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Profile: Michael Ridge (University of Edinburgh)
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Michael Ridge, How to Be a Rule-Utilitarian: Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism.
    Rule-utilitarianism, in spite of its considerable attractions, is a theory in need of a plausible and precise formulation. The basic idea behind rule-utilitarianism is that right action should be defined in terms of what would be required by rules which would maximise either actual or expected utility if those rules gained general acceptance or (on some versions of the theory) general compliance. Rule-utilitarians differ over whether acceptance or compliance is the key notion (see Hooker 2000: 75-80) and also over whether (...)
     
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Alfred Archer & Michael Ridge (forthcoming). The Heroism Paradox: Another Paradox of Supererogation. Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    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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  7. Michael Ridge (forthcoming). Agent-Neutral Vs. Agent-Relative Reasons. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  8. Michael Ridge (forthcoming). Naïve Practical Reasoning and the Second-Person Standpoint: Simple Reasons for Simple People? Journal of Value Inquiry:1-14.
    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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  9. Michael Ridge (2014). Impassioned Belief. Oup Oxford.
    Michael Ridge presents an original expressivist theory of normative judgments--Ecumenical Expressivism--which offers distinctive treatments of key problems in metaethics, semantics, and practical reasoning. He argues that normative judgments are hybrid states partly constituted by ordinary beliefs and partly constituted by desire-like states.
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Michael Ridge (2013). Getting Lost on the Road to Larissa 1. Noûs 47 (1):181-201.
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  13. Michael Ridge (2013). Non‐Cognitivism. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  14. Michael Ridge (2013). The Strike of the Demon. Noûs 47 (1).
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2011). Aesthetics and Particularism. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
     
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  20. 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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  21. Michael Ridge (2010). Fairness and Non-Compliance. In Brian Feltham & John Cottingham (eds.), Partiality and Impartiality: Morality, Special Relationships, and the Wider World. Oup Oxford.
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  22. Michael Ridge (2010). Non-Cognitivist Pragmatics and Stevenson's. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (4):563-574.
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  23. Michael Ridge & Sean McKeever (2010). Particularism and Principles. In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
     
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  24. 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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  25. Michael Ridge (2009). Consequentialist Kantianism. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):421-438.
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  26. 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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  27. Mike Ridge (2009). Moral Assertion for Expressivists. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):182-204.
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  28. 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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  29. Michael Ridge (2008). Epistemology Moralized. Hume Studies 29 (2):165-204.
  30. Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2007). Turning on Default Reasons. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):55-76.
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  31. M. Ridge & S. McKeever (2007). Ethics Without Principles. Philosophical Review 116 (1):124-128.
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  32. 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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  33. Michael Ridge (2007). Expressivism and Epistemology: Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):83–108.
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  34. Michael Ridge (2007). Ecumenical Expressivism: The Best of Both Worlds? Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2:51-76.
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  35. Michael Ridge (2007). Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81:83 - 108.
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  36. Michael Ridge & Sean McKeever (2007). Ethics Without Principles. Philosophical Review 116 (1):124-128.
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  37. Stephen Darwall, George Sher, Michael Ridge, François Schroeter & Christian List (2006). 10. Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler, and Michael Smith, Eds., Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler, and Michael Smith, Eds., Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz (Pp. 435-440). [REVIEW] Ethics 116 (2).
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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. Michael Ridge (2006). Ecumenical Expressivism: Finessing Frege. Ethics 116 (2):302-336.
  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. M. Ridge (2005). Review: Pleasure and the Good Life. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (454):414-417.
  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. Michael Ridge (2004). How Children Learn the Meanings of Moral Words: Expressivist Semantics for Children. Ethics 114 (2):301-317.
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  50. 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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