Towards the end of the chapter Appiah remarks that the greatest works in ethics exhibit a deep, irrepressible heterogeneity, heterogeneity that reflects a richness and complexity of the ethical life he believes that many moral philosophers overlook in their quest for neat (even: intricate) theories. This last chapter is certainly heterogeneous: starting with remarks on happiness and flourishing, it shifts to a brief discussion of meta-ethics and different forms of naturalism, moves on to poke fun at ‘quandary ethics’ and its contemporary successors, and ends with, well, a reminder of the irreducible complexity of the ethical life, and a plea for pluralism, both evaluative and methodological.

Apologies for cross-posting.


University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
3rd-5th July, 2009

Invited Speakers:

Jonathan Dancy (Reading; Texas, Austin)
Daniel Elstein (Leeds)
Allan Gibbard (Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Chris Hookway (Sheffield)
Tom Hurka (Toronto)
Simon Kirchin (Kent)
Jerry Levinson (Maryland)
Adrian Moore (Oxford)
Michael Smith (Princeton)
Alan Thomas (Kent)
Pekka Vayrynen (Leeds)
Nick Zangwill (Durham)

Supported by The Mind Association, and The University of Kent.

Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord from UNC has recently recorded a chat with Will Wilkinson on metaethics for Here’s the link to the diavlog:

Some of the topics covered are as follows:

* How to be a moral realist (03:36)
* What is metaethics? (04:38)
* What to do when your moral arguments fail to persuade (09:29)
* Can the fact that Hitler was evil help explain the Holocaust? (13:50)
* General moral principles in a world of diverse circumstances (17:04)

Enjoy :)


One-day conference, 18 July 2008, 9am – 6pm Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, UK Conference venue: Clifton Hill House, Bristol


Michael E. Bratman (Stanford): From goal-directedness to the agent’s rational guidance

Lynne R. Baker (Umass, Amherst): Agency and the first-person perspective

Roman Altshuler (SUNY, Stony Brook): Rationalization as causation and diachronic mental holism

Matthias Haase (Basel): Rule-following and conceptual capacities

Maria Alvarez (Southampton): The causal theory of action: reasons, motivation and explanation


First of all, it is a genuine pleasure to contribute to this forum: I only hope my comments will not lag too far behind the quality of previous posts! Now to Experiments in Ethics . . .

Chapter four is entitled “The Varieties of Moral Experience” and my discussion will follow the sections of this chapter in order in an effort to provide an outline of the argument and substantive points, before concluding with some reflections.

ETHICS WITHOUT PRINCIPLES: The Diversity of Contexts of Moral Particularisms

Date: May 10, 2008
Place: University of Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne – ExeCo Centre Panthéon : 12, place du Panthéon, room 1, 75005 Paris, France
Contact e-mail :
Conference webpage:

Keynote Speakers: Jonathan DANCY, Sandra LAUGIER, and John SKORUPSKI

BSET 2008 Schedule
By S. Matthew Liao

British Society for Ethical Theory Annual Conference 2008, University of Edinburgh, 14 – 16 July 2008

Speakers and Papers
1. Carla Bagnoli (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee): Practical Reflection and Agential Authority
2. Campbell Brown (University of Edinburgh): The Composition of Reasons
3. Krister Bykvist and Jonas Olson (Jesus College and Brasenose College, University of Oxford): Expressivism and Certitude
4. William Dunaway (University of Southern California): Minimalist Semantics and the Problem of Creeping Minimalism
5. Barbara Herman (UCLA): TBA
6. Ulrike Heuer (University of Leeds): Wrongness and Reasons
7. Martin Peterson (University of Cambridge): The Asymmetry Argument
8. Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund University): TBA
9. Mark Schroeder (University of Southern California): Holism, Weight and Undercutting
10. Alan Strudler (University of Pennsylvania): The Distinctive Wrong in Lying
11. Jonathan Way (University of Californian Santa Barbara): Defending the Wide-Scope Approach to Instrumental Reason

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