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Simon Kirchin [24]Simon T. Kirchin [2]
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Profile: Simon Kirchin (University of Kent at Canterbury)
  1. Simon Kirchin (ed.) (2016). Reading Parfit: On on What Matters. Routledge.
    Derek Parfit is one of the world’s leading philosophers. His On What Matters is the most eagerly-awaited book in philosophy for many years and heralded by Peter Singer in the Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant work in ethics since Sidgwick’s masterpiece, The Methods of Ethics, was published in 1873." Reading Parfit: On What Matters is an outstanding overview and assessment of Parfit’s monumental work by a team of international contributors, and includes replies by Parfit himself. It discusses central (...)
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  2. Simon T. Kirchin, Self-Evidence, Theory and Anti-Theory.
    In this article I consider the recent revival of moral intuitionism and focus on its prospects, especially by thinking about what it means to understand a moral claim. From this I consider the implications for both generalists and particularists in normative ethical theory, or at least those who are also intuitionists. I conclude that the prospects for both theoretical families are bleak, and hence that intuitionism itself is in trouble and has some work to do.
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  3. Miranda Fricker Crisp, Brad Hooker, Simon Kirchin, Kelvin Knight, Adrian Moore & Daniel C. Russell (2013). 7 Virtue Ethics in the Twentieth Century. In Daniel C. Russell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Cambridge University Press
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  4. Simon Kirchin (2013). Evaluation, Normativity and Grounding. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):179-198.
    I consider the ‘normative relevance’ argument and the idea of grounding. I diagnose why there appears to be a tension between the conclusion that we are tempted to reach and the intuition that the normative is grounded in or by the non-normative. Much of what I say turns on the idea of the normative itself. In short, I think that concentrating on this idea can help us see how the tension arises. My aim is to encourage people to reconceptualize the (...)
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  5. Simon Kirchin (ed.) (2013). Thick Concepts. OUP Oxford.
    An international team of experts explores the distinction between 'thin' concepts (general, evaluative terms like 'good' and 'bad') and 'thick' concepts (more specific concepts, such as 'brave', or 'rude'). Their essays touch on key debates in metaethics about the evaluative and normative, and raise fascinating questions about how language works.
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  6. Simon Kirchin (2013). Thick Concepts and Thick Descriptions. In Thick Concepts. OUP Oxford 60.
    In this article I compare Ryle's notion of a thick description with Williams' notion of a thick concept so as to illuminate our understanding of both. In doing so I suggest lines of thought that show us that the notion of 'evaluation' in play in many people's writings should be broadened. Doing so will help to lessen the credibility of separationist notions of thick concepts.
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  7. Simon T. Kirchin, Introduction: Thick and Thin Concepts.
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  8. Simon Kirchin (2012). Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book, designed for high-level undergraduates, postgraduates and fellow researchers, introduces the reader to the main areas of metaethical work today. As we as introducing familiar positions and arguments, Kirchin argues clearly and engagingly for a set of distinctive and arresting views.
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  9. Richard Joyce & Simon Kirchin (2010). A World Without Values. Springer.
    Taking as its point of departure the work of moral philosopher John Mackie (1917-1981), A World Without Values is a collection of essays on moral skepticism by leading contemporary philosophers, some of whom are sympathetic to Mackie s ...
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  10. Simon Kirchin (2010). A Tension in the Moral Error Theory. In Richard Joyce & Simon Kirchin (eds.), A World Without Values: Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory.
    I highlight a tension within the moral error theoretic stance. Although I do not show that it is fatal, I believe the tension is problematic. In stating the tension I outline a conception of the common moral background against which it arises. I also discuss aspects of the similar error theories developed by John Mackie and Richard Joyce in order to show the tension at work.
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  11. Simon Kirchin (2010). The Shapelessness Hypothesis. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (04).
    In this paper I discuss the shapelessnesss hypothesis, which is often referred to and relied on by certain sorts of ethical and evaluative cognitivist, and which they use primarily in arguing against a certain, influential form of noncognitivism. I aim to (i) set out exactly what the hypothesis is; (ii) show that its original and traditional use is left wanting; and (iii) show that there is some rehabilitation on offer that might have a chance of convincing neutrals.
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  12. Simon Kirchin (2009). Reviews Contextuality in Practical Reason . By A.W. Price. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2008 Pp. 208, £37.50 (Hbk). Philosophy 84 (2):295-299.
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  13. Simon Kirchin (2009). The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism • by Terence Cuneo. Analysis 69 (1):189-190.
    In this excellent, clearly written, and clear sighted book, Terence Cuneo defends moral realism from a variety of different attacks. Cuneo is particularly interested in the charge that the moral facts that realists posit are suspect because they are unnatural and queer. He addresses a number of arguments against realism, not least Mackie's Argument from Queerness. What makes the book distinctive is its strategy. Cuneo is keen to show that moral facts and epistemic facts are very similar, if not inseparably (...)
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  14. Simon Kirchin (2008). Review of Alice Crary, Beyond Moral Judgment. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (1).
  15. Richard Joyce & Simon Kirchin (2007). Introduction. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):421-425.
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  16. Simon Kirchin (2007). Moral Particularism: An Introduction. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):8-15.
    Moral particularism is a contentious position at present and seems likely to be so for the foreseeable future. In this Introduction, I outline and detail its essential claim, which I take to be, roughly, that what can be a reason that helps to make one action right need not be a reason that always helps to make actions right. This claim challenges a central assumption on which most, if not all, normative ethical theories are supposedly based. We owe this way (...)
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  17. Simon Kirchin (2007). Particularism and Default Valency. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):16-32.
    In this paper, I concentrate on the notion of default valency, drawing on some of the distinctions made and thoughts given in my Introduction. I motivate why the notion is important for particularists to have up their sleeves by outlining a recent debate between particularists and generalists. I then move to the main aim of the piece which is to discuss how anyone, particularist and generalist alike, might seek to distinguish reason-generating features into different types. My main aim is not (...)
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  18. Simon Kirchin (2005). Review of Michael Smith, Ethics and the a Priori. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (4).
  19. Simon Kirchin (2005). What is Intuitionism and Why Be an Intuitionist? Social Theory and Practice 31 (4):581-606.
    This paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of ethical intuitionism and is an extended critical discussion of an edited collection Rethinking Intutionism (ed.) Stratton-Lake (OUP) that has been much discussed. (My piece is one of the first discussions of it.) Along other matters, I argue for the original and fairly controversial claim that in order for intuitionism to hold water, we must allow that what is involved in full moral understanding can differ from person to person, rather than thinking that (...)
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  20. Sarah J. L. Edwards, Richard Ashcroft & Simon Kirchin (2004). Research Ethics Committees: Differences and Moral Judgement. Bioethics 18 (5):408–427.
  21. Simon Kirchin (2003). Ethical Phenomenology and Metaethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (3):241-264.
    In recent times, comments have been made and arguments advanced in support of metaethical positions based on the phenomenology of ethical experience – in other words, the feel that accompanies our ethical experiences. In this paper I cast doubt on whether ethical phenomenology supports metaethical positions to any great extent and try to tease out what is involved in giving a phenomenological argument. I consider three such positions: independent moral realism (IMR), another type of moral realism – sensibility theory – (...)
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  22. Simon Kirchin (2003). Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument. European Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):54–71.
    In this paper I argue for a particularist understanding of thick evaluative features, something that is rarely done and is fairly controversial. That is, I argue that sometimes that the fact that an act is just, say, could, in certain situations, provide one with a reason against performing the action. Similarly, selfishness could be right-making. To show this, I take on anti-particularist ideas from two much-cited pieces (by Crisp, and by McNaughton and Rawling), in the influential Moral Particularism anthology (eds.) (...)
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  23. Simon Kirchin & James Lenman (2003). Ethics. Philosophical Books 44 (2):179-183.
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  24. Simon Kirchin (2000). Quasi-Realism, Sensibility Theory, and Ethical Relativism. Inquiry 43 (4):413 – 427.
    This paper is a reply to Simon Blackburn's 'Is Objective Moral Justification Possible on a Quasi-realist Foundation?' Inquiry 42 (1999), pp. 213-28. Blackburn attempts to show how his version of non-cognitivism - quasi-realist projectivism - can evade the threat of ethical relativism, the thought that all ways of living are as ethically good as each other and every ethical judgment is as ethically true as any other. He further attempts to show that his position is superior in this respect (...)
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  25. Simon Kirchin (1997). How Blackburn Improves. Cogito 11 (2):123-127.
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