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Profile: John J. Tilley (Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis)
  1. John J. Tilley (forthcoming). John Clarke of Hull's Argument for Psychological Egoism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-21.
    John Clarke of Hull, one of the eighteenth century's staunchest proponents of psychological egoism, defended that theory in his Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice. He did so mainly by opposing the objections to egoism in the first two editions of Francis Hutcheson's Inquiry into Virtue. But Clarke also produced a challenging, direct argument for egoism which, regrettably, has received virtually no scholarly attention. In this paper I give it some of the attention it merits. In addition to reconstructing (...)
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  2. John J. Tilley (2012). Exciting Reasons and Moral Rationalism in Hutcheson's Illustrations Upon the Moral Sense. Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):53-83.
    One of the most oft-cited parts of Francis Hutcheson's Illustrations upon the Moral Sense is his discussion of "exciting reasons."1 In that discussion he defends what has come to be called, owing to its later association with David Hume, "the Humean view of motivation." My topic in this paper is the relation of that discussion to Hutcheson's critique of moral rationalism and, more generally, to his aims in the Illustrations. By ‘moral rationalism' I mean the view, held by Samuel Clarke, (...)
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  3. John J. Tilley (2012). The Problem of Inconsistency in Wollaston's Moral Theory. History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):265–80.
  4. John J. Tilley (2012). Wollaston's Early Critics. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1097-1116.
    Some of the most forceful objections to William Wollaston's moral theory come from his early critics, namely, Thomas Bott (1688?1754), Francis Hutcheson (1694?1746), and John Clarke of Hull (1687?1734). These objections are little known, while the inferior objections of Hume, Bentham, and later prominent critics are familiar. This fact is regrettable. For instance, it impedes a robust understanding of eighteenth-century British ethics; also, it fosters a questionable view as to why Wollaston's theory, although at first well received, soon faded in (...)
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  5. John J. Tilley (2012). Spectres of False Divinity: Hume's Moral Atheism (Review). [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (2):297-298.
  6. John J. Tilley (2009). Dismissive Replies to "Why Should I Be Moral?&Quot;. Social Theory and Practice 35 (3):341–68.
    The question "Why should I be moral?," taken as a request for reasons to be moral, strikes many philosophers as silly, confused, or otherwise out of line. Hence we find many attempts to dismiss it as spurious. This paper addresses four such attempts and shows that they fail. It does so partly by discussing various errors about reasons for action, errors that lie at the root of the view that "Why should I be moral?" is ill-conceived. Such errors include the (...)
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  7. John J. Tilley (2009). Physical Objects and Moral Wrongness: Hume on the "Fallacy" in Wollaston's Moral Theory. Hume Studies 35 (1):87-101.
    According to the moral theory of William Wollaston (1659-1724), the mark of a wrong action is that it signifies a falsehood.1 This theory rests, in part, on an unusual account of actions according to which they have propositional content: they "declare," "signify," "affirm," or "express" propositions (RN 8-13). To take an example from Wollaston, the act of firing on a band of soldiers affirms the proposition "Those soldiers are my enemies" (RN 8-9). Likewise, the act of breaking a promise signifies (...)
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  8. John J. Tilley (2008). Reasons, Rational Requirements, and the Putative Pseudo-Question “Why Be Moral?”. Synthese 161 (2):309 - 323.
    In this paper, I challenge a well-known argument for the view that “Why be moral?” is a pseudo-question. I do so by refuting a component of that argument, a component that is not only crucial to the argument but important in its own right. That component concerns the status of moral reasons in replies to “Why be moral?”; consequently, this paper concerns reasons and rationality no less than it concerns morality. The work I devote to those topics shows not only (...)
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  9. John J. Tilley (2006). Desires and Practical Reasons. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:123-128.
    This paper refutes a common and influential thesis about the conditions under which desires provide agents with practical reasons. That thesis is that if any agent. A, has a desire which A could satisfy by (ping, then A has a reason—a minimal reason, at least—to (p. Although this thesis comes close to stating a truth, it falls short.
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  10. John J. Tilley (2006). Is "Why Be Moral?&Quot; A Pseudo-Question?: Hospers and Thornton on the Amoralist's Challenge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):549-66.
    Many arguments have been advanced for the view that "Why be moral?" is a pseudo-question. In this paper I address one of the most widely known and influential of them, one that comes from John Hospers and J. C. <span class='Hi'>Thornton</span>. I do so partly because, strangely, an important phase of that argument has escaped close attention. It warrants such attention because, firstly, not only is it important to the argument in which it appears, it is important in wider respects. (...)
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  11. John J. Tilley (2005). Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (Iupui) Indianapolis, in 46202-5140 Usa. Philosophia 33 (1-4):341.
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  12. John J. Tilley (2005). Living Philosophy: An Introduction to Moral Thought, Third Edition. [REVIEW] Philosophia 33 (1-4):335-341.
  13. John J. Tilley (2005). Living Philosophy: An Introduction to Moral Thought. Philosophia 33 (1):335-341.
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  14. John J. Tilley (2004). Desires, Reasons, and Reasons to Be Moral. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (4):287–98.
  15. John J. Tilley (2004). Justifying Reasons, Motivating Reasons, and Agent Relativism in Ethics. Philosophical Studies 118 (3):373-399.
    According to agent relativism, each person's moral requirements are relative to her desires or interests. That is, whether a person morally ought to depends on what interests or desires she has. Some philosophers charge that the main argument for agent relativism trades on an ambiguity –specifically, an ambiguity in ``reason,'' ``reasonfor action,'' or a kindred term. This charge has been common, and widely thought to damage the case for agent relativism, since its appearance, in 1958, in a now classic paper (...)
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  16. John J. Tilley (2004). On Desires and Practical Reasons. Acta Analytica 19 (32):5-18.
    This paper challenges a common assumption about the relation between desires and practical reasons—namely, that if øing is an optimal way (or even just a way) for a person, P , to satisfy one of her desires, then P has a (normative) reason to ø. It challenges that assumption not by denying that desires are a source of practical reasons, but by showing that in some situations, rare though not impossible, P can lack a reason to ø despite having a (...)
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  17. John J. Tilley (2000). Cultural Relativism. Human Rights Quarterly 22 (2):501–547.
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  18. John J. Tilley (1999). Prisoners' Dilemmas and Reciprocal Altruists. Philosophia 27 (1-2):261-272.
  19. John J. Tilley (1998). The Problem for Normative Cultural Relativism. Ratio Juris 11 (3):272-290.
    The key problem for normative (or moral) cultural relativism arises as soon as we try to formulate it. It resists formulations that are (1) clear, precise, and intelligible; (2) plausible enough to warrant serious attention; and (3) faithful to the aims of leading cultural relativists, one such aim being to produce an important alternative to moral universalism. Meeting one or two of these conditions is easy; meeting all three is not. I discuss twenty-four candidates for the label "cultural relativism," showing (...)
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  20. John J. Tilley (1997). Motivation and Practical Reasons. Erkenntnis 47 (1):105-127.
  21. John J. Tilley (1996). Prisoner's Dilemma From a Moral Point of View. Theory and Decision 41 (2):187-193.
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  22. John J. Tilley (1995). Two Kinds of Moral Relativism. Journal of Value Inquiry 29 (2):187-192.
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  23. Joseph Agassi, Dorit Bar-on, D. S. Clarke, Paul Sheldon Davies, Anthony J. Graybosch, Lila Luce, Paul K. Moser, Saul Smilansky, Roger Smook, William Sweet, John J. Tilley & Ruth Weintraub (1994). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (1-4):359-362.
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  24. John J. Tilley (1994). Accounting for the 'Tragedy' in the Prisoner's Dilemma. Synthese 99 (2):251–76.
    The Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) exhibits a tragedy in this sense: if the players are fully informed and rational, they are condemned to a jointly dispreferred outcome. In this essay I address the following question: What feature of the PD's payoff structure is necessary and sufficient to produce the tragedy? In answering it I use the notion of a trembling-hand equilibrium. In the final section I discuss an implication of my argument, an implication which bears on the persistence of the problem (...)
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  25. John J. Tilley (1993). Beyond the Call of Duty: Supererogation, Obligation, and Offence. By Gregory Mellema. Modern Schoolman 71 (1):73-75.
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  26. John J. Tilley (1992). Moral Relativism, Internalism, and the "Humean" View of Practical Reason. Modern Schoolman 69 (2):81-109.
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  27. John J. Tilley (1992). Moral Relativism, Internalism, and the "Humean" View of Practical Reason. Modern Schoolman 69 (2):81-109.
  28. John J. Tilley (1992). Moral Relativism, Internalism, and The. Modern Schoolman 69 (2):81-109.
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  29. John J. Tilley (1991). Altruism and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (3):264 – 287.
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  30. John J. Tilley (1988). Inner Judgments and Moral Relativism. Philosophia 18 (2-3):171-190.
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