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David McPherson
Creighton University
  1.  96
    Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective.David McPherson - 2020 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The revival of Aristotelian virtue ethics can be seen as a response to the modern problem of disenchantment, that is, the perceived loss of meaning in modernity. However, in Virtue and Meaning, David McPherson contends that the dominant approach still embraces an overly disenchanted view. In a wide-ranging discussion, McPherson argues for a more fully re-enchanted perspective that gives better recognition to the meanings by which we live and after which we seek, and to the fact that human beings are (...)
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  2. The Virtue of Piety in Medical Practice.David McPherson - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-9.
    Following the Introduction, the second section of this essay lays out Tom Cavanaugh’s helpful and convincing account of the enduring significance of the Hippocratic Oath in terms of how it responds to the problem of iatrogenic harm. The third section discusses something underemphasized in Cavanaugh’s account, namely, the key role of the virtue of piety within the Oath and the profession it establishes, and argues that this virtue should be regarded as integral to an authentic Hippocratic ethic. The fourth and (...)
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  3.  54
    Vocational Virtue Ethics: Prospects for a Virtue Ethic Approach to Business.David McPherson - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 116 (2):283-296.
    In this essay, I explore the prospects for a virtue ethic approach to business. First, I delineate two fundamental criteria that I believe must be met for any such approach to be viable: viz., the virtues must be exercised for the sake of the good of one’s life as a unitary whole (contra role-morality approaches) and for the common good of the communities of which one is a part as well as the individual good of their members (contra egoist approaches). (...)
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  4.  74
    Existential Conservatism.David McPherson - 2019 - Philosophy 94 (3):383-407.
    This essay articulates a kind of conservatism that it argues is the most fundamental and important kind of conservatism, viz. existential conservatism, which involves an affirmative and appreciative stance towards the given world. While this form of conservatism can be connected to political conservatism, as seen with Roger Scruton, it need not be, as seen with G. A. Cohen. It is argued that existential conservatism should be embraced whether or not one embraces political conservatism, though it is also shown that (...)
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  5.  51
    Transfiguring Love.David McPherson - 2018 - In Fiona Ellis (ed.), New Models of Religious Understanding. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 79-96.
    In this essay I build on John Cottingham’s suggestion that we need an epistemology of involvement (or receptivity), as opposed to an epistemology of detachment, if we are properly to understand the world in religious terms. I also refer to these as ‘engaged’ and ‘disengaged’ stances. I seek to show how the spiritual practice of an ‘active’ or ‘engaged’ love is integral to the sort of epistemology of involvement through which we come to a religious understanding of the world. Such (...)
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  6.  49
    Manners and the Moral Life.David McPherson - 2018 - In Tom Harrison and David Walker (ed.), The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education. New York: Routledge. pp. 140-152.
    I explore the place of manners in the moral life, particularly with regard to their role in virtue education and in expressing virtue. The approach developed here is Aristotelian and Confucian in character. I identify and discuss three crucial functions of good manners: (1) they help social life to go well; (2) they often involve ways of showing respect or reverence for that which is respect-worthy or reverence-worthy; and (3) they ennoble our animal nature via an acquired second nature. In (...)
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  7.  60
    Traditional Morality and Sacred Values.David McPherson - 2017 - Analyse & Kritik 39 (1):41-62.
    This essay gives an account of how traditional morality is best understood and also why it is worth defending (even if some reform is needed) and how this might be done. Traditional morality is first contrasted with supposedly more enlightened forms of morality, such as utilitarianism and liberal Kantianism (i.e., autonomy-centered ethics). The focus here is on certain sacred values that are central to traditional morality and which highlight this contrast and bring out the attractions of traditional morality. Next, this (...)
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  8.  23
    Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics.David McPherson - 2015 - International Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):197-215.
    I examine Bernard Williams’s forceful challenge that evolutionary science has done away with the sort of teleological worldview that is needed in order to make sense of an Aristotelian virtue ethic perspective. I also consider Rosalind Hursthouse’s response to Williams and argue that it is not sufficient. My main task is to show what is needed in order to meet Williams’s challenge. First, I argue that we need a deeper exploration of the first-personal evaluative standpoint from within our human form (...)
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  9.  79
    To What Extent Must We Go Beyond Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism?David McPherson - 2012 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):627-654.
    In this essay I discuss the limits of recent attempts to develop a neo-Aristotelian virtue ethic on the basis of a commitment to ‘ethical naturalism.’ By ‘ethical naturalism’ I mean the view that ethics can be founded on claims about what it is for human beings to flourish qua member of the human species, which is analogous to what it is for plants and other animals to flourish qua member of their particular species. Drawing on Charles Taylor’s account of ‘strong (...)
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  10.  21
    Philosophy, Spirituality, and the Good Life: An Interview with John Cottingham.David McPherson & John Cottingham - 2012 - Philosophy and Theology 24 (1):85-111.
    This interview with John Cottingham explores some major themes in his recent work in moral philosophy and the philosophy of religion. It begins by discussing his views on the task of philosophy and focuses particularly on philosophy’s role in achieving an overall view of the world and for understanding and achieving the good life. It also discusses some ‘limits of philosophy’ with respect to understanding and achieving the good life; i.e., some ways in which philosophical reflection on the good life (...)
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  11. Consent Is Not Enough: A Case Against Liberal Sexual Ethics.David McPherson - 2020 - In Bob Fischer (ed.), College Ethics: A Reader on Moral Issues that Affect You, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
    The standard liberal sexual ethic maintains that consent is the only requirement for ethical sexual relations. While consent is certainly necessary for an adequate sexual ethic (and it’s important to know what it involves), I argue that it’s far from sufficient. The key claims that I advance are the following: (1) The consent-only model of sexual ethics affirms a “casual” view of sex and therefore it can’t make sense of and properly combat what’s worst in the sexual domain: namely, the (...)
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  12.  63
    Deep Desires.David Mcpherson - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (3):389-403.
    This article seeks to get clear on an important feature of a theistic way of life: namely, the appeal to ‘deep desires’ as part of an ethical and spiritual life-orientation. My main thesis is that such appeals should primarily be seen as pertaining to our acquired second nature and the space of meaning it makes possible, rather than first nature or innateness. To appeal to the ‘depth’ of a desire, on this account, is to say something about its normative importance: (...)
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  13.  25
    Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative. [REVIEW]David McPherson - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):426-429.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Scots Philosophical Association and the University of St Andrews. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com...In many respects, Alasdair MacIntyre's latest book can be read as an updated version of his most influential work, After Virtue, which was published 35 years earlier. It thus provides an opportunity to take stock of what has remained constant in his philosophical project since then and also of where his thought (...)
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  14.  11
    Michah Gottlieb, Faith and Freedom: Moses Mendelssohn’s Theological-Political Thought. [REVIEW]David McPherson - 2011 - Review of Metaphysics 65 (2):421-423.
  15.  11
    Fiona Ellis God, Value, and Nature. . Pp. 240. £55.00 . ISBN 978 019 871412 5. [REVIEW]David Mcpherson - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (1):139-143.
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  16.  3
    Humane Philosophy as Public Philosophy.David McPherson - 2018 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 92:137-150.
    Public philosophy is typically conceived as philosophical engagement with contemporary social and political issues in the public sphere. I argue that public philosophy should also aim to engage with existential issues that arise from the human condition. In other words, we should engage in “humane philosophy.” In the first section I fill out and show the attractions of this humane conception of philosophy by contrasting it with a rival scientistic conception. In the second section I demonstrate how the practice of (...)
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  17.  32
    Homo Religiosus: Does Spirituality Have a Place in Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?David Mcpherson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):335-346.
    In this article I seek to show the importance of spirituality for a neo-Aristotelian account of ‘the good life’. First, I lay out my account of spirituality. Second, I discuss why the issue of the place of spirituality in the good life has often either been ignored or explicitly excluded from consideration by neo-Aristotelians. I suggest that a lot turns on how one understands the ‘ethical naturalism’ to which neo-Aristotelians are committed. Finally, I argue that through a deeper exploration of (...)
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  18.  15
    John Cottingham, Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach. [REVIEW]David McPherson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (1):135-139.
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  19.  4
    John Cottingham Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach. . Pp. 208. £50.00 , £18.99 . ISBN 978 1 107 01943 0. [REVIEW]David Mcpherson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (1):135-139.
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  20. Moral Absolutes and Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism.David McPherson - 2020 - In Michiel Meijer & Herbert De Vriese (eds.), The Philosophy of Reenchantment. Routledge.
    In “Modern Moral Philosophy,” Elizabeth Anscombe makes a “disenchanting” move: she suggests that secular philosophers abandon a special “moral” sense of “ought” since she thinks this no longer makes sense without a divine law framework. Instead, she recommends recovering an ordinary sense of ought that pertains to what a human being needs in order to flourish qua human being, where the virtues are thought to be central to what a human being needs. However, she is also concerned to critique consequentialist (...)
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  21.  54
    Nietzsche, Cosmodicy, and the Saintly Ideal.David McPherson - 2016 - Philosophy 91 (1):39-67.
    In this essay I examine Nietzsche’s shifting understanding of the saintly ideal with an aim to bringing out its philosophical importance, particularly with respect to what I call the problem of ‘cosmodicy’, i.e., the problem of justifying life in the world as worthwhile in light of the prevalent reality of suffering. In his early account Nietzsche understood the saint as embodying the supreme achievement of a self-transcending ‘feeling of oneness and identity with all living things’, while in his later account (...)
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  22.  6
    Public Debate.David McPherson - 2015 - Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics.
    Ethical issues in healthcare and biomedical research are often a matter of public debate. This entry will explore several prominent views on how such debate should be conducted within pluralistic democratic societies. It begins by considering John Rawls’s account of public reason. It then examines how this account applies to the controversial issues of abortion and physician-assisted suicide, where one can see why some have objected to this view, especially with regard to the way it requires citizens to bracket their (...)
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  23.  4
    Précis of Virtue and Meaning.David McPherson - 2021 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):287-289.
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  24.  8
    Roger Scruton The Soul of the World. . Pp. 216. $27.95 . ISBN: 978 0 691 16157 0. [REVIEW]David Mcpherson - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (4):577-580.
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  25.  2
    Replies to Kim, Toner, and Beabout.David McPherson - 2021 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):321-336.
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  26. Re-Enchanting the World: An Interview with Charles Taylor.David McPherson & Charles Taylor - 2012 - Philosophy and Theology 24 (2):275-294.
    This interview with Charles Taylor explores a central concern throughout his work, viz., his concern to confront the challenges presented by the process of ‘disenchantment’ in the modern world. It focuses especially on what is involved in seeking a kind of ‘re-enchantment.' A key issue that is discussed is the relationship of Taylor’s theism to his effort of seeking re-enchantment. Some other related issues that are explored pertain to questions surrounding Taylor’s argument against the standard secularization thesis that views secularization (...)
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  27.  29
    Re-Enchanting The World: An Examination Of Ethics, Religion, And Their Relationship In The Work Of Charles Taylor.David McPherson - 2013 - Dissertation, Marquette University
    In this dissertation I examine the topics of ethics, religion, and their relationship in the work of Charles Taylor. I take Taylor's attempt to confront modern disenchantment by seeking a kind of re-enchantment as my guiding thread. Seeking re-enchantment means, first of all, defending an `engaged realist' account of strong evaluation, i.e., qualitative distinctions of value that are seen as normative for our desires. Secondly, it means overcoming self-enclosure and achieving self-transcendence, which I argue should be understood in terms of (...)
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  28.  36
    Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches.David McPherson - 2017 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book presents a broad philosophical study of the nature of spirituality and its relationship to human well-being, addressing an area of contemporary philosophy that has been largely underexplored. David McPherson brings together a team of scholars to examine the importance of specific spiritual practices and spiritually informed virtues for 'the good life'. This volume also considers and exemplifies how philosophy itself, when undertaken as a humanistic rather than scientistic enterprise, can be a spiritual exercise and part of a spiritual (...)
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  29.  13
    The Aim of Philosophy: Satisfying Curiosity or Attaining Salvation?David McPherson - 2016 - Etica and Politica: Rivista di Filosofia 19 (2):291-310.
    In this essay I begin with remarks made by Bernard Williams that there are two main motives for philosophy, curiosity and salvation, and that he is not ‘into salvation’. I seek to make the case for the claim that philosophy, at its best, should aim at a kind of ‘salvation’. In the first section, I discuss the problematic character of the world that philosophy should aim to address as a matter of seeking a kind of salvation. I identify this as (...)
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  30.  13
    The Language Animal: The Full Range of the Human Linguistic Capacity. [REVIEW]David McPherson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):636-641.
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  31.  5
    The Soul of the World. By Roger Scruton. Pp. 216, Princeton University Press, 2014, $27.95. [REVIEW]David McPherson - 2018 - Heythrop Journal 59 (2):313-315.
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