Howard Simmons British Philosophical Association

  • Administrator, British Philosophical Association
  • PhD, McMaster University, 1986.

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About me
I am an independent writer of philosophy currently specialising in ethics and philosophical logic. My book 'Moral Desert: A Critique' was published by the University Press of America in 2010. I am an official adviser to secondary school teachers of philosophy for the British Philosophical Association and manage the latter's 'Philosophical Answers' website(
My works
6 items found.
  1. Howard Simmons (2010). Moral Desert: A Critique. University Press of America.
    This book argues that moral desert should be excluded as a consideration in normative and applied ethics, as it is likely that no-one ever morally deserves anything for their actions and, if they do, it is in most cases impossible to know what. I also explain how moral deliberation in relation to punishment, distributive justice and personal morality can proceed without appeals to moral desert.
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  2.  29
    Howard Simmons (1997). Circumstances and the Truth of Words: A Reply to Travis. Mind 106 (421):117-118.
    I answer an argument from Charles Travis to the conclusion that minimalism about truth cannot cope with the context sensitivity of words. To do this, I construct a thought experiment involving a community whose language does not manifest context sensitivity, but whose statements do seem to be subject to truth in a minimalist sense.
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  3.  53
    Howard Simmons (1988). Nathan on Evidential Insatiability. Analysis 48 (1):57 - 59.
    This is a response to a paper by N.M.L. Nathan in which he argues that the attempt to provide a global justification of our entire set of beliefs necessarily leads to an infinite regress, in contrast with cases of local uncertainty, which he thinks can be resolved without regress. I argue that if he is right about the local uncertainty case, then he should not fear a regress in the global case, as the two situations are more similar than he (...)
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  4. Howard Simmons, Sher on Blame.
    My subject is the theory of blame recently propounded by George Sher in his book, In Praise of Blame. I argue that although Sher has succeeded in capturing a number of genuine features of the concept of blame, there is an important element that he has omitted, which is the fact that necessarily, when A blames B for something and expresses this to B, A will realise that B is likely to find this unpleasant. The inclusion of the latter element (...)
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  5.  24
    Howard J. Simmons, Why You Should One-Box in Newcomb's Problem.
    I consider a familiar argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's Problem and find it defective because it involves a type of divergence from standard Baysian reasoning, which, though sometimes justified, conflicts with the stipulations of the Newcomb scenario. In an appendix, I also find fault with a different argument for two-boxing that has been presented by Graham Priest.
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  6.  39
    Howard J. Simmons, Zombies Defeated: A Projectivist Account of Third-Person Consciousness Ascriptions.
    I defend an argument from Lauren Ashwell and Eric Marcus to the effect that the zombie idea is meaningless. I consider whether this idea could be saved from the force of the argument by adopting a projectivist account of third-person consciousness ascriptions. I decide that it cannot, but commend that account anyway.
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