRRO
- Confusion of tongues: A theory of normative language by Stephen Finlay. Language, 92(4), 1000-1001.
- View this article in WRRO La Révolution est un bloc? Wallace on Affirmation and Regret. Journal of Applied Philosophy.
- View this article in WRRO "Why Externalism is a Problem for Ethical Intiutionists". Aristotelian Society, Virtual Issue(No, 3, Methods in Ethics), 326-323.
- Being Realistic about Reasons, T. M. Scanlon. Oxford University Press, 2014, vii +132 pages.. Economics and Philosophy, 32(1), 143-149.
- Gibbardian Humility: Moral Fallibility and Moral Smugness. Journal of Value Inquiry, 48(2), 235-245. View this article in WRRO
- Deliberation, schmeliberation: Enoch’s indispensability argument. Philosophical Studies, 168(3), 835-842. View this article in WRRO
- Slaves of the Passions. By Mark Schroeder. (Oxford UP, 2007. Pp. 224. Price US$85.00.). The Philosophical Quarterly, 63(251), 384-387.
- Russell, Gillian. Truth in Virtue of Meaning: A Defence of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. xv+232. $65.00 (cloth).. Ethics, 123(3), 586-592.
- Science, Ethics and Observation. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 72, 261-274. View this article in WRRO
- Ethics Without Errors. Ratio, 26(4), 391-409. View this article in WRRO
- Pleasure, Desire and Practical Reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 14(2), 143-149.
- Uggles and Muggles: Wedgwood on normative thought and justification. Philosophical Studies, 151(3), 469-477. View this article in WRRO
- Achieving Objectivity. Philosophical Perspectives, 23(1), 293-304.
- Naturalism Without Tears. Ratio, 22(1), 1-18.
- ACHIEVING OBJECTIVITY. PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES, 23, 293-304.
- Actions, Motives and Causes: A Critical Study of Alfred R. Mele: Motivation and Agency. The Philosophical Quarterly, 58(231), 353-362.
- Contractualism and Risk Imposition. Politics Philosophy Economics, 7(1), 99-122.
- Against Moral Fictionalism. Philosophical Books, 49(1), 23-32.
- Review: Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action. Mind, 116(463), 776-778.
- Why I Have No Plans to Retire: In Defence of Moderate Professional Complacency. Ratio, 20(2), 241-246.
- What is Moral Inquiry?. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 81(1), 63-81.
- Compatibilism and Contractualism: The Possibility of Moral Responsibility. Ethics, 117(1), 7-31.
- How to Live, What to Do: A Critical Study of Allan Gibbard, Thinking How to Live. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 3(3), 359-369.
- The Saucer of Mud, The Kudzu Vine and the Uxorious Cheetah: Against Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism in Metaethics. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 1(2), 37-50.
- Utilitarianism and Obviousness. Utilitas, 16(3), 322-325. View this article in WRRO
- Jeanette Kennett, Agency and Responsibility: A Common-sense Moral Psychology, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2001, pp. viii + 229.. Utilitas, 15(3), 380-382.
- Noncognitivism and Wishfulness. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 6(3), 265-274.
- ETHICS. Philosophical Books, 44(2), 179-183.
- Disciplined Syntacticism and Moral Expressivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 66(1), 32-57.
- Moral Deviants and Amoral Saints: A Dilemma for Moral Externalism. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 41(2), 223-240.
- On Becoming Extinct. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 83(3), 207-299.
- On Becoming Redundant or What Computers Shouldn't Do. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 18(1), 1-11.
- Consequentialism and Cluelessness, 29(4), 342-370.
- The externalist and the amoralist. Philosophia, 27(3-4), 441-457.
- Michael Smith and the Daleks: Reason, Morality, and Contingency. Utilitas, 11(2), 164-177.
- Christine M. Korsgaard: Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 1(4), 487-488.
- Michael Smith: The Moral Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 1(1), 125-126.
- Ethics and Perception: Two Kinds of Quasi-Realism In Cowie C & Rowland R (Ed.), Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics
- The That In Suikkanen J & Kauppinen A (Ed.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy
- Moral Inquiry and Mob Psychology In Daly C (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods (pp. 637-651). Palgrave MacMillan View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Scepticism about Intuition In Chappell SC (Ed.), Intuition, Theory, and Anti-Theory in Ethics (pp. 24-39). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Moral Inquiry and Mob Psychology, The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods (pp. 637-651). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Introduction In Lenman J & Shemmer Y (Ed.), Constructivism in Practical Philosophy (pp. 1-17). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Expressivism and Constructivism1, Constructivism in Practical Philosophy (pp. 213-225). Oxford University Press View this article in WRRO
- "Humean Constructivism in Moral Theory", Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 5 (pp. 175-193). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- The Politics of the Self In Bortolotti L (Ed.), Philosophy and Happiness London: Palgrave MacMillan.
- Contracting Responsibility, Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy (pp. 171-182). Springer Netherlands
- Moral Inquiry and Mob Psychology, The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods Palgrave Macmillan
- Ethics Without Errors, Irrealism in Ethics (pp. 41-59). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- Naturalism without Tears, Essays on Derek Parfit'sOn What Matters (pp. 21-38). Wiley-Blackwell
- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasons-just-vs-expl/ Reasons for Action: Justification vs. Explanation. Retrieved from
- Research group
Current PhD students:
- Brendan Kelters: Ethics
- James Dunstan: Manipulativeness
- Pascal Ally: Metaethics
- Charlie Potter: Meaning
Previous PhD students:
- Jingbo Hu, Moral Responsibility. Completed 2020.
- Lewis Brooks, Metaethics. Completed 2019.
- Graham Bex-Priestley, Metaethics. Completed 2018.
- Stephen Ingram, Metaethics, Completed 2016.
- Carl Fox, Contractualism, Completed 2014.
- Jonathan Parry, War (AHRC funded), Completed 2014.
- Josh Thomas, Ethics. Completed 2012.
- David Ekstrand, Political Justification, Completed 2011.
- Heather Arnold, Justice and the Family (AHRC funded). Completed, 2010.
- Jonathan Smith, Moral Realism (AHRC funded). Completed, 2009.
- Paul Sludds, Wellbeing and Death (AHRC funded). Completed, 2008.
- Jules Holroyd, Autonomy (AHRC funded). Completed, 2008.
- Anna Wilkinson: Moral Naturalism (AHRC funded) Completed, 2007.
- Professional activities
- Secretary, British Society for Ethical Theory, 1996-2002.
- President, British Society for Ethical Theory, 2002-2008.
- Editorial Committee, Utilitas
- Editorial Board for the European Journal of Analytic Philosophy