Publications

Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction                
Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction
Michael McKenna with Derk Pereboom
Published: 2016

"As an advanced introduction to the challenging topic of free will, this book is designed for upper-level undergraduates interested in a comprehensive first-stop into the field’s issues and debates. It is written by two of the leading participants in those debates—a compatibilist on the issue of free will and determinism (Michael McKenna) and an incompatibilist (Derk Pereboom). These two authors achieve an admirable objectivity and clarity while still illuminating the field’s complexity and key advances. Each chapter is structured to work as one week’s primary reading in a course on free will, while more advanced courses can dip into the annotated further readings, suggested at the end of each chapter. A comprehensive bibliography as well as detailed subject and author indexes are... read more

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 2                
Steven Wall with David Sobel and Peter Vallentyne (Editors)
Published: 2016

"This is the second volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields.

This volume features eight papers and an introduction. The papers address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. They are grouped into three main themes: ideal theory, the moral assessment of states, and issues in social reliations." (... read more

Philosophy: Environmental Ethics                
Philosophy: Environmental Ethics
David Schmidtz
Published: 2016

Philosophy: Environmental Ethics is composed of twelve chapters covering such topics as population, novel ecosystem, geoengineering, climate change, animal ethics, conciliation, and extinction. The use of film, literature, art, case studies, and other disciplines or situations/events provide illustrations of human experiences which work as gateways to questions philosophers try to address. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer-reviewed, and offer bibliographies to encourage further exploration. Photos and line art help illuminate the text. The volume concludes with a glossary and a comprehensive index.

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 1                
Steven Wall with David Sobel and Peter Vallentyne (Editors)
Published: 2015

"This is the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields. This first volume features eleven papers and an introduction. The papers address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. They are grouped into four main themes: democracy, political liberalism and public reason, rights and duties, and method." (from the publisher)

The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism                
Steven Wall (Editor)
Published: 2015

"The political philosophy of liberalism was first formulated during the Enlightenment in response to the growth of the modern nation-state and its authority and power over the individuals living within its boundaries. Liberalism is now the dominant ideology in the Western world, but it covers a broad swathe of different (and sometimes rival) ideas and traditions and its essential features can be hard to define. The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism offers a rich and accessible exploration of liberalism as a tradition of political thought. It includes chapters on the historical development of liberalism, its normative foundations, and its core philosophical concepts, as well as a survey of liberal approaches and responses to a range of important topics including freedom, equality,... read more

The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays                
Michael McKenna with Randolph Clarke and Angela Smith (Editors)
Published: 2015

"What is it to be morally responsible for something? Recent philosophical work reveals considerable disagreement on the question. Indeed, some theorists claim to distinguish several varieties of moral responsibility, with different conditions that must be satisfied if one is to bear responsibility of one or another of these kinds. Debate on this point turns partly on disagreement about the kinds of responses made appropriate when one is blameworthy or praiseworthy. It is generally agreed that these include "reactive attitudes" such as resentment and gratitude, but theorists disagree about the nature of these attitudes. They dispute the connections between moral responsibility, desert, and the justification of punishment as well. Many theorists take it that, whatever the appropriate... read more

Rational Choice & Moral Agency: 2015                
David Schmidtz
Published: 2015

"Is it rational to be moral? How do rationality and morality fit together with being human? These questions are at the heart of David Schmidtz's exploration of the connections between rationality and morality. This inquiry leads into both metaethics and rational choice theory, as Schmidtz develops conceptions of what it is to be moral and what it is to be rational. He defends a fairly expansive conception of rational choice, considering how ends as well as means can be rationally chosen and explaining the role of self-imposed constraints in a rational life plan. His moral theory is dualistic, ranging over social structure as well as personal conduct and building both individual and collective rationality into its rules of recognition for morals.

To the "why be moral" question,... read more

The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics                
Dan Russell (Editor)
Published: 2013

"Description Contents Resources Courses About the Authors Virtue ethics has emerged from a rich history, in which both Aristotle and Aquinas have played an important role, to become one of the fastest-growing fields in contemporary ethics. In this volume of newly commissioned essays, leading moral philosophers offer a comprehensive overview of virtue ethics. They examine the theoretical structure of virtue ethics and its place in contemporary moral theory and other topics discussed include the history of virtue-based approaches to ethics, what makes these approaches distinctive, what they can say about specific practical issues and where we can expect them to go in the future. This Companion will be useful to students of virtue ethics and the history of ethics and to others who want to... read more

Happiness for Humans                
Dan Russell
Published: 2012

"In Happiness for Humans, Daniel C. Russell takes a fresh look at happiness from a practical perspective: the perspective of someone trying to solve the wonderful problem of how to give himself a good life. From this perspective, 'happiness' is the name of a solution to that problem for practical deliberation. Russell's approach to happiness falls within a tradition that reaches back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers--a tradition now called 'eudaimonism.' Beginning with Aristotle's seminal discussion of the role of happiness in practical reasoning, Russell asks what sort of good happiness would have to be in order to play the role in our practical economies that it actually does play. Looking at happiness from this perspective, Russell argues that happiness is a life of activity... read more

Conversation and Responsibility                
Michael McKenna
Published: 2012

"In this book Michael McKenna advances a new theory of moral responsibility, one that builds upon the work of P. F. Strawson. As McKenna demonstrates, moral responsibility can be explained on analogy with a conversation. The relation between a morally responsible agent and those who hold her morally responsible is similar to the relation between a speaker and her audience. A responsible agent's actions are bearers of meaning--agent meaning--just as a speaker's utterances are bearers of speaker meaning. Agent meaning is a function of the moral quality of the will with which the agent acts. Those who hold an agent morally responsible for what she does do so by responding to her as if in a conversation. By responding with certain morally reactive attitudes, such as resentment or... read more