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Profile: Michael B. Gill (University of Arizona)
  1. Michael B. Gill (2007). Moral Rationalism Vs. Moral Sentimentalism: Is Morality More Like Math or Beauty? Philosophy Compass 2 (1):16–30.
    One of the most significant disputes in early modern philosophy was between the moral rationalists and the moral sentimentalists. The moral rationalists — such as Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke and John Balguy — held that morality originated in reason alone. The moral sentimentalists — such as Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume — held that morality originated at least partly in sentiment. In addition to arguments, the rationalists and sentimentalists developed rich analogies. The (...)
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  2. Michael B. Gill & Shaun Nichols (2008). Sentimentalist Pluralism: Moral Psychology and Philosophical Ethics. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):143-163.
    When making moral judgments, people are typically guided by a plurality of moral rules. These rules owe their existence to human emotions but are not simply equivalent to those emotions. And people’s moral judgments ought to be guided by a plurality of emotion-based rules. The view just stated combines three positions on moral judgment: [1] moral sentimentalism, which holds that sentiments play an essential role in moral judgment,1 [2] descriptive moral pluralism, which holds that commonsense moral judgment is guided by (...)
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  3. Michael B. Gill (2004). Presumed Consent, Autonomy, and Organ Donation. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (1):37 – 59.
    I argue that a policy of presumed consent for cadaveric organ procurement, which assumes that people do want to donate their organs for transplantation after their death, would be a moral improvement over the current American system, which assumes that people do not want to donate their organs. I address what I take to be the most important objection to presumed consent. The objection is that if we implement presumed consent we will end up removing organs from the bodies of (...)
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  4.  9
    Michael B. Gill (2014). On Eating Animals. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):201-207.
    This essay is a critical response to Loren Lomasky's essay in this volume: “Is It Wrong to Eat Animals?” The essay argues that Lomasky both overestimates the value of eating meat and underestimates the harms to animals of practices surrounding meat eating. While Lomasky takes the fact that an animal would not have lived at all if it were not being raised for food to constitute a benefit for animals being so raised, this essay argues that it would be better (...)
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  5.  52
    Michael B. Gill & Robert M. Sade (2002). Paying for Kidneys: The Case Against Prohibition. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 12 (1):17-45.
    : We argue that healthy people should be allowed to sell one of their kidneys while they are alive—that the current prohibition on payment for kidneys ought to be overturned. Our argument has three parts. First, we argue that the moral basis for the current policy on live kidney donations and on the sale of other kinds of tissue implies that we ought to legalize the sale of kidneys. Second, we address the objection that the sale of kidneys is intrinsically (...)
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  6.  29
    Michael B. Gill, Lord Shaftesbury [Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury]. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Shaftesbury's philosophy combined a powerfully teleological approach, according to which all things are part of a harmonious cosmic order, with sharp observations of human nature (see section 2 below). Shaftesbury is often credited with originating the moral sense theory, although his own views of virtue are a mixture of rationalism and sentimentalism (section 3). While he argued that virtue leads to happiness (section 4), Shaftesbury was a fierce opponent of psychological and ethical egoism (section 5) and of the egoistic social (...)
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  7.  66
    Michael B. Gill (2009). Moral Phenomenology in Hutcheson and Hume. Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (4):pp. 569-594.
    Moral phenomenology, as i will use the term in this paper, is the study of our experience of morality. It is the study of morality “as experienced from the first-person point of view,” 1 the study of the “what-it-is-like features of concrete moral experiences,” 2 the study of introspectively accessible features that can be discerned by “a direct examination of the data of men’s moral consciousness.” 3A crucial part of moral phenomenology is the study of what it is like to (...)
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  8.  46
    Michael B. Gill (2010). From Cambridge Platonism to Scottish Sentimentalism. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 8 (1):13-31.
    The Cambridge Platonists were a group of religious thinkers who attended and taught at Cambridge from the 1640s until the 1660s. The four most important of them were Benjamin Whichcote, John Smith, Ralph Cudworth, and Henry More. The most prominent sentimentalist moral philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment – Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith – knew of the works of the Cambridge Platonists. But the Scottish sentimentalists typically referred to the Cambridge Platonists only briefly and in passing. The surface of Hutcheson, (...)
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  9. Michael B. Gill (2009). Is the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide Compatible with Good End-of-Life Care? Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):27-45.
    abstract Many have held that there is some kind of incompatibility between a commitment to good end-of-life care and the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. This opposition to physician-assisted suicide encompasses a cluster of different claims. In this essay I try to clarify some of the most important of these claims and show that they do not stand up well to conceptual and empirical scrutiny.
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  10.  30
    Michael B. Gill (2004). Rationalism, Sentimentalism, and Ralph Cudworth. Hume Studies 30 (1):149-181.
  11.  21
    Michael B. Gill (1999). Relativity and the Concept of Morality. Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (2):171-182.
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  12.  17
    Michael B. Gill (2011). Humean Moral Pluralism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (1):45.
    Michael B. Gill offers a new account of Humean moral pluralism: the view that there are different moral reasons for action, which are based on human sentiments. He explores its historical origins, and argues that it offers the most compelling view of our moral experience. Together, pluralism and Humeanism make a philosophically powerful couple.
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  13. Michael B. Gill, Meta-Ethical Variability, Incoherence, and Error.
    Moral cognitivists hold that in ordinary thought and language moral terms are used to make factual claims and express propositions. Moral non-cognitivists hold that in ordinary thought and language moral terms are not used to make factual claims or express propositions. What cognitivists and non-cognitivists seem to agree about, however, is that there is something in ordinary thought and language that can vindicate one side of their debate or the other. Don Loeb raises the possibility — which I will call (...)
     
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  14.  32
    Michael B. Gill (2013). Humean Sentimentalism and Non-Consequentialist Moral Thinking. Hume Studies 37 (2):165-188.
    Of the many objections moral rationalists have raised against moral sentimentalism, none has been more long-lived and central than the claim that sentimentalism cannot accommodate the non-consequentialist aspects of our moral thinking. John Balguy raised an early version of the non-consequentialist objection just two years after Francis Hutcheson published the first systematic development of moral sentimentalism. As Balguy understood it, Hutcheson's sentimentalism implied that what makes an action virtuous is its effects, such as the advantages or pleasures it produces. According (...)
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  15.  14
    Michael B. Gill (1996). Fantastick Associations and Addictive General Rules: A Fundamental Difference Between Hutcheson and Hume. Hume Studies 22 (1):23-48.
  16.  59
    Michael B. Gill (2008). Teaching & Learning Guide For: Moral Rationalism Vs. Moral Sentimentalism: Is Morality More Like Math or Beauty? Philosophy Compass 3 (2):397–400.
  17.  15
    Michael B. Gill (2013). On Eating Animals. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):201-207.
    This essay is a critical response to Loren Lomasky's essay in this volume: The essay argues that Lomasky both overestimates the value of eating meat and underestimates the harms to animals of practices surrounding meat eating. While Lomasky takes the fact that an animal would not have lived at all if it were not being raised for food to constitute a benefit for animals being so raised, this essay argues that it would be better for animals raised on factory farms (...)
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  18.  18
    Michael B. Gill (1996). Fantastick Associations and Addictive General Rules. Hume Studies 22 (1):23-48.
  19.  11
    Michael B. Gill, Humean Sentimentalism & Non-Consequentialist Moral (2011). Index to Volume 37. Hume Studies 37 (2):295-295.
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  20.  11
    Michael B. Gill (2012). A Humean Account of Moral Pluralism. Iride 25 (3):571-588.
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  21.  41
    Michael B. Gill (1999). The Religious Rationalism of Benjamin Whichcote. Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (2):271-300.
    I. Introduction Most philosophers today have never heard of Benjamin Whichcote (1609-83), and most of the few who have heard of him know only that he was the founder of Cambridge Platonism.1 He is well worth learning more about, however. For Whichcote was a vital influence on both Ralph Cudworth and the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, through whom he helped shape the views of Clarke and Price, on the one hand, and Hutcheson and Hume, on the other. Whichcote should thus (...)
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  22.  39
    Michael B. Gill (2000). Shaftesbury's Two Accounts of the Reason to Be Virtuous. Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (4):529-548.
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  23.  22
    Michael B. Gill (1996). A Philosopher in His Closet: Reflexivity and Justification in Hume's Moral Theory. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):231 - 255.
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  24.  14
    Michael B. Gill (2004). History of Ethics. Hume Studies 30:149-81.
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  25.  1
    Michael B. Gill (2009). Indeterminacy and Variability in Meta-Ethics. Philosophical Studies 145 (2):215-234.
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  26.  6
    Michael B. Gill (1998). On the Alleged Incompatibility Between Sentimentalism and Moral Confidence. History of Philosophy Quarterly 15 (4):411 - 440.
  27.  5
    Michael B. Gill (1995). Nature and Association in the Moral Theory of Francis Hutcheson. History of Philosophy Quarterly 12 (3):281 - 301.
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  28.  2
    Michael B. Gill (2012). Un resoconto humeano del pluralismo morale. Iride 25 (3):571-588.
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  29. Michael B. Gill (2014). Humean Moral Pluralism. OUP Oxford.
    Michael B. Gill offers a new account of Humean moral pluralism: the view that there are different moral reasons for action, which are based on human sentiments. He explores its historical origins, and argues that it offers the most compelling view of our moral experience. Together, pluralism and Humeanism make a philosophically powerful couple.
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  30. Michael B. Gill (1995). Human Nature and the Accessibility of Morality in Cudworth, Hutcheson, and Hume. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Impressed by morality's internal accessibility and motivational force, philosophers from the Greeks to the present day have advanced the view that moral distinctions originate in human nature. Every incarnation of this view, however, has had to face one central question: what is it about human nature that justifies some moral judgments and not others? This dissertation charts the rise and fall of one approach to that question, that contained in the works of the British moralists of the late seventeenth and (...)
     
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  31. Michael B. Gill (forthcoming). Love of Humanity in Shaftesbury’s Moralists. British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-19.
    ABSTRACTShaftesbury believed that the height of virtue was impartial love for all of humanity. But Shaftesbury also harboured grave doubts about our ability to develop such an expansive love. In The Moralists, Shaftesbury addressed this problem. I show that while it may appear on the surface that The Moralists solves the difficulty, it in fact remains unresolved. Shaftesbury may not have been able to reconcile his view of the content of virtue with his view of our motivational psychology.
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  32. Michael B. Gill (2006). The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of Secular Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    Uncovering the historical roots of naturalistic, secular contemporary ethics, in this 2006 volume Michael Gill shows how the British moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries completed a Copernican revolution in moral philosophy. They effected a shift from thinking of morality as independent of human nature to thinking of it as part of human nature itself. He also shows how the British Moralists - sometimes inadvertently, sometimes by design - disengaged ethical thinking, first from distinctly Christian ideas and then from (...)
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  33. Michael B. Gill (2009). The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of Secular Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    Uncovering the historical roots of naturalistic, secular contemporary ethics, in this 2006 volume Michael Gill shows how the British moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries completed a Copernican revolution in moral philosophy. They effected a shift from thinking of morality as independent of human nature to thinking of it as part of human nature itself. He also shows how the British Moralists - sometimes inadvertently, sometimes by design - disengaged ethical thinking, first from distinctly Christian ideas and then from (...)
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  34. Michael B. Gill (2011). The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of Secular Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    Uncovering the historical roots of naturalistic, secular contemporary ethics, in this 2006 volume Michael Gill shows how the British moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries completed a Copernican revolution in moral philosophy. They effected a shift from thinking of morality as independent of human nature to thinking of it as part of human nature itself. He also shows how the British Moralists - sometimes inadvertently, sometimes by design - disengaged ethical thinking, first from distinctly Christian ideas and then from (...)
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