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Profile: Michael Ridge (University of Edinburgh)
  1.  208 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2006). Ecumenical Expressivism: Finessing Frege. Ethics 116 (2):302-336.
  2.  176 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2007). Anti-Reductionism and Supervenience. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):330-348.
    In this paper, I argue that anti-reductionist moral realism still has trouble explaining supervenience. My main target here will be Russ Shafer-Landau's attempt to explain the supervenience of the moral on the natural in terms of the constitution of moral property instantiations by natural property instantiations. First, though, I discuss a recent challenge to the very idea of using supervenience as a dialectical weapon posed by Nicholas Sturgeon. With a suitably formulated supervenience thesis in hand, I try to show how (...)
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  3.  91 DLs
    Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2008). Preempting Principles: Recent Debates in Moral Particularism. Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1177-1192.
    Moral particularism, as recently defended, charges that traditional moral theorizing unduly privileges moral principles. Moral generalism defends a prominent place for moral principles. Because moral principles are often asked to play multiple roles, moral particularism aims at multiple targets. We distinguish two leading roles for moral principles, the role of standard and the role of guide. We critically survey some of the leading arguments both for and against principles so conceived.
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  4.  91 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2007). Expressivism and Epistemology: Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):83–108.
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  5.  85 DLs
    Michael Ridge, Moral Non-Naturalism.
    There may be as much philosophical controversy about how to distinguish naturalism from non-naturalism as there is about which view is correct. In spite of this widespread disagreement about the content of naturalism and non-naturalism there is considerable agreement about the status of certain historically influential philosophical accounts as non-naturalist. In particular, there is widespread agreement that G.E. Moore's account of goodness in..
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  6.  75 DLs
    A. Barandalla & M. Ridge (2011). Function and Self-Constitution: How to Make Something of Yourself Without Being All That You Can Be. A Commentary on Christine Korsgaard's The Constitution of Agency and Self-Constitution. Analysis 71 (2):364-380.
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  7.  75 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2013). Getting Lost on the Road to Larissa 1. Noûs 47 (1):181-201.
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  8.  72 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2009). Climb Every Mountain? Ratio 22 (1):59-77.
    The central thesis of Derek Parfit's On What Matters is that three of the most important secular moral traditions – Kantianism, contractualism, and consequentialism – all actually converge in a way onto the same view. It is in this sense that he suggests that we may all be 'climbing the same mountain, but from different sides'. In this paper, I argue that Parfit's argument that we are all metaphorically climbing the same mountain is unsound. One reason his argument does not (...)
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  9.  69 DLs
    Michael Ridge, Reasons for Action: Agent-Neutral Vs. Agent-Relative. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The agent-relative/agent-neutral distintion is widely and rightly regarded as a philosophically important one. Unfortunately, the distinction is often drawn in different and mutually incompatible ways. The agent-relative/agent-neutral distinction has historically been drawn three main ways: the ‘principle-based distinction’, the ‘reason-statement-based distinction’ and the ‘perspective-based distinction’. Each of these approaches has its own distinctive vices (Sections 1-3). However, a slightly modified version of the historically influential principle-based approach seems to avoid most if not all of these vices (Section 4). The distinction (...)
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  10.  64 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2001). Agent-Neutral Consequentialism From the Inside-Out: Concern for Integrity Without Self-Indulgence. Utilitas 13 (02):236-.
    Is there a justification of concern for one's own integrity that agent-neutral consequentialism cannot explain? In addressing this question, it is important to be clear about what is meant by 'agent-neutral', 'consequentialism', and 'integrity'. Let 'consequentialism' be constituted by the following two theses.
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  11.  61 DLs
    Mike Ridge (2013). Disagreement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):41-63.
    Disagreement holds the key: the possibility of agreeing or disagreeing with a state of mind makes that state of mind act logically like accepting a claim. Charles Stevenson was quite right to begin his presentation of emotivism with disagreement.—Allan Gibbard.
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  12.  57 DLs
    Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2005). What Does Holism Have to Do with Moral Particularism? Ratio 18 (1):93–103.
    Moral particularists are united in their opposition to the codification of morality, and their work poses an important challenge to traditional ways of thinking about moral philosophy. Defenders of moral particularism have, with near unanimity, sought support from a doctrine they call “holism in the theory of reasons.” We argue that this is all a mistake. There are two ways in which holism in the theory of reasons can be understood, but neither provides any support for moral particularism. Moral particularists (...)
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  13.  55 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2006). Sincerity and Expressivism. Philosophical Studies 131 (2):487 - 510.
    What is it for a speech-act to be sincere? A very tempting answer, defended by John Searle and others, is that a speech-act is sincere just in case the speaker has the state of mind it expresses. I argue that we should instead hold that a speech-act is sincere just in case the speaker believes that she has the state of mind she believes it expresses (Sections 1 and 2). Scenarios in which speakers are deluded about their own states of (...)
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  14.  54 DLs
    Sean D. McKeever & Michael Ridge (2006). Particularism and the Contingent a Priori. Acta Analytica 21 (2):3-11.
    Particularism renders the options for a sound moral epistemology few and the prospects dim. One leading approach treats basic knowledge of particular cases as derivable from an a priori moral principle and a posteriori knowledge of the contingent non-moral facts to which the principle applies. Particularists must forgo this approach because it requires principles. Yet a purely a posteriori moral epistemology is also implausible, especially when combined with particularism. Particularists such as Jonathan Dancy are thus led to the view that (...)
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  15.  54 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2001). Saving Scanlon: Contractualism and Agent-Relativity. Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (4):472–481.
  16.  53 DLs
    M. Ridge (2005). Review: Pleasure and the Good Life. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (454):414-417.
  17.  53 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2004). Moral Realism: A Defence. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):540 – 544.
    Book Information Moral Realism: A Defence. Moral Realism: A Defence Russ Shafer-Landau , Oxford : Clarendon Press , 2003 , x + 322 , £35 ( cloth ) By Russ Shafer-Landau. Clarendon Press. Oxford. Pp. x + 322. £35 (cloth:).
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  18.  51 DLs
    Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit & Michael Ridge, Review: Posted 10/5/99. [REVIEW]
    JP argue that expressivists must admit that becoming competent with ethical utterances involves learning to make them only when one believes one has the relevant attitude. For expressivists hold that communicating our attitudes is the function of ethical utterances, in which case sincerity demands that we not utter an ethical sentence unless we believe we have the relevant attitude. So (b) is false, as long as we suppose that this commitment, as reflected in well-entrenched and clear-cut (henceforth, 'robust' abbreviates 'well-entrenched (...)
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  19.  50 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2003). Contractualism and the New and Improved Redundancy Objection. Analysis 63 (4):337–342.
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  20.  43 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2005). The Many Moral Particularisms. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):83 - 106.
    What place, if any, moral principles should or do have in moral life has been a longstanding question for moral philosophy. For some, the proposition that moral philosophy should strive to articulate moral principles has been an article of faith. At least since Aristotle, however, there has been a rich counter-tradition that questions the possibility or value of trying to capture morality in principled terms. In recent years, philosophers who question principled approaches to morality have argued under the banner of (...)
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  21.  43 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2001). Taking Solipsism Seriously: Nonhuman Animals and Meta-Cognitive Theories of Consciousness. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 103 (3):315-340.
  22.  41 DLs
    Michael Ridge (1998). Humean Intentions. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (2):157-178.
    Many hold that the differences between intentions and desires are so significant that, not only can we not identify intentions with desires simpliciter, but that intentions are irreducible to any subclass of desires. My main aim is to explain why we should reject the irreducibility thesis in both forms, thereby defending the Humean view of action explanation.
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  23.  37 DLs
    Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2007). Turning on Default Reasons. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):55-76.
    Particularism takes an extremely ecumenical view of what considerations might count as reasons and thereby threatens to ‘flatten the moral landscape’ by making it seem that there is no deep difference between, for example, pain, and shoelace color. After all, particularists have claimed, either could provide a reason provided a suitable moral context. To avoid this result, some particularists draw a distinction between default and non-default reasons. The present paper argues that all but the most deflationary ways of drawing this (...)
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  24.  36 DLs
    Michael Ridge, Michael A. Smith.
    Back in the bad old days, it was easy enough to spot non-cognitivists. They pressed radical doctrines with considerable bravado. Intoxicated by the apparent implications of logical positivism, early noncognitivsts would say things like, "in saying that a certain type of action is right or wrong, I am not making any factual statement..." (Ayer 1936: 107) Like most rebellious youths, non-cognitivism eventually grew up. Later non-cognitivists developed the position into a more subtle doctrine, no longer committed to the revisionary doctrines (...)
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  25.  32 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2006). Saving the Ethical Appearances. Mind 115 (459):633-650.
    An important worry about what Simon Blackburn has called ‘quasi-realism’ is that it collapses into realism full-stop. Edward Harcourt has recently pressed the worry about collapse into realism in an original way. Harcourt presents the challenge in the form of a dilemma. Either ethical discourse appears to ordinary speakers to express representational states or not. If the former then expressivism means that this appearance is not saved after all, in which case quasi-realism fails in its own terms. If the latter, (...)
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  26.  32 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2002). Mill's Intentions and Motives. Utilitas 14 (01):54-.
    One might have thought that any right-thinking utilitarian would hold that motives and intentions are morally on a par, as either might influence the consequences of one's actions. However, in a neglected passage of Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill claims that the rightness of an action depends 'entirely upon the intention' but does not at all depend upon the motive. In this paper I try to make sense of Mill's initially puzzling remarks about the relative importance of intentions and motives in (...)
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  27.  28 DLs
    Sebastian Köhler & Michael Ridge (2013). Revolutionary Expressivism. Ratio 26 (4):428-449.
    While the meta-ethical error theory has been of philosophical interest for some time now, only recently a debate has emerged about the question what is to be done if the error theory turns out to be true. This paper argues for a novel answer to this question, namely revolutionary expressivism: if the error theory is true, we should become expressivists. Additionally, the paper explores certain important but largely ignored methodological issues that arise for reforming definitions generally and with a vengeance (...)
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  28.  28 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2007). Ecumenical Expressivism: The Best of Both Worlds? Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2:51-76.
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  29.  27 DLs
    Mike Ridge (2009). Moral Assertion for Expressivists. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):182-204.
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  30.  26 DLs
    Alfred Archer & Michael Ridge (2015). The Heroism Paradox: Another Paradox of Supererogation. Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1575-1592.
    Philosophers are by now familiar with “the” paradox of supererogation. This paradox arises out of the idea that it can never be permissible to do something morally inferior to another available option, yet acts of supererogation seem to presuppose this. This paradox is not our topic in this paper. We mention it only to set it to one side and explain our subtitle. In this paper we introduce and explore another paradox of supererogation, one which also deserves serious philosophical attention. (...)
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  31.  26 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2003). Epistemology Moralized: David Hume's Practical Epistemology. Hume Studies 29 (2):165-204.
    - Peter Railton1 Railton's remark is accurate; contemporary philosophers almost invariably suppose that morality is more vulnerable than empirical science to scepticism. Yet David Hume apparently embraces an inversion of this twentieth century orthodoxy.2 In book I of the Treatise, he claims that the understanding, when it reflects upon itself, "entirely subverts itself" (T 1. 4.7.7; SBN 267) while, in contrast, in book III he claims that our moral faculty, when reflecting upon itself, acquires "new force" (T 3.3.6.3; SBN 619). (...)
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  32.  24 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2003). Giving the Dead Their Due. Ethics 114 (1):38-59.
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  33.  24 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2005). What Does Holism Have to Do with Moral Particularism? Ratio 18 (1):93-103.
    Moral particularists are united in their opposition to the codification of morality, and their work poses an important challenge to traditional ways of thinking about moral philosophy. Defenders of moral particularism have, with near unanimity, sought support from a doctrine they call “holism in the theory of reasons.” We argue that this is all a mistake. There are two ways in which holism in the theory of reasons can be understood, but neither provides any support for moral particularism. Moral particularists (...)
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  34.  22 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2009). Consequentialist Kantianism. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):421-438.
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  35.  22 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2004). How Children Learn the Meanings of Moral Words: Expressivist Semantics for Children. Ethics 114 (2):301-317.
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  36.  22 DLs
    Michael Ridge (1998). Hobbesian Public Reason. Ethics 108 (3):538-568.
  37.  20 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2003). Non-Cognitivist Pragmatics and Stevenson's 'Do so as Well. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (4):563 - 574.
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  38.  18 DLs
    Michael Ridge (1998). How to Avoid Being Driven to Consequentialism: A Comment on Norcross. Philosophy and Public Affairs 27 (1):50–58.
  39.  17 DLs
    Michael Ridge, Scanlon, Permissions, and Redundancy: Response to McNaughton and Rawling.
    According to one formulation of <span class='Hi'>Scanlon</span>’s contractualist principle, certain acts are wrong if they are permitted by principles that are reasonably rejectable because they permit such acts. According to the redundancy objection, if a principle is reasonably rejectable because it permits actions which have feature F, such actions are wrong simply in virtue of having F and not because their having F makes principles permitting them reasonably rejectable. Consequently <span class='Hi'>Scanlon</span>’s contractualist principle adds nothing to the reasons we have (...)
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  40.  16 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2015). Naïve Practical Reasoning and the Second-Person Standpoint: Simple Reasons for Simple People? Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (1 - 2):17-30.
    Much contemporary first-order moral theory revolves around the debate between consequentialists and deontologists. Depressingly, this debate often seems to come down to irresolvable first-order intuition mongering about runaway trolleys, drowning children in shallow ponds, lying to murderers at doors, and the like. Prima facie, common sense morality contains both consequentialist and deontological elements, so it may be no surprise that direct appeal to first-order intuitions tend towards stalemate. One might infer from this that we should simply embrace some sort of (...)
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  41.  15 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2006). Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):242 - 253.
    The basic idea of rule-utilitarianism is that right action should be defined in terms of what would be required by rules which would maximize either actual or expected utility if those rules gained general acceptance, or perhaps general compliance. Rule-utilitarians face a dilemma. They must characterize 'general acceptance' either as 100% acceptance, or as something less. On the first horn of the dilemma, rule-utilitarianism in vulnerable to the charge of utopianism; on the second, it is open to the charge of (...)
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  42.  14 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2012). David Hume, Paternalist. Hume Studies 36 (2):149-170.
    Were there a species of creatures intermingled with men, which, though rational, were possessed of such inferior strength, both of body and mind, that they were incapable of all resistance, and could never, upon the highest provocation, make us feel the effects of their resentment; the necessary consequence, I think, is that we should be bound by the laws of humanity to give gentle usage to these creatures, but should not, properly speaking, lie under any restraint of justice with regard (...)
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  43.  14 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2009). The Truth in Ecumenical Expressivism. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press
    Early expressivists, such as A.J. Ayer, argued that normative utterances are not truth-apt, and many found this striking claim implausible. After all, ordinary speakers are perfectly happy to ascribe truth and falsity to normative assertions. It is hard to believe that competent speakers could be so wrong about the meanings of their own language, particularly as these meanings are fixed by the conventions implicit in their own linguistic behavior. Later expressivists therefore tried to arrange a marriage between expressivism and the (...)
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  44.  14 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2005). Universalizability for Collective Rational Agents: A Critique of Agentrelativism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):34–66.
    Kantians argue that any sound theory of practical reason must be universalizable. Their opponents argue that insofar as universalizability is hedged enough to be defensible it is an "empty formalism." The critic presents the Kantian with a dilemma. They argue that if the only notion of a contradiction in play in the categorical imperative is simply that of logical one (as opposed to some sort of practical or teleological contradiction)1 then the categorical imperative it too anemic to have interesting consequences. (...)
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  45.  14 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2000). Modesty as a Virtue. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (3):269 - 283.
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  46.  12 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2005). Why Must We Threat Humanity with Respect? Evaluating the Regress Argument. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1 (1):57-73.
    -- Immanuel Kant (Kant 1990, p. 46/429) The idea that our most basic duty is to treat each other with respect is one of the Enlightenment’s greatest legacies and Kant is often thought to be one of its most powerful defenders. If Kant’s project were successful then the lofty notion that humanity is always worthy of respect would be vindicated by pure practical reason. Further, this way of defending the ideal is supposed to reflect our autonomy, insofar as it is (...)
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  47.  12 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2003). Judith Jarvis Thomson, Goodness and Advice, Edited by Amy Gutmann:Goodness and Advice. Ethics 113 (2):447-450.
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  48.  9 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2012). Kantian Constructivism : Something Old, Something New. In Jimmy Lenman & Yonatan Shemmer (eds.), Constructivism in Practical Philosophy. Oxford University Press 138.
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  49.  9 DLs
    Michael Ridge (2007). Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81:83 - 108.
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  50.  9 DLs
    Sean Mckeever & Michael Ridge (2013). Organic Unities. In David Bakhurst, Margaret Olivia Little & Brad Hooker (eds.), Thinking About Reasons: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Dancy. Oxford University Press 265.
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