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Profile: David Enoch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  1. David Enoch, A Defense of Moral Deference.
    The combination of this vindication of moral deference and diagnosis of its fishiness nicely accommodates, I argue, some related phenomena, like the (neglected) fact that our uneasiness with moral deference is actually a particular instance of uneasiness with opaque evidence in general when it comes to morality, and the (familiar) fact that the scope of this uneasiness is wider than the moral as it includes other normative domains.
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  2. David Enoch, Idealizing Still Not Off the Hook: A Reply to Sobel's Reply.
    Many philosophers interested in the nature of moral or other normative truths and facts are attracted to response-dependence accounts. They think, in other words, that the target normative facts are reducible to, or constituted by, or identical with, some facts involving our relevant responses. But these philosophers rarely allow all of our actual responses (of the relevant kind) to play such a role. Rather, they privilege some..
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  3. David Enoch, Why I Am an Objectivist About Ethics (And Why You Are, Too).
    You may think that you're a moral relativist or subjectivist - many people today seem to. But I don't think you are. In fact, when we start doing metaethics - when we start, that is, thinking philosophically about our moral discourse and practice - thoughts about morality's objectivity become almost irresistible. Now, as is always the case in philosophy, that some thoughts seem irresistible is only the starting point for the discussion, and under argumentative pressure we may need to revise (...)
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  4. David Enoch, Moral Deference.
    Everyone agrees, I think, that there is something fishy about moral deference and expertise, but that's where consensus ends. This paper has two aims – the first is to mount a defense of moral deference, and the second is to offer a (non-debunking) diagnosis of its fishiness. I defend moral deference by connecting the discussion of moral deference to the recent discussion of the appropriate response to uncertainty. It is, I argue, morally obligatory to minimize the risk of one's wrongdoing (...)
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  5. David Enoch, On Estlund's Democratic Authority.
    For a state to be legitimate is for it to be permissible for the state to issue and enforce its commands (mostly laws), and for this to be permissible “owing to the process by which they were produced” (2).1 For a state to have authority is for it to have the power to morally require or forbid actions through commands, or the power to create duties (2).2 It seems that a state’s being democratic—in somewhat like the way in which the (...)
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  6. David Enoch, Giving Someone a Reason to Φ.
    I am writing a mediocre paper on a topic you are not particularly interested in. You don't have, it seems safe to assume, a (normative) reason to read my draft. I then ask whether you would be willing to have a look and tell me what you think. Suddenly you do have a (normative) reason to read my draft. What exactly happened here? Your having the reason to read my draft – indeed, the very fact that there is such a (...)
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  7. David Enoch (2014). Authority and Reason‐Giving1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):296-332.
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  8. David Enoch (2014). In Defense of Taking Morality Seriously: Reply to Manne, Sobel, Lenman, and Joyce. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 168 (3):853-865.
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  9. David Enoch (2014). Précis of Taking Morality Seriously (Oxford University Press, 2011). Philosophical Studies 168 (3):819-821.
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  10. David Enoch (2013). The Disorder of Public Reason. Ethics 124 (1):141-176.
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  11. David Enoch (2012). Being Responsible, Taking Responsibility, and Penumbral. In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, Usa. 95.
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  12. David Enoch, Levi Spectre & Talia Fisher (2012). Statistical Evidence, Sensitivity, and the Legal Value of Knowledge. Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (3):197-224.
    The law views with suspicion statistical evidence, even evidence that is probabilistically on a par with direct, individual evidence that the law is in no way suspicious of. But it has proved remarkably hard to either justify this suspicion, or to debunk it. In this paper, we connect the discussion of statistical evidence to broader epistemological discussions of similar phenomena. We highlight Sensitivity – the requirement that a belief be counterfactually sensitive to the truth in a specific way – as (...)
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  13. David Enoch (2011). Being Responsible, Taking Responsibility, and Penumbral Agency. In Heuer and Lang (ed.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, Usa.
    In "Moral Luck" Bernard Williams famously drew on our intuitive judgments about agent-regret – mostly, on our judgment that agent-regret is often appropriate – in his argument about the role of luck in rational and moral evaluation. I think that Williams is importantly right about the appropriateness of agent-regret, but importantly wrong about the implications of this observation. In this paper, I suggest an alternative understanding of the normative judgment Williams is putting forward, the one about the appropriateness of agent-regret. (...)
     
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  14. David Enoch (2011). Can There Be a Global, Interesting, Coherent Constructivism About Practical Reason? Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):319-339.
    More and more people seem to think that constructivism - in political philosophy, in moral philosophy, and perhaps in practical reasoning most generally - is the way to go. And yet it is surprisingly hard to even characterize the view. In this paper, I go to some lengths trying to capture the essence of a constructivist position - mostly in the realm of practical reason - and to pinpoint its theoretical attractions. I then give some reason to suspect that there (...)
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  15. David Enoch (2011). Giving Practical Reasons. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (4).
    I am writing a mediocre paper on a topic you are not particularly interested in. You don't have, it seems safe to assume, a (normative) reason to read my draft. I then ask whether you would be willing to have a look and tell me what you think. Suddenly you do have a (normative) reason to read my draft. By my asking, I managed to give you the reason to read the draft. What does such reason-giving consist in? And how (...)
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  16. David Enoch (2011). On Mark Schroeder's Hypotheticalism: A Critical Notice of Slaves of the Passions. Philosophical Review 120 (3):423-446.
    In Slaves of the Passions Mark Schroeder puts forward Hypotheticalism, his version of a Humean theory of normative reasons that is capable, so he argues, to avoid many of the difficulties Humeanism is traditionally vulnerable to. In this critical notice, I first outline the main argument of the book, and then proceed to highlight some difficulties and challenges. I argue that these challenges show that Schroeder's improvements on traditional Humeanism – while they do succeed in making the view more immune (...)
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  17. David Enoch (2011). Reason-Giving and the Law. In Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law. Oxford University Press.
    A spectre is haunting legal positivists – and perhaps jurisprudes more generally – the spectre of the normativity of law. Whatever else law is, it is sometimes said, it is normative, and so whatever else a philosophical account of law accounts for, it should account for the normativity of law[1]. But law is at least partially a social matter, its content at least partially determined by social practices. And how can something social and descriptive in this down-to-earth kind of way (...)
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  18. David Enoch (2011). Shmagency Revisited. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    1. The Shmagency Challenge to Constitutivism In metaethics – and indeed, meta-normativity – constitutivism is a family of views that hope to ground normativity in norms, or standards, or motives, or aims that are constitutive of action and agency. And mostly because of the influential work of Christine Korsgaard and David Velleman (and, some would say, because of the also-influential work of Kant and Aristotle), constitutivism seems to be gaining grounds in the current literature. The promises of constitutivism are significant. (...)
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  19. David Enoch (2011). Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism. Oxford University Press.
    David Enoch develops, argues for, and defends Robust Realism--a strongly realist and objectivist view of ethics and normativity, according to which there are perfectly universal and objective moral truths.
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  20. David Enoch (2010). Cognitive Biases and Moral Luck. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):372-386.
    Some of the recent philosophical literature on moral luck attempts to make headway in the moral-luck debate by employing the resources of empirical psychology, in effect arguing that some of the intuitive judgments relevant to the moral-luck debate are best explained - and so presumably explained away - as the output of well-documented cognitive biases. We argue that such attempts are empirically problematic, and furthermore that even if they were not, it is still not at all clear what philosophical significance (...)
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  21. David Enoch (2010). How Objectivity Matters. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 5:111-52.
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  22. David Enoch (2010). Moral Luck and the Law. Philosophy Compass 5 (1):42-54.
    Is there a difference in moral blameworthiness between a murderer and an attempted murderer? Should there be a legal difference between them? These questions are particular instances of the question of moral luck and legal luck (respectively). In this paper, I survey and explain the main argumentative moves within the general philosophical discussion of moral luck. I then discuss legal luck, and the different ways in which this discussion may be related to that of moral luck.
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  23. David Enoch (2010). Not Just a Truthometer: Taking Oneself Seriously (but Not Too Seriously) in Cases of Peer Disagreement. Mind 119 (476):953 - 997.
    How should you update your (degrees of) belief about a proposition when you find out that someone else — as reliable as you are in these matters — disagrees with you about its truth value? There are now several different answers to this question — the question of `peer disagreement' — in the literature, but none, I think, is plausible. Even more importantly, none of the answers in the literature places the peer-disagreement debate in its natural place among the most (...)
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  24. David Enoch (2010). The Epistemological Challenge to Metanormative Realism: How Best to Understand It, and How to Cope with It. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):413 - 438.
    Metaethical—or, more generally, metanormative—realism faces a serious epistemological challenge. Realists owe us—very roughly speaking—an account of how it is that we can have epistemic access to the normative truths about which they are realists. This much is, it seems, uncontroversial among metaethicists, myself included. But this is as far as the agreement goes, for it is not clear—nor uncontroversial—how best to understand the challenge, what the best realist way of coping with it is, and how successful this attempt is. In (...)
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  25. David Enoch (2009). How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism? Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15 - 50.
    Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to realism, but (...)
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  26. David Enoch (2009). Wouldn't It Be Nice If P , Therefore, P (for a Moral P ). Utilitas 21 (2):222-224.
    Suppose that a world in which we have an utterly non-consequentialist moral status is a better world than one in which we don’t have such a status. Does this give any reason to believe that we have such moral status? Suppose that a world without moral luck is worse than a world with moral luck. Does this give any reason to believe that there is moral luck? The problem is that positive answers to these questions1 seem to commit us to (...)
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  27. Ron Aboodi, Adi Borer & and David Enoch (2008). Deontology, Individualism, and Uncertainty, a Reply to Jackson and Smith. Journal of Philosophy 105 (5):259-272.
    How should deontological theories that prohibit actions of type K — such as intentionally killing an innocent person — deal with cases of uncertainty as to whether a particular action is of type K? Frank Jackson and Michael Smith, who raise this problem in their paper "Absolutist Moral Theories and Uncertainty" (2006), focus on a case where a skier is about to cause the death of ten innocent people — we don’t know for sure whether on purpose or not — (...)
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  28. Ron Aboodi, Adi Borer & David Enoch (2008). Deontology, Individualism, and Uncertainty. Journal of Philosophy 105 (5):259-272.
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  29. David Enoch & Joshua Schechter (2008). How Are Basic Belief-Forming Methods Justified? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):547–579.
    In this paper, we develop an account of the justification thinkers have for employing certain basic belief-forming methods. The guiding idea is inspired by Reichenbach's work on induction. There are certain projects in which thinkers are rationally required to engage. Thinkers are epistemically justified in employing any belief-forming method such that "if it doesn't work, nothing will" for successfully engaging in such a project. We present a detailed account based on this intuitive thought and address objections to it. We conclude (...)
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  30. Enoch & David (2008). Deontology, Individualism, and Uncertainty, a Reply to Jackson and Smith. Journal of Philosophy 105 (5).
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  31. David Enoch (2007). Rationality, Coherence, Convergence: A Critical Comment on Michael Smith's Ethics and the a Priori. Philosophical Books 48 (2):99-108.
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  32. David Enoch (2007). An Outline of an Argument for Robust Metanormative Realism. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2 (2007):21-50.
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  33. David Enoch (2007). Epistemicism and Nihilism About Vagueness: What's the Difference? Philosophical Studies 133 (2):285 - 311.
    In this paper I argue, first, that the only difference between Epistemicism and Nihilism about vagueness is semantic rather than ontological, and second, that once it is clear what the difference between these views is, Nihilism is a much more plausible view of vagueness than Epistemicism. Given the current popularity of certain epistemicist views (most notably, Williamson’s), this result is, I think, of interest.
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  34. David Enoch (2007). Intending, Foreseeing, and the State. Legal Theory 13 (2):69.
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  35. David Enoch & Andrei Marmor (2007). The Case Against Moral Luck. Law and Philosophy 26 (4):405-436.
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  36. David Enoch (2006). Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come From What is Constitutive of Action. Philosophical Review 115 (2):169-198.
    There is a fairly widespread—and very infl uential—hope among philosophers interested in the status of normativity that the solution to our metaethical and, more generally, metanormative problems will emerge from the philosophy of action. In this essay, I will argue that these hopes are groundless. I will focus on the metanormative hope, but—as will become clear—showing that the solution to our metanormative problems will not come from what is constitutive of action will also devastate the hope of gaining significant insight (...)
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  37. Simon Enoch (2006). The Contagion of Difference: Identity, Bio-Politics and National Socialism. Foucault Studies 1:53-70.
    Michel Foucault's concept of bio-politics entails the management and regulation of life processes within the population as a whole. This administration of the biological was perhaps most manifest in the German state under National Socialism. Indeed, Foucault remarks that there was no other state of the period in which "the biological was so tightly, so insistently regulated." However while the Nazi regime evinced this bio-political concern with the management of life, it also released an unprecedented murderous potential. It is this (...)
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  38. Joshua Schechter & David Enoch (2006). Meaning and Justification: The Case of Modus Ponens. Noûs 40 (4):687 - 715.
    In virtue of what are we justified in employing the rule of inference Modus Ponens? One tempting approach to answering this question is to claim that we are justified in employing Modus Ponens purely in virtue of facts concerning meaning or concept-possession. In this paper, we argue that such meaning-based accounts cannot be accepted as the fundamental account of our justification.
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  39. David Enoch (2005). Why Idealize? Ethics 115 (4):759-787.
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  40. S. Enoch (2005). Informed Consent Should Be Obtained From Patients to Use Products (Skin Substitutes) and Dressings Containing Biological Material. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (1):2-6.
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  41. William J. FitzPatrick, Gerhard Øverland, Talbot Brewer, David Enoch & Philip Stratton‐Lake (2005). 2.“Doing and Allowing” and Doing and Allowing “Doing and Allowing” and Doing and Allowing (Pp. 799-808). Ethics 115 (4).
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  42. Simon Enoch (2004). The Contagion of Difference. Foucault Studies 1.
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  43. David Enoch (2003). An Argument for Robust Metanormative Realism. Dissertation, New York University
    In this essay, I defend a view I call “Robust Realism” about normativity. According to this view, there are irreducibly, perfectly objective, normative truths, that when successful in our normative inquiries we discover rather than create or construct. My argument in support of Robust Realism is modeled after arguments from explanatory indispensability common in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mathematics. I argue that irreducibly normative truths, though not explanatorily indispensable, are nevertheless deliberatively indispensable, and that this kind (...)
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  44. David Enoch (2003). How Noncognitivists Can Avoid Wishful Thinking. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):527-545.
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  45. D. Enoch (2002). A Right to Violate One's Duty. Law and Philosophy 21 (s 4-5):355-384.
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  46. David Enoch (2001). Noncognitivism, Normativity and Belief: A Reply to Jackson. Ratio 14 (2):185–190.
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  47. David Enoch (2001). Once You Start Using Slippery Slope Arguments, You're on a Very Slippery Slope. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 21 (4):629-647.
    Slippery slope arguments (SSAs) are, so I argue, arguments from consequences which have the following peculiar characteristic: They take advantage of our being less than perfect in making—and acting according to—distinctions. But then, once SSAs are seen for what they are, they can be turned against themselves. Being less than perfect at making the second‐order distinction between distinctions we're good at abiding by and those we're bad at abiding by, we're bound to fail to make the distinction between good and (...)
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  48. David Enoch, Taking Disagreement Seriously: On Jeremy Waldron's Law and Disagreement.
    Jeremy Waldron’s Law and Disagreement1 is an extremely important and influential book. Not only is it probably the best known recent text presenting the case against judicial review, but it is also rich in details and arguments regarding related but distinct issues such as the history of political philosophy, the relevance of metaethics to political philosophy, the desirable structure of legislative bodies, the justification of democracy and majoritarianism, Rawls’ political philosophy, and much more. In commenting on such rich work, then, (...)
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