See also:
Profile: Nicholas Southwood (Australian National University)
  1.  79
    Nicholas Southwood (2016). Does “Ought” Imply “Feasible”? Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (1):7-45.
    Many of us feel internally conflicted in the face of certain normative claims that make infeasible demands: say, normative claims that demand that agents do what, given deeply entrenched objectionable character traits, they cannot bring themselves to do. On the one hand, such claims may seem false on account of demanding the infeasible, and insisting otherwise may seem to amount to objectionable unworldliness – to chasing “pies in the sky.” On the other hand, such claims may seem true in spite (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  2.  54
    Nicholas Southwood (forthcoming). Constructivism About Reasons. In D. Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press
    Given constructivism’s enduring popularity and appeal, it is perhaps something of a surprise that there remains considerable uncertainty among many philosophers about what constructivism is even supposed to be. My aim in this article is to make some progress on the question of how constructivism should be understood. I begin by saying something about what kind of theory constructivism is supposed to be. Next, I consider and reject both the standard proceduralist characterization of constructivism and also Sharon Street’s ingenious standpoint (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  3.  32
    Nicholas Southwood (2015). The Relevance of Human Nature. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9.
    The so-called "Human Nature Constraint" holds that if an agent is unable, due to features of human nature, to bring herself to act in a certain way, then this suffices to block or negate the claim that the agent is required to act in that way. David Estlund (2011) has recently mounted a forceful objection to the Human Nature Constraint. I argue that Estlund’s objection fails – but instructively, in a way that gives Estlund resources for a different way of (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  4.  64
    Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens (forthcoming). "Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible". Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    The familiar complaint that some ambitious proposal is infeasible naturally invites the following response: Once upon a time, the abolition of slavery and the enfranchisement of women seemed infeasible, yet these things were actually achieved. Presumably, then, many of those things that seem infeasible in our own time may well be achieved too and, thus, turn out to have been perfectly feasible after all. The Appeal to History, as we call it, is a bad argument. It is not true that (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  5.  23
    Nicholas Southwood (forthcoming). The Motivation Question. Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    How does it happen that our beliefs about what we ought to do cause us to intend to do what we believe we ought to do? This is what John Broome calls the "motivation question." Broome’s answer to the motivation question is that we can bring ourselves, by our own efforts, to intend to do what we believe we ought to do by exercising a special agential capacity: the capacity to engage in what he calls enkratic reasoning. My aim is (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  6. Christian Barry & Nicholas Southwood (2011). What Is Special About Human Rights? Ethics and International Affairs 25 (3):369-83.
    Despite the prevalence of human rights discourse, the very idea or concept of a human right remains obscure. In particular, it is unclear what is supposed to be special or distinctive about human rights. In this paper, we consider two recent attempts to answer this challenge, James Griffin’s “personhood account” and Charles Beitz’s “practice-based account”, and argue that neither is entirely satisfactory. We then conclude with a suggestion for what a more adequate account might look like – what we call (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  7. Nicholas Southwood & Lina Eriksson (2011). Norms and Conventions. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):195 - 217.
    What is the relation between norms (in the sense of ?socially accepted rules?) and conventions? A number of philosophers have suggested that there is some kind of conceptual or constitutive relation between them. Some hold that conventions are or entail special kinds of norms (the ?conventions-as-norms thesis?). Others hold that at least some norms are or entail special kinds of conventions (the ?norms-as-conventions thesis?). We argue that both theses are false. Norms and conventions are crucially different conceptually and functionally in (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  8. Philippe Chuard & Nicholas Southwood (2009). Epistemic Norms Without Voluntary Control. Noûs 43 (4):599-632.
    William Alston’s argument against the deontological conception of epistemic justification is a classic—and much debated—piece of contemporary epistemology. At the heart of Alston’s argument, however, lies a very simple mistake which, surprisingly, appears to have gone unnoticed in the vast literature now devoted to the argument. After having shown why some of the standard responses to Alston’s argument don’t work, we elucidate the mistake and offer a hypothesis as to why it has escaped attention.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   19 citations  
  9. Nicholas Southwood (2013). Democracy as a Modally Demanding Value. Noûs 47 (2):504-521.
    Imperialism seems to be deeply antithetical to democracy. Yet, at least one form of imperialism – what I call “hands-off imperialism" – seems to be perfectly compatible with the kind of self-governance commonly thought to be the hallmark of democracy. The solution to this puzzle is to recognize that democracy involves more than self-governance. Rather, it involves what I call self-rule. Self-rule is an example of what Philip Pettit has called a modally demanding value. Modally demanding values are, roughly, values (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  10. Nicholas Southwood (2011). The Moral/Conventional Distinction. Mind 120 (479):761-802.
    Commonsense suggests that moral judgements and conventional normative judgements are importantly different in kind. Yet a compelling vindicating account of the moral/conventional distinction has proven persistently elusive. The distinction is typically explicated in terms of either formal properties (the Form View) or substantive properties (the Content View) of the principles that figure in the judgements. But the most promising versions of these views face serious difficulties. After reviewing the difficulties with the standard accounts, I propose a new way of explicating (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   7 citations  
  11. Nicholas Southwood (2016). “The Thing To Do” Implies “Can”. Noûs 50 (1):61-72.
    A familiar complaint against the principle that “ought” implies “can” is that it seems that agents can intentionally make it the case that they cannot perform acts that they nonetheless ought to perform. I propose a related principle that I call the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can.” I argue that the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can” is implied by important but underappreciated truths about practical reason, and that it is not vulnerable to the familiar (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  12. Nicholas Southwood (2008). Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality. Ethics 119 (1):9-30.
    I argue that the "why be rational?" challenge raised by John Broome and Niko Kolodny rests upon a mistake that is analogous to the mistake that H.A. Pritchard famously claimed beset the “why be moral?” challenge. The failure to locate an independent justification for obeying rational requirements should do nothing whatsoever to undermine our belief in the normativity of rationality. I suggest that we should conceive of the demand for a satisfactory vindicating explanation of the normativity of rationality instead in (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   11 citations  
  13. Daniel Friedrich & Nicholas Southwood (2011). Promises and Trust. In Hanoch Sheinman (ed.), Promises and Agreement: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press
    In this article we develop and defend what we call the “Trust View” of promissory obligation, according to which making a promise involves inviting another individual to trust one to do something. In inviting her trust, and having the invitation accepted (or at least not rejected), one incurs an obligation to her not to betray the trust that one has invited. The distinctive wrong involved in breaking a promise is a matter of violating this obligation. We begin by explicating the (...)
    Translate
      Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  14.  61
    Nicholas Southwood (2010). Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality. Oxford University Press.
    Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. This book argues otherwise. It begins by detailing and diagnosing the shortcomings of the main existing models of contractualism, “Hobbesian” contractualism (or contractarianism) and “Kantian” contractualism. It then proposes a novel, "deliberative" model, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. It argues that the deliberative model (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   5 citations  
  15.  5
    Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood (2007). Feasibility in Action and Attitude. In J. Josefsson D. Egonsson (ed.), Hommage à Wlodek. Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
    The object of this paper is to explore the intersection of two issues. The first concerns the role that feasibility considerations play in constraining normative claims – claims, say, about what we (individually and collectively) ought to do and to be. The second concerns whether normative claims are to be understood as applying only to actions in their own right or also non-derivatively to attitudes. In particular, we argue that actions and attitudes may be subject to different feasibility constraints – (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  16.  17
    Nicholas Southwood (2015). Republican Justice. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (6):669-678.
    I raise three objections to Pettit’s republican account of justice: 1) that it fails to account adequately for the role of certain values such as substantive fairness; 2) that it represents an uncomfortable hybrid of egalitarianism and sufficientarianism; and 3) that it fails Pettit’s own “eyeball test”. I then conclude in a more constructive vein, speculating about the kind of account of justice it is supposed to be and suggesting that, construed a certain way, it may have resources for answering (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  17. Nicholas Southwood (2009). Moral Contractualism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):926-937.
    This article provides a critical introduction to contractualism as a moral or ethical theory, that is, as a theory of the rightness and wrongness of individual conduct – focusing specifically on the influential 'Kantian' version of contractualism due to T. M. Scanlon. I begin by elucidating the key features of Scanlon's contractualism: justifiability to others; reasonable rejectability; the individualist restriction; and mutual recognition. I then turn to discuss both its appeal and the main objections that have been raised to it (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  18. Nicholas Southwood (2008). A Deliberative Model of Contractualism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (2):183-208.
    Despite an impressive philosophical pedigree, contractualism (or contractarianism) has only been properly developed in two ways: by appeal to the idea of an instrumentally rational bargain or contract between self-interested individuals (Hobbesian contractualism) and by appeal to the idea of a substantively reasonable agreement among individuals who regard one another as free and equal persons warranting equal moral respect (Kantian contractualism). Both of these existing models of contractualism are susceptible to apparently devastating objections. In this article, I outline a third, (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  19. Nicholas Southwood & Daniel Friedrich (2009). Promises Beyond Assurance. Philosophical Studies 144 (2):261 - 280.
    Breaking a promise is generally taken to involve committing a certain kind of moral wrong, but what (if anything) explains this wrong? According to one influential theory that has been championed most recently by T.M. Scanlon, the wrong involved in breaking a promise is a matter of violating an obligation that one incurs to a promisee in virtue of giving her assurance that one will perform or refrain from performing certain acts. In this paper, we argue that the “Assurance View”, (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  20.  24
    Nicholas Southwood (2002). Beyond Pettit's Neo-Roman Republicanism: Towards the Deliberative Republic. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (1):16-42.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  21. Nicholas Southwood (2010). The Authority of Social Norms. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan
  22.  36
    Bruno Verbeek & Nicholas Southwood (2009). Introduction: Practical Reasoning and Normativity. Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):223-225.
    This volume brings together previously unpublished papers by leading scholars that deal with the theme of practical reasoning and normativity. The volume includes contributions by Michael Bratman, Donald Bruckner, David Enoch, Elijah Millgram, Andrew Reisner, François and Laura Schroeter, Mark Schroeder, and William White.
    No categories
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  23.  27
    Nicholas Southwood (2003). Political Versus Moral Justification. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):261-281.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  24.  18
    Nicholas Southwood (2005). The Difficulty of Tolerance, by T. M. Scanlon. Cambridge University Press, 2003, IX + 273 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):326-333.
  25.  1
    Nicholas Southwood (2005). Book Review. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):326-333.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  26.  32
    Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Robert E. Goodin & Nicholas Southwood (2013). Explaining Norms. Oxford University Press.
    Norms are a pervasive yet mysterious feature of social life. In Explaining Norms, four philosophers and social scientists team up to grapple with some of the many mysteries, offering a comprehensive account of norms: what they are; how and why they emerge, persist and change; and how and to what extent they themselves serve to explain what we do. Norms, they argue, should be understood in non-reductive terms as clusters of normative attitudes that serve the function of making us accountable (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  27. Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Robert E. Goodin & Nicholas Southwood (2013). Explaining Norms (Paperback). Oxford University Press Uk.
    Norms are a pervasive yet mysterious feature of social life. In Explaining Norms, four philosophers and social scientists team up to grapple with some of the many mysteries, offering a comprehensive account of norms: what they are; how and why they emerge, persist and change; and how they work.
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  28. Nicholas Southwood (2011). Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality (Paperback). Oxford University Press Uk.
    Nicholas Southwood assesses contractualism as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality. While sceptical about how contractualism has typically been developed, he proposes a novel "deliberative" version of contractualism, which he argues has the resources to offer an attractive and compelling account of morality's foundations.
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  29. Nothing found.