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Campbell Brown
London School of Economics
  1. Consequentialize This.Campbell Brown - 2011 - Ethics 121 (4):749-771.
    To 'consequentialise' is to take a putatively non-consequentialist moral theory and show that it is actually just another form of consequentialism. Some have speculated that every moral theory can be consequentialised. If this were so, then consequentialism would be empty; it would have no substantive content. As I argue here, however, this is not so. Beginning with the core consequentialist commitment to 'maximising the good', I formulate a precise definition of consequentialism and demonstrate that, given this definition, several sorts of (...)
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  2. Maximalism and the Structure of Acts.Campbell Brown - 2018 - Noûs (4):752-771.
    Suppose we believe that a property F is coextensive with moral permissibility. F may be, for example, the property of having the best consequences, if we are Consequentialists, or that of conforming to a universalisable maxim, if we are Kantians, and so on. This may raise the following problem. It is plausible that permissibility is “closed under implication”: any act that is implied by a permissible act must itself be permissible. Yet, in some cases, F might not be closed under (...)
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  3. Minding the Is-Ought Gap.Campbell Brown - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):53-69.
    The ‘No Ought From Is’ principle (or ‘NOFI’) states that a valid argument cannot have both an ethical conclusion and non-ethical premises. Arthur Prior proposed several well-known counterexamples, including the following: Tea-drinking is common in England; therefore, either tea-drinking is common in England or all New Zealanders ought to be shot. My aim in this paper is to defend NOFI against Prior’s counterexamples. I propose two novel interpretations of NOFI and prove that both are true.
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  4. Better Never to Have Been Believed: Benatar on the Harm of Existence: Campbell Brown.Campbell Brown - 2011 - Economics and Philosophy 27 (1):45-52.
    In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm. His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several???asymmetries???. I shall argue here that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm.
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  5.  19
    Is Close Enough Good Enough?Campbell Brown - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):29-59.
    Should we allow grave harm to befall one individual so as to prevent minor harms befalling sufficiently many other individuals? This is a question of aggregation. Can many small harms ‘add up’, so that, collectively, they morally outweigh a greater harm? The ‘Close Enough View’ supports a moderate position: aggregation is permissible when, and only when, the conflicting harms are sufficiently similar, or ‘close enough’, to each other. This paper surveys a range of formally precise interpretations of this view, and (...)
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  6. Priority or Sufficiency …or Both?Campbell Brown - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):199-220.
    Prioritarianism is the view that we ought to give priority to benefiting those who are worse off. Sufficientism, on the other hand, is the view that we ought to give priority to benefiting those who are not sufficiently well off. This paper concerns the relative merits of these two views; in particular, it examines an argument advanced by Roger Crisp to the effect that sufficientism is the superior of the two. My aim is to show that Crisp's argument is unsound. (...)
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  7. A New and Improved Supervenience Argument for Ethical Descriptivism.Campbell Brown - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 6. Oxford University Press. pp. 205-18.
    Ethical descriptivism is the view that all ethical properties are descriptive properties. Frank Jackson has proposed an argument for this view which begins with the premise that the ethical supervenes on the descriptive, any worlds that differ ethically must differ also descriptively. This paper observes that Jackson's argument has a curious structure, taking a linguistic detour between metaphysical starting and ending points, and raises some worries stemming from this. It then proposes an improved version of the argument, which avoids these (...)
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  8.  96
    Two Kinds of Holism About Values.Campbell Brown - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):456–463.
    I compare two kinds of holism about values: G.E. Moore's 'organic unities', and Jonathan Dancy's 'value holism'. I propose a simple formal model for representing evaluations of parts and wholes. I then define two conditions, additivism and invariabilism, which together imply a third, atomism. Since atomism is absurd, we must reject one of the former two conditions. This is where Moore and Dancy part company: whereas Moore rejects additivism, Dancy rejects invariabilism. I argue that Moore's view is more plausible. Invariabilism (...)
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  9.  59
    The Rightest Theory of Degrees of Rightness.Campbell Brown - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):21-29.
  10. The Composition of Reasons.Campbell Brown - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):779-800.
    How do reasons combine? How is it that several reasons taken together can have a combined weight which exceeds the weight of any one alone? I propose an answer in mereological terms: reasons combine by composing a further, complex reason of which they are parts. Their combined weight is the weight of their combination. I develop a mereological framework, and use this to investigate some structural views about reasons. Two of these views I call “Atomism” and “Wholism”. Atomism is the (...)
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  11. Giving Up Levelling Down.Campbell Brown - 2003 - Economics and Philosophy 19 (1):111-134.
    The so-called “Levelling Down Objection” is commonly believed to occupy a central role in the debate between egalitarians and prioritarians. Egalitarians think that equality is good in itself, and so they are committed to finding value even in such equality as may only be achieved by “levelling down”–i.e., by merely reducing the better off to the level of the worse off. Although egalitarians might deny that levelling down could ever make for an all-things-considered improvement, they cannot deny that it may (...)
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  12. Two Versions of Hume's Law.Campbell Brown - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):2-7.
    Moral conclusions cannot validly be inferred from nonmoral premises – this principle, commonly called “Hume’s law,” presents a conundrum. On one hand, it seems obviously true, and its truth is often simply taken for granted. On the other hand, an ingenious argument by A. N. Prior seems to refute it. My aim here is a resolution. I shall argue, first, that Hume’s law is ambiguous, admitting both a strong and a weak interpretation; second, that the strong interpretation is false, as (...)
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  13. I Can't Make You Worship Me.Campbell Brown & Yujin Nagasawa - 2005 - Ratio 18 (2):138–144.
    This paper argues that Divine Command Theory is inconsistent with the veiw, held by many theists, that we have a moral obligation to worship God.
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  14.  3
    A New and Improved Supervenience Argument for Ethical Descriptivism.Campbell Brown - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6.
    Ethical descriptivism is the view that all ethical properties are descriptive properties. An argument for this view proposed by Frank Jackson begins with the premise that the ethical supervenes on the descriptive; any worlds that differ ethically must differ also descriptively. This chapter observes that Jackson’s argument follows a curious route, taking a linguistic detour between metaphysical starting and ending points, and raises some worries stemming from this. It then proposes an improved version of the argument, which avoids these worries, (...)
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  15. Prioritarianism for Variable Populations.Campbell Brown - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (3):325-361.
    Philosophical discussions of prioritarianism, the view that we ought to give priority to those who are worse off, have hitherto been almost exclusively focused on cases involving a fixed population. The aim of this paper is to extend the discussion of prioritarianism to encompass also variable populations. I argue that prioritarianism, in its simplest formulation, is not tenable in this area. However, I also propose several revised formulations that, so I argue, show more promise.
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  16.  8
    The Utility of Knowledge.Campbell Brown - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (2):155-165.
    Recent epistemology has introduced a new criterion of adequacy for analyses of knowledge: such an analysis, to be adequate, must be compatible with the common view that knowledge is better than true belief. One account which is widely thought to fail this test is reliabilism, according to which, roughly, knowledge is true belief formed by a reliable process. Reliabilism fails, so the argument goes, because of the ‘swamping problem’. In brief, provided a belief is true, we do not care whether (...)
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  17.  88
    Blameless Wrongdoing and Agglomeration: A Response to Streumer.Campbell Brown - 2005 - Utilitas 17 (2):222-225.
    Bart Streumer argues that a certain variety of consequentialism – he calls it ‘semi-global consequentialism’ – is false on account of its falsely implying the possibility of ‘blameless wrongdoing’. This article shows (i) that Streumer's argument is nothing new; (ii) that his presentation of the argument is misleading, since it suppresses a crucial premiss, commonly called ‘agglomeration’; and (iii) that, for all Streumer says, the proponent of semi-global consequentialism may easily resist his argument by rejecting agglomeration.
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  18.  27
    Adler’s Defence of Prioritarianism.Campbell Brown - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):585-595.
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  19. A New and Improved Supervenience Argument for Ethical Descriptivism.Campbell Brown - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 6. Oxford University Press.
     
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  20.  59
    Anything You Can Do, God Can Do Better.Campbell Brown & Yujin Nagasawa - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3):221 - 227.
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  21. Better Than Nothing.Campbell Brown - manuscript
    A good life, or a life worth living, is a one that is "better than nothing". At least that is a common thought. But it is puzzling. What does "nothing" mean here? It cannot be a quantifier in the familiar sense, yet nor, it seems, can it be a referring term. To what could it refer? This paper aims to resolve the puzzle by examining a number of analyses of the concept of a life worth living. Temporal analyses, which exploit (...)
     
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  22.  30
    Immigration and Rights: On Wellman's “Stark” Conclusion.Campbell Brown - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):232-235.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  23.  10
    Matthew D. Adler, Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), Pp. 317.Campbell Brown - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-2.
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  24.  25
    Moral Mathematics: An Interview with Campbell Brown.Campbell Brown - 2016 - Lse Philosophy Blog.
    Campbell Brown is one of the most recent additions to our faculty. We thought we’d welcome him to the Department with some questions.
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  25.  82
    Matters of Priority.Campbell Brown - 2005 - Dissertation, Australian National University
  26. Reply to Benatar.Campbell Brown - 2013 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-2.
  27.  56
    Sex Crimes and Misdemeanours.Campbell Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1363-1379.
    How wrong is it to deceive a person into having sex with you? The common view seems to be that this depends on the nature of the deception. If it involves something very important, such as your identity, then the wrong done is very serious. But if it involves something more trivial, such as your natural hair colour, then the wrong seems less great. Tom Dougherty rejects this view. He argues that sexual deception is always seriously wrong. In this paper, (...)
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  28. Still No Redundant Properties: Reply to Wielenberg.Campbell Brown - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-6.
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  29.  25
    The Significance of Value Additivity.Campbell Brown - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    Whether value is “additive,” that is, whether the value of a whole must equal the sum of the values of its parts, is widely thought to have significant implications in ethics. For example, additivity rules out “organic unities,” and is presupposed by “contrast arguments.” This paper reconsiders the significance of value additivity. The main thesis defended is that it is significant only for a certain class of “mereologies”, roughly, those in which both wholes and parts are “complete”, in the sense (...)
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  30. The Utility of Knowledge.Campbell Brown - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (2):155-65.
    Recent epistemology has introduced a new criterion of adequacy for analyses of knowledge: such an analysis, to be adequate, must be compatible with the common view that knowledge is better than true belief. One account which is widely thought to fail this test is reliabilism, according to which, roughly, knowledge is true belief formed by reliable process. Reliabilism fails, so the argument goes, because of the "swamping problem". In brief, provided a belief is true, we do not care whether or (...)
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  31. 10. Jeremy Waldron, Torture, Terror, and Trade-Offs: Philosophy for the White House Jeremy Waldron, Torture, Terror, and Trade-Offs: Philosophy for the White House (Pp. 832-836). [REVIEW]Philip Pettit, Tim Henning & Campbell Brown - 2011 - Ethics 121 (4).
     
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