This page contains all my publications, in order of date

Curriculum Vitae     



Born:  8 May 1946

Married: Sarah Birley, 1973; 3 children born in 1975, 77, 80.

E-mail addresses:j.p.dancy at, jdancy at, jdancy at


Scholar, Winchester College, 1959-64

Voluntary Service Overseas in Cameroon, 1964-65

Scholar, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1965-71

1965-7:   Classical Honour Moderations:  First Class Honours

1967-9:   Literae Humaniores:  First Class Honours, BA

1969-71:  B. Phil in Philosophy:  Distinction for thesis (supervised by C. C. W. Taylor and Prof. Sir Peter Strawson) and for written papers (Plato, Metaphysics, Philosophical Logic)

1972:      MA University of Oxford

Posts Held

1970-1:Lecturer in Classical Philosophy; Pembroke College, Oxford.

1971-87:Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Keele.

1987-9:Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Keele.

1989-91:Reader in Philosophy, University of Keele.

1991-6:Professor of Philosophy, University of Keele

1992-6:Head of Philosophy Department, University of Keele

1996-2004Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading

2004-:Research Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading

2005-: Professor of Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin (half-time)

Visiting Positions (and others)

1988-9:Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.

1993-4: Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford.

1994-5: President, Aristotelian Society.

1998, Jan-Apr: Visiting Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.

1999-2001:British Academy Research Reader.

2000, Jan-Apr: Visiting Professor, University of Georgetown, Washington, DC.

2001 Feb:Hollan Distinguished Visitor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

2002 Feb-Mar: Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

2002 Apr-Jun: John Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University, Chicago.


  1. (a)Books

1.ed. Papers on Language and Logic  (University of Keele Library, 1981), pp. 226  (Papers of a conference held at the University of Keele in 1979).

2.An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985), pp. 259. Reprinted every year since publication except 1988 and 1990, and twice in 1994 and 1996. Translated into Portuguese, 1988 (Edicoes 70): into Chinese, 1990 (People's University of China Press, translated by Zhou Wenzhang): into Spanish, 1992 (Editorial Tecnos, Madrid), reprinted 2008: into Croatian 2001 (Hrvatski Studiji, Zagreb).

3.Berkeley: an Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell,1987), pp. 165.

4.ed. (with J.M.E. Moravscik and C.C.W. Taylor) Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), pp. 308.

5.ed. Perceptual Knowledge (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 232, with an introduction (pp. 1-20). (Oxford Readings in Philosophy series)

6.ed. (with E. Sosa) A Companion to Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), pp. 541; paperback edition 1993. Translated into Romanian, 1999 (Bucharest: Editura Trei).

7.Moral Reasons (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), pp. 274.

8.ed. Reading Parfit (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), pp. 352.

9.ed. Berkeley: Principles of Human Knowledge with introduction, notes, glossary and index (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 237.

10.ed. Berkeley: Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous with introduction, notes, glossary and index, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 186.

11.ed. Normativity (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 143, with an introduction (pp. i-viii).

12.Practical Reality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), pp. 187; paperback edition published 2002. Chs. 5 & 6 reprinted in part in R. Shafer-Landau and T. Cuneo eds. Foundations of Ethics (Blackwell, 2007), pp. 265-80.

13.Ethics Without Principles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004), pp. 229; paperback edition published 2006.

(b)  Articles

1.'The Logical Conscience', Analysis  vol. 37 no. 2, January 1977, pp. 81-84.

2.'On Moral Properties', Mind  vol. xc, July 1981, pp. 367-385.

3.'Le Problème de Conditionels Contrefactuels', in Langages, Connaissance et Pratique, eds. N. Mouloud and J-M. Vienne, Universite de Lille, 1982, pp. 211-227.

4.'Intuitionism in Meta-epistemology', Philosophical Studies 42, 1982, pp. 395-408.

5.'Ethical Particularism and Morally Relevant Properties', Mind  vol xcii, October 1983, pp. 530-547; translated into Croatian in Anliza 3, 2003, and into French as ‘Le Particularisme Ethique et les Proprietés Moralement Pertinantes’  by A. C. Zielinska, forthcoming.

6.'Even-ifs', Synthese vol. 58 no. 2, February 1984, pp. 119-128.

7.'On Coherence Theories of Justification:  Can an Empiricist be a Coherentist?', American Philosophical Quarterly  vol. 21 no. 4, October 1984, pp. 359-365.

8.'On the Tracks of the Sceptic', Analysis vol. 44 no. 3, June 1984, pp. 121-126.

9.'The Role of Imaginary Cases in Ethics', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly  vol. 66 nos. 1-2, January-April 1985, pp. 141-153.

10.'Two Conceptions of Moral Realism', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society supplementary vol. 60, 1986, pp. 167-187; reprinted in J. Rachels ed. Moral Theory (OUP, 1997), pp. 227-244.

11.'Supererogation and Moral Realism', in J. Dancy, J.M.E. Moravscik and C.C.W. Taylor (eds.) Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value (Stanford University Press, 1988), pp. 170-188.

12.(with D. J. Bakhurst) 'The Dualist Straitjacket' in The Times Higher Educational Supplement 22 April 1988, p. 18; reprinted as 'Cartesianism: the dominant ideology' in Reflections on Higher Education vol. 1 no. 1, July 1988, pp. 52-56.

13.'An Ethic of Prima Facie Duties', in P. Singer ed. A Companion to Ethics (Blackwell, 1991) pp. 219-29.

14.'Intuitionism', in P. Singer ed. A Companion to Ethics (Blackwell, 1991) pp. 411-20.

15.'Non-Consequentialist Reasons', Philosophical Papers vol. xx no. 2, (1991), pp. 97-112.

16.'Externalism for Internalists', in E. Villanueva ed. Rationality in Epistemology, (Philosophical Issues, vol. 2: Ridgeway, 1992), pp. 93-114.

17.'Holism in the Theory of Reasons', in Cogito vol. 6 no. 3 (1992), pp. 136-8.

18.'Caring about Justice', in Philosophy, vol. 67 no. 262 (1992), pp. 447-66. Reprinted in M. Gatens ed. Feminist Ethics (Ashgate).

19.'Agent-relativity - The Very Idea', in R. Frey and C. Morris eds., Value, Welfare and Morality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 233-51.

20.'Why there is really no such thing as the theory of motivation', Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society 1994, published in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, vol. xcv, (1994-5), pp. 1-18. Reprinted in R. J. Wallace ed. Practical Reason (Ashgate).

21.'Ethical Thought and Ethical Principles', in The Ethical Record, the journal of the South Place Ethical Society, vol. 99, no. 10 (1994), pp. 11-14.

22.'Supervenience, Virtues and Consequences', Philosophical Studies vol. 78 no. 3, (June 1995), pp. 189-205; reprinted in G. Axtell ed. Knowledge, Belief and Character: Readings in Virtue Epistemology (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).

23.'New Truths in Proust?', Modern Language Review, January 1995, pp. 18-28.

24.'"For Here the Author is Annihilated": reflections on philosophical aspects of the use of the dialogue form in Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion', in Proceedings of the British Academy vol. 85 (1995), pp. 29-60. Reprinted in T. Smiley ed. Philosophical Dialogues: Plato, Hume, Wittgenstein (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 29-60.

25.'Arguments from Illusion', in Philosophical Quarterly vol. 45 no. 181, October 1995, pp. 421-438; to be reprinted in Disjunctivism: Contemporary Readings eds. A Byrne and H. Logue (MIT Press, 2009).

26.'In Defence of Thick Concepts', in Midwest Studies in Philosophy vol. xx: Moral Concepts (1996), pp. 263-79.

27.'Parfit and Indirectly Self-defeating Theories', in J. Dancy ed. Reading Parfit (Blackwell, 1997), pp. 1-23.

28.‘Wiggins and Ross’, in Utilitas vol. 10 no. 3, Nov 1998, pp. 281-5.

29.‘Defending Particularism’, Metaphilosophy vol. 30, nos 1-2, Jan/April 1999, pp. 25-32.

30.‘Can the Particularist Learn the Difference between Right and Wrong?’, in The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, vol. 1: Ethics ed. K. Brinkmann (Philosophy Documentation Center: Bowling Green State University, 1999), pp. 59-72.

31.'Motivation, Dispositions and Aims', Theoria 1999 vol. 65.2, pp. 144-55.

32.‘On the Logical and Moral Adequacy of Particularism’, Theoria 1999 vol. 65.3, pp. 212-24. This and the preceding article are responses to the papers in a 2-part issue of Theoria devoted to discussion of my work in ethics.

33.'Recognition and Reaction', in Well-Being and Morality: essays in honour of James Griffin, edited by B. W. Hooker and R. Crisp (OUP 2000), pp. 39-52

34.'The Particularist’s Progress’, in B. W. Hooker and M. Little eds. Moral Particularism (OUP 2000), pp. 130-56; reprinted in T. Rønnow-Rasmussen and M. Zimmerman eds. Recent Work on Intrinsic Value (Kluwer/Springer, 2006), pp. 325-48.

35.‘Should we Pass the Buck?’, in A. O'Hear ed. The Good, the True and The Beautiful (CUP, 2000), pp. 159-73; reprinted in T. Rønnow-Rasmussen and M. Zimmerman eds. Recent Work on Intrinsic Value (Kluwer/Springer, 2006) pp. 33-44.

36.'Scanlon's Principles', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society supp. vol. 74 (2000), pp. 319-338.

37.'Mill's Puzzling Footnote', Utilitas vol. 12 no. 2 (July, 2000) pp. 219-222.

38.‘Prichard on Duty and Ignorance of  Fact', in P. J. Stratton-Lake ed. Ethical Intuitionism (OUP, 2002), pp. 229-47.

39.‘La justesse et ce qui rend-juste’, La Structure du Monde : Objets, Propriétés, Etats de Choses. Renouveau de la Métaphysique dans l'école  Australienne de Philosophie, ed. J-M. Monnoyer, n° Hors série de Recherches sur la Philosophie et le Langage, (Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin), 2002, pp. 443-58.

40.‘From Intuitionism to Emotivism’, in The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870-1945, ed. T. Baldwin (CUP, 2003), pp. 693-703.

41.‘What do Reasons Do?’, Southern Journal of Philosophy vol. xli supplement (June 2003), pp. 95-113; reprinted in T. Horgan and M. Timmons eds. Metaethics after Moore (OUP, 2006), pp. 39-60.

42.‘Are there Organic Unities?’, Ethics vol. 113 no. 3 (2003), pp. 629-50.

43.‘Contro le ragioni basate su desideri’ (‘Against Desire-based Reasons’), in Ragion Pratica 20, (June 2003), pp. 189-209.

44.A précis of Practical Reality and a ‘Reply to My Critics’ in a symposium on my Practical Reality, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research vol. lxvii, no. 2 (2003), pp. 423-8 & 468-90.

45.'Enticing Reasons', in Reason and Value: Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz, ed. R. Jay Wallace, Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler, and Michael Smith (OUP 2004), pp. 91-118; reprinted in C. Nimtz and A. Beckermann eds. Philosophy – Science – Scientific Philosophy. Main Lectures and Colloquia of GAP.5, Fifth International Congress of the Society for Analytical Philosophy, (Paderborn: MENTIS, 2005) pp. 10-32.

46.‘Understanding Tolerance’, in Mulla Sadra, Logic & Ethics vol. 8 (Tehran: Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute Publication, 2004), pp. 283-302.

47.‘Two Ways of Explaining Actions’, in J. Hyman and H. Steward eds. Agency and Action (CUP, 2005), pp. 25-42.

48.‘Essentially Comparative Concepts’, in the on-line Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, June 2005, 16 pp.

49.‘Berkeley’s Active Self’, European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, vol.1 no. 1 (2005), pp. 5-20 (appeared 2006).

50.‘Reasons, Relevance and Salience; a response to Hookway’, in Philosophical Studies 130:1 (2006), pp. 71-9.

51.'Ethical Non-naturalism', in D. Copp. ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (OUP, 2006), pp. 122-45.

52.‘The Thing to Use’, in a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science: The Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts vol. 37 no. 1 (March 2006), eds. P. Kroes and A. Meijers, pp. 58-61.

53.‘Acting in the Light of the Appearances’, in McDowell and his Critics, eds. C. and G. Macdonald (Blackwell, 2006), pp. 121-34.

54.’Cos’è il particolarismo in etica?’ (‘What is Particularism in Ethics?’), Ragion Pratica vol. 26, July 2006, pp. 113-131.

55.‘Was Moore right about Punishment?’, in Themes from G. E. Moore: New Essays in Epistemology and Ethics, eds. S Nuccetelli and G. Seay, (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 325-42.

56.‘Defending the Right’, Journal of Moral Philosophy, vol. 4 no. 1, April 2007, pp. 85-98: a special issue largely devoted to discussion of my Ethics Without Principles.

57.‘Necessity, Universality and the A Priori in Ethics’, in Reason, Morality and Beauty: Essays on the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant ed. Bindu Puri et al. (Oxford University Press: Delhi, 2007), pp. 40-54.

58.‘An Unprincipled Morality’, in R. Shafer-Landau ed.  Ethical Theory: an Anthology (Blackwell, 2008), pp. 771-4.

59. ‘When Reasons Don’t Rhyme’, the TPM Essay in The Philosopher’s Magazine 37 (2007), pp. 19-24.

60.‘Logology, or the New Theory of Reasons’, Ex Nihilo 2007.

61.‘An interview with Jonathan Dancy’, Theoria vol. 74, no. 1 (2008), pp. 3-17.

62.‘Are Basic Moral Facts both Contingent and A Priori?’, in M. Lance, M. Potrc and V. Strahovnik eds. Challenging Moral Particularism (Routledge, 2008), pp. 55-61.

63.‘How to act – disjunctively’, in Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge, eds. F. Macpherson and A. Haddock (OUP, 2008), pp. 262-79.

64.‘Action in Moral Metaphysics’, in C. Sandis ed. New Essays on the Explanation of Action (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 398-417.

65. ‘Reasons and Rationality’, forthcoming in Spheres of Reason eds. J. Skorupski, S. Robertson and J. Timmerman (OUP, 2009).

66. ‘Action, Content and Inference’, to appear in a festschrift for P. M. S. Hacker, edited by H-J. Glock and J. Hyman (OUP, 2009) pp. 278-98.

67.A paper on the progress of metaethics in the twentieth century, forthcoming in M. Beaney ed. Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy.

68.‘Has Anyone Ever Been a Non-Intuitionist?’, forthcoming in a collection edited by T. Hurka (OUP).

69.‘Moral Perception’, in a symposium with Robert Audi, to be published in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 2010.

(c) Critical Notices etc.

1.'Contemplating One's Nagel': a critical notice of T. Nagel The View From Nowhere (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1986):  Philosophical Books vol. xxix, no. 1, January 1988, pp. 1-15.

2.'Getting off the Moral Hook': a critical notice of Shelly Kagan The Limits of Morality (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1989); Philosophical Books vol xxxi, no. 4, October 1990, pp. 193-200.

3.'Can We Trust Annette Baier?': a critical notice of Annette Baier On Moral Prejudices (Harvard University Press, 1993), in Philosophical Books 1995, pp. 237-42.

4.'Real values in a Humean context': a critical notice of Michael Smith The Moral Problem (Blackwell, 1994), Ratio vol. ix no. 2, Sept 1996, pp. 171-83.

5.‘Aspects of Reason 1’: a critical notice of H. P. Grice Aspects of Reason (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001), Philosophical Quarterly vol. 53 no. 211 (2003), pp. 274-9 (with a companion notice by Gilbert Harman).

6.‘On the Importance of Making Things Right’: a critical notice of  From Metaphysics to Ethics: a Defence of Conceptual Analysis, by Frank Jackson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), Ratio (new series) xvii June 2004, pp. 229-37.

7.‘Knowing what One is Doing’, a contribution to a symposium on D. Velleman The Possibility of Practical Reason, in Philosophical Studies vol. 121 no. 3 (2004), pp. 239-47.

8.‘On How to be a Moral Rationalist’, a contribution to a symposium on C. Peacocke The Realm of Reason (Oxford: Clarendon Press 2004), in Philosophical Books vol. 47 no. 2 (2006), pp. 103-10.

(d) Encyclopedia entries etc.

1.'Moral epistemology', 'prima facie reasons', supervenience', 'ethics and epistemology'  and 'argument from analogy' - five entries in Dancy and Sosa (eds.)  A Companion to Epistemology, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1992).

2.'Problems of Epistemology', 'Gettier', 'Pyrrhonism', 'veil of perception' and 'arguments from illusion' - five entries in T. Honderich ed. A Companion to Philosophy (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1995).

3.'Moral Realism' in E. Craig ed. An Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge, 1998); revised and extended 2009.

4.‘Perception’, ‘Ontology’, ‘Epistemology’, ‘Ethics’, ‘Morality’, ‘Choice’ - six entries in The New Penguin English Dictionary (2000).

5.'Moral Particularism', published online in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2001); reprinted in The Ethics Reader: A Selection of Entries from the 2007 Edition of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ed. Troy Williamson (TSTC Publishing, Waco); and published in Portuguese in Trólei at

6.‘Ethical intuitionism’, ‘moral particularism’, ‘reason, internal and external’, ‘thick and thin’, ‘virtue epistemology’: five further entries in T. Honderich ed. A Companion to Philosophy  2nd edn. (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004).

7.‘Ethical intuitionism’, in D. M. Borchert ed. Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan, USA) 2nd edn.

8.'H. A. Prichard', published online in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009).

9.‘Moral epistemology’ and ‘Ethics and epistemology’, revised entries in M. Steup ed. A Companion to Epistemology 2nd edition (Blackwell, forthcoming).

10. ‘Normativity’, forthcoming in Lexikon Philosophie. Hundert Grundbegriffe (Reclam Verlag: Stuttgart, 2009).

(e) Reviews

1.Essays in honour of J. Hintikka edited by E. Saarinen, R. Hilpinen, I. Niiniluoto and M. Provence Hintikka (Dordrecht: Reidel 1979): Mind 1982 vol. xci, pp. 618-621.

2.Reference, Truth and Reality: Essays on the Philosophy of Language edited by M. Platts (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1980): Mind 1983 vol xcii, pp. 288-290.

3.Ifs edited by W.L. Harper, R. Stalnaker and G. Pearce  (Dordrecht: Reidel 1981): Philosophical Quarterly vol. 33 no. 130, January 1983, pp. 96-98.

4.Supererogation by D. Held (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1982): Philosophical Quarterly  vol. 33 no. 133, October 1983, pp. 405-406.

5.The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism by B. Stroud (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1984): Philosophical Books  vol. 26 no. 4, October 1985, pp. 235-238.

6.The Refutation of Scepticism by A.C. Grayling (London: Duckworth 1985): Mind 1986 vol. xcv, pp. 263-265.

7.Inquiry by R. Stalnaker (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, Bradford Books 1984): Canadian Philosophical Reviews  vol. 6 no. 7, September 1986, pp. 363-366.

8.The Dialogue of Reason: An Analysis of Analytical Philosophy by L. Jonathan Cohen (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1986): TLS December 26, 1986.

9.Essays on Berkeley: a Tercentennial Celebration edited by J. Foster and H. Robinson (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1985), and Berkeley: The Central Arguments by A.C. Grayling (London: Duckworth: 1986): Philosophical Books  vol. 28 no. 1, January 1987, pp. 14-17.

10. Metaphysics by B. Aune (Oxford: Blackwell 1986): Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 37 no. 148, July 1987, pp. 331-334.

11. Epistemology and Cognition by A.I. Goldman (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard 1986): Mind and Language vol. 2 no. 3, autumn 1987, pp. 271-277.

12. Epistemic Responsibility by Lorraine Code (Hanover: University Press of New England 1987): THES February 1988.

13. Berkeley's Doctrine of Notions: A Reconstruction based on his Theory of Meaning by D. E. Flage (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press 1987): Philosophical Review vol. 99 no. 1, January 1990, pp. 111-14.

14. Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics by David O. Brink (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1989): TLS 22 April 1990.

15. Berkeley: an Interpretation by Kenneth P. Winkler (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989): Philosophical Investigations vol 14 no. 3, July 1991, pp. 284-8.

16. Moral Realities by Mark Platts (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1991): TLS 20 Dec 1991.

17. Knowledge and the State of Nature by Edward Craig (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990): Philosophical Quarterly vol. 42 no. 168, July 1992, pp. 393-5.

18. Sense and Certainty by Marie McGinn (Oxford: Blackwell 1989): Philosophical Review vol. 101, no. 3, pp. 684-7.

19. Hume's System by D. Pears (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990): The Pelican Record vol. xxxviii no. 3 (1992), pp. 66-9.

20. Beyond the Call of Duty by G. Mellema (New York: SUNY Press): Philosophical Books vol. 34 no. 1, January 1993, pp. 48-9.

21. The Conception of Value by H. P. Grice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991): Ethics vol. 104 no. 1, October 1993, pp. 161-3.

22. Human Morality by Samuel Scheffler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992): Philosophy vol. 68 no. 264, April 1993, pp. 252-3.

23. Common Sense, Science and Scepticism by Alan Musgrave (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993): Mind vol. 103 no. 410, April 1994, pp. 214-6.

24. Innocence Lost, by C. W. Gowans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994): Ethics vol. 106 no. 3, April 1996, pp. 639-41.

25. The Act Itself, by Jonathan Bennett (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995): Mind vol. 106 no. 424, October 1997, pp. 777-82.

26. Berkeley's Thought, by G. Pappas (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001): TLS May 31 2002.

27. Truth and Truthfulness: an Essay in Genealogy, by B. A. O. Williams (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002): The Pelican Record vol. xli no. 3, Dec 2003, pp. 88-93.

28. Ethical Particularism: an Essay on Moral Reasons, by Ulrik Kihlbom: The Philosophical Quarterly vol. 54 no. 217, Oct 2004, pp. 642-5.

29. Reasons and Purposes, by G. F. Schueler, and Action and its Explanation by D. H. Ruben (both Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003): The Philosophical Quarterly vol. 55 no. 218, Jan 2005, pp. 139-42.

30. The Practice of Value, by Joseph Raz et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003): Mind Jan 2005, pp. 189-92.

31. Hume, Reason and Morality, by Sophie Botros (Routledge, 2006): TLS Feb 2007.

32. Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal, by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006): Mind April 2007, 462-7.

33. Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal, by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006): TLS Dec 1 2006.

34. The Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe, by R. Teichmann (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2008): TLS, forthcoming

(e) completed but unpublished papers:

1.'Berkeley, Descartes and the Science of Nature'.

2.'Berkeley, Science and Necessity'.

3.'Functionalism, Qualia and Further Facts'.

4.'Induction and Necessity in Ethics'.

5.'Internalism and Externalism in Epistemology (and Ethics)', II.

6.'Prichard and contributory reasons'.

7.'Three Brandom Remarks'.

8.'Two Responses to the Argument from Illusion'.

Editorial Activities

I am a member of the Analysis committee, and am on the editorial boards of the CUP series Cambridge Studies in Philosophy, and of the following journals: Ratio, Theoria, Philosophical Explorations, Utilitas, European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Iris. I was on the board of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research for some years, and have refereed for many other journals, British, Canadian, Australian, Dutch, Scandinavian and American.

Invited Conference Papers

Lille, 1981: a paper on counterfactuals, presented at the 'Colloque Franco-britannique sur la connaissance humaine'.

Birmingham, 1982: a paper on ethical particularism, presented at the Midlands Philosophy Colloquium.

London, 1986: a paper on secondary qualities and ethics, presented at the Joint Session of the Mind Association and the Aristotelian Society.

St. Andrews, 1988: a paper on the theory of motivation, presented at a conference on Contemporary Moral Theory.

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1990: a paper on the relation between epistemology and ethics, presented at the conference on epistemology sponsored by SOFIA (South American Philosophy Association).

Berkeley, Spring 1993: 'Virtues and consequences in epistemology', read at the West Coast meeting of the American Philosophical Association.

Oxford, Summer 1993: 'Natural Necessity, Language and the World', read at a conference on Berkeley.

London, March 1994: '"For Here the Author is Annihilated": reflections on philosophical aspects of the use of the dialogue form in Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion', read to the annual Dawes Hicks conference of the British Academy.

Stoke on Trent, Feb 1995: a talk on the relevance of Derek Parfit's ideas about personal identity to the diagnosis of personality disorder, given to the Annual Residential Conference of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Special Interest Group in Philosophy and Ethics.

LSE, May 1995: a paper on particularism in science and ethics given at a study day on relations between my work and that of Nancy Cartwright.

Warwick, March 1996: a paper on 'Action and Moral Metaphysics' at a conference entitled '40 Years On: Analytic Philosophy since 1956'.

Keele, March 1996: a paper on thick concepts as the opening paper of the Inaugural Conference of the British Society for Ethical Theory.

Utrecht, August 1996: a paper to a week-long conference on the work of B. Williams, myself and M. DePaul.

Belfast. March 1997: a paper on dilemmas at a conference on medical ethics.

Birmingham, September 1997: a paper to a graduate conference on subjectivity.

UCL, London, September 1997: a paper on moral metaphysics to a graduate conference.

Copenhagen, November 1997: a paper on practical reason at a 2-day workshop on my work in moral philosophy.

Australian Catholic University, April 1998: a paper on the right-making relation.

Boston, Mass., August 1998: a paper on moral epistemology, given at the World Congress of Philosophy; also a formal response to a session on my work in ethics.

Babson, Mass., August 1998: a paper on particularism at a conference on ‘universalism’.

Bologna, Sept 1998: a paper on reasons and desires at a conference of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy.

Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, October 1998: a paper on moral particularism at a meeting of the Ontario Philosophical Association.

Washington DC, December 1998; a paper on internalism, given at the East Coast APA Meeting.

London, Jan 1999; a paper on passing the buck in a Royal Institute of Philosophy series of lectures on values.

Aix en Provence, May 1999; a short paper on blame at a conference on Supervenience, Causation and the Mind

Teheran, May 1999: a paper on tolerance at a conference on Mulla Sadra.

Keele, June 1999: a paper on Prichard's 'Duty and Ignorance of Fact' at a conference on moral intuitionism.

Grenoble, Dec 1999: a paper on Jackson’s moral metaphysics at a conference on Australian metaphysics.

Tennessee, March 2000: a paper on particularism and literature at a conference on my work in ethics.

Oxford, May 2000: a general paper on Prichard, presented as part of a series entitled 'Oxford philosophers on Oxford philosophers'.

Manchester, May 2000: a paper on identity conditions for actions at a conference on the philosophy of action

Rome, June 2000: a paper on motivating reasons at a workshop on moral realism.

Siena, June 2000: a paper on particularism in the theory of meaning, presented at a conference on Justification and Meaning.

Sheffield, July 2000: a paper on intention and moral evaluation, presented as part of a symposium with T. Scanlon at the Joint Session of the Mind Association and the Aristotelian Society.

Bielefeld, Sept 2000: a paper on the explanation of action at a conference on agency.

Glasgow, Nov 2000: a paper on practical reason at a graduate conference

Utrecht, April 2001: a paper on enticing reasons at a conference on the agent's perspective

Lisbon, May 2001: a paper on the holism of value at a conference on Action, Causation and Supervenience.

Amsterdam, June 2001: a plenary paper on moral epistemology at a conference on knowledge and intuitionism.

Reading, July 2001: a paper on particularism in the theory of meaning at the annual meeting of the National Postgraduate Association for Analytic Philosophy.

Granada, December 2001: a plenary paper on epistemic particularism at the annual meeting of the Spanish Society for Analytic Philosophy.

Seattle, March 2002: a critique of P. Stratton-Lake’s Kant, Duty and Moral Worth, read at an ‘Author meets Critics’ session at the West Coast Meeting of the APA.

Atlanta, April 2002: a paper on organic unities at a conference on G. E. Moore.

Oxford, September 2002: a paper on the explanation of action at a Royal Institute of Philosophy conference on Agency.

Memphis, October 2002: a paper on reasons at a Spindel conference on Meta-ethics: the Legacy of G. E. Moore.

Georgetown, November 2002: replies, at a conference on my Practical Reality.

Valencia, March-April 2003: three papers given at a 3-day conference on my work in practical philosophy.

Corpus Christi College, Oxford, September 2003: a paper at a one-day conference in honour of C. C. W. Taylor (one of my two tutors at Corpus).

Bielefeld, September 2003: a plenary paper at the biennial GAP conference.

Cambridge, November 2003: a paper at a one-day celebration of the centenary of the publication of Principia Ethica.

Edinburgh, November 2003: a paper ‘Knowing Reasons’, at a conference on moral epistemology.

Rome, May 2004: a paper at a conference on naturalism in ethics at Roma III.

Canberra, June 2004: a paper on the philosophy of action at a conference on Reasons and Rationality.

Nanjing, China, October 2004: a paper on tolerance.

Canterbury, UK, December 2004: the keynote address at a conference on particularism in ethics.

Glasgow, June 2005: a paper at a conference on disjunctivism.

Bled, Slovenia, June 2005: keynote address at a week-long conference on particularism in ethics.

St. Andrews, June 2005: a paper at a conference on ‘The Unity of Reason’.

Baltimore (Johns Hopkins), October 2005: a paper at a workshop on ‘Rules and Reasoning’.

Helsinki, Dec 2005: keynote address at a workshop on Moral Judgement and Moral Psychology.

Los Angeles (USC) March 2006: a contribution to a conference on the Morality of Fortune

Chicago, April 2006: a response at an Author meets Critics session on my Ethics Without Principles at the Central APA meeting.

May 2007: I virtually gave an invited paper at/to the Online Philosophy Conference.

Reading, November 2007: a paper on welfare and benefit at the third conference on partiality/impartiality.

Toronto, April 2008: a paper on Harold Prichard at a conference on the history of ethics.

Paris, May 2008: a paper on particularism in epistemology

Oxford, November 2008: plenary paper at the Oxford Graduate Conference

Vancouver, April 2009: replies to a paper about particularism in ethics and aesthetics at the West Coast APA.

London, May 2009: distinguished invited speaker at the Analytic Legal Philosophy Conference.

Crete, June 2009: comments at a conference on ethics.

Edinburgh, June 2009: comments at a conference on practical reason.

Leeds, June 2009: a paper on intuitionism at a conference on Bernard Williams.

Kent, July 2009: a paper at a conference on thick concepts.

July 2010: a paper on moral perception at the 2010 Joint Session

Conferences wholly or partly on my work:

Utrecht, August 1996

Amsterdam/Lund, November 1997

Uppsala November 1999

Amsterdam (Free University), April 2001

Valencia, March 2003

Georgetown, November 2003

Canterbury (UK,) December 2004

Bled, Slovenia June 2005

Austin, Texas February 2006

Paris (Sorbonne), May 2008

Over the years I have read research papers in the UK in the following universities and colleges: Bradford (x2), Durham (x4), Leeds (x4), Aberystwyth, Lampeter, St. Andrews (x3), Edinburgh (x3), Stirling, Aberdeen, Glasgow (x2), Nottingham (x5), Cambridge (x3), Cambridge HPS, Leicester, York (x3), Liverpool, LSE, Sheffield (x2), Birmingham (x2), Reading, Bristol (x2), Essex, Exeter, Southampton, Sussex (x2), Manchester (x3), Oxford (x9), Oxford Brookes, UEA, Warwick, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, North London Polytechnic, Heythrop College, London, King's College, London (x3), Birbeck College, London (x4), and Queen's University, Belfast; also at Trinity College, Dublin and University College, Cork.

Invited research talks outside the UK, and longer visits to UK universities:

1983-4: a series of informal seminars to graduates at Balliol College, Oxford.

1988-9: University of Pittsburgh (two separate talks and a four-lecture series), Brooklyn College, NY, University of Colorado at Boulder, Stanford University, UC San Diego, University of Arizona at Tucson, UVA Charlottesville, Virginia Commonwealth University.

1990-1: Queen’s University, Kingston (3 talks), Syracuse University.

1992-3: Toronto University (2 talks)

1994-5: Georgetown University, Davidson College, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Chicago, CUNY Graduate School

1995-6: Stockholm University, Gotheburg University, University of Zurich, Humboldt University, Berlin.

1996-7: UBC (3 talks), Simon Fraser University, University of Notre Dame, UMSL

1997-8: University of Copenhagen (three talks), Lund University, Australian National University (2 talks), Sydney, Macquarrie, UNE, Monash, La Trobe, Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury

1998-9: Queen’s University, Kingston, University of Amsterdam (2 talks)

1999-2000: Uppsala (2 talks), Davidson College, Georgetown University

2000-2001: UNC Chapel Hill (3 talks), University of Arizona at Tucson, Northwestern University, Free University of Amsterdam

2001-2: Australian National University, Auckland, Otago, Northwestern University, University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin

2002-3: Free University, Amsterdam, Johns Hopkins University, Technical University of Delft (three talks)

2003-4: Johns Hopkins University, UT Austin, Florida State University (annual Bayles Lecture), UF Gainesville, University of Leipzig, University of Rijeka (Croatia), La Sapienza and LUISS universities (Rome), Oslo University (two talks), Australian National University

2004-5: Jawarhal Nehru University (Delhi), Aarhus University (annual Hartnack Lecture and another talk), University of Nevada (Reno), University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), University of Rijeka

2005-6: Bilkent University, Ankara; Texas A&M; University of Oklahoma; Humboldt University, Berlin (2 talks and a day’s workshop on my Ethics Without Principles); Umea University (Sweden), the annual Burman lectures.

2006-7: The annual George Myro Memorial Lecture at UC Berkeley; University of Nevada (Reno); a two-day visit to Liverpool University, involving a talk and a public discussion of my recent work; a three-day session, the Göttinger Philosophisches Kolloquium, at Georg-August University, Gottingen, discussing my recent work, with a public lecture; two seminars at the Forschungsinstituts für Philosophie, Hanover.

2007-8: papers at USC, SMU, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Frankfurt, La Sapienza (Rome), NYU (Mind and Language Seminar).

2008-9: Princeton, UC Riverside.

In Summer 1993 I went to Beijing, China to lecture on epistemology at the Sino-British Summer School in Philosophy for three weeks.

Research Interests

My dominating interest is in moral theory. The main overall focus of my work here is the attempt to construct a viable form of realism, with an associated metaphysics, theory of motivation and theory of moral experience, if so it can be called. I am best known for the distinctively particularist slant that I put on these matters. My last book was a full-scale monograph on this topic under the title Ethics without Principles. While writing it, I have become more directly involved in what is now called the Theory of Reasons, and I expect to continue to make contributions in this more general field, with special attention still to the ethical aspects of the debate.

One aspect of that debate, which is currently absorbing my attention, is the proper account of practical reasoning, otherwise known as deliberation. I reject all attempts to characterise this as inference, and offer a new picture which tells its own story about the force and structure of such deliberation, and explains how it can be that in this case reasoning can conclude in action.

The theory of reasons has to say something about what it is to act for a reason. This topic lies officially within the philosophy of action. I am looking for ways of unsettling the dominant view that the reasons for which we act must, since they are manifestly capable of motivating us, be mental states of ourselves. This view seems to me to create far too great a distinction between the good reasons there are for doing what we do and the reasons for which we do them. My initial work in this area was published by OUP under the title Practical Reality. But there remains much to do.

I maintain a subordinate interest in contemporary epistemology, partly for its own sake and partly because one of my special concerns is the intermediate area of moral epistemology (perhaps better described as that of moral rationality). More on the sidelines is an attempt to rewrite the standard account of the relation between Berkeley and his immediate predecessors and successors in such a way as to give a smoother account of the passage from scholasticism to later idealism; here I am trying to continue and expand a theme which I first presented in my 1987 book on Berkeley.

Blackwell have repeatedly asked me to write a second edition of my Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. But I will never do it.

External Research Grants received

1989: $2500 from Basil Blackwell for purchase of an Apple Macintosh computer.

1990: £600 from the British Academy towards the cost of travel to a conference on epistemology in Brazil, August 1990.

            £750 from the British Council towards the cost of travel to the same conference.

1993:  £350 from the British Academy towards the cost of travel to the March West Coast APA meeting in San Francisco.

1993:  £750 from the British Council towards the cost of travel to Beijing, China, to lecture at the Sino-British Summer School in Philosophy.

1993-4: £28,500 from All Souls College, Oxford, to cover the cost of replacement teaching at Keele during my tenure of a Visiting Fellowship at the College.

1997: £4654 from the Research Committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Board to fund an additional term of research leave.

1998: $5700 from the Australian National University towards the costs associated with my tenure of a Visiting Fellowship in their Research School of Social Sciences (Philosophy Program).

$2200 from the Australian Catholic University to cover the costs of a month's stay in Australia for purposes associated with a conference in Ballarat, NSW.

1999: £17570 from the British Academy towards the costs of substitute teaching during the first year of my tenure of a British Academy Research Readership.

2000: £17570+ from the British Academy towards the costs of substitute teaching during the second year of my tenure of a British Academy Research Readership.

2004: £1300 from the Australian Research Council towards the costs associated with my speaking at a conference in Canberra, June.

2004: £600 from the Universities’ China Committee in London toward the cost of a flight to Nanjing, China, to speak at a conference on moral philosophy.

2004: £500 from the British Council in India to make it possible for me to give a talk at the Centre for Philosophy at the School of Social Sciences at Jawarhal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

2004: £800 from the British Academy Conference Grant Fund toward the cost of my visit to Nanjing.

Honours and Awards

My Companion to Epistemology was awarded a High Commendation in the competition for the Library Association McColvin Medal, 1993.

I am one of three Honorary Life Members of the National Postgraduate Analytic Philosophy Association, which runs the main annual postgraduate philosophy conference in the UK.

External Examining

I was external examiner for the BA in Philosophy at the University of London in 1987 and 1988, and for the University of Reading 1992-5. I was external examiner for Part 2 of the BA in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge 1998-2001. I have acted as external examiner for PhD's and lesser graduate degrees at various universities, both in the UK and abroad, but mainly at Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrews. I was external examiner for the University of Sheffield’s MA programme 1998-2001.

Other Duties

I served four years on the British Academy panel that awarded graduate grants in philosophy, from 1993-7.

I was a member of the Standing Panel of External Experts in Philosophy at the University of London (1993-6).

I served as External Assessor for the appointment to the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Manchester in 1996, and later for similar appointments at the University of Sheffield, Bristol and Nottingham.

I was a member of the Philosophy Panel for the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise in Britain, and served again for the 2008 Exercise.

I was a member of a small Committee that reviewed philosophical research in the Netherlands in 2005.

I acted as External Assessor for a review of research activity in the Philosophy Department at the University of Nottingham in Dec 2002, and at the Open University and Oxford Brookes University in 2004. I did a more general review of the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge in 2004. I also acted as External Assessor for a review of federal teaching provision in philosophy at the University of London, 2003-4, and for a review of Heythrop College’s philosophy teaching in 2004.

I was a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College 2004-7.

Teaching Competence

I gave regular series of lectures at Keele on Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, introductory formal logic, epistemology (at various levels) and philosophy of mind, and occasional series on philosophical logic and the philosophy of language, causation, moral realism and the work of D. Davidson. I have taught all these subjects in tutorials and seminars, as well as general moral philosophy, classical political philosophy, practical moral philosophy, philosophical logic, philosophy of language and various dialogues of Plato and works of Aristotle. Over the years I have given specialist final year courses in Britain on meta-ethics, epistemology, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and philosophy of action.

The University of Pittsburgh hired me as a moral philosopher, and so while there I only taught ethics: an introductory course on ethics (to a class of 250), an upper level undergraduate course on the history of ethics and a graduate class on moral reasons.

At Reading I have taught moral philosophy, the philosophy of perception and modern philosophy to undergraduates. I now give graduate classes on matters to do with ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of action, and a course of lectures on moral philosophy to first year undergraduates.

At UT Austin I teach an undergraduate class in ethics and a graduate class.

I have supervised many graduate students to successful completion of their degrees.

Administrative Activities

For ten years, before I became Head of Department at Keele, I ran the setting and marking of all examinations and the keeping of all student records in the Keele department. I twice chaired the staff-student liaison committee, and was departmental representative on the Board of Humanities Standing Committee, 1977-1981. For a while I was Tutor for Graduate Studies, and in charge of Library acquisitions.

University Activities


1979-84: Member of Senate

1980-4: Member of Finance Committee

1981-4: Chairman, Lecturers' Association

1981-4: Member of Policy, Staffing and Development Committee (the main University policy-making committee)

1981-4: Deputy Chairman, Board of Humanities

1981-4: Insurance sub-committee

1981-4: Students Union Finance Committee

1982-4: Member of Council

1983-4: Member of Space Allocation Committee

1985-8: Chairman, University Disciplinary Panel

1987-8: Research Committee

1992-6: Head of Philosophy Department

1992-3: Member of Library Advisory Board


1996-9: Member, University Research Committee

1996-  : Member, Faculty Research Advisory Board

During the years 1981-1984 I also served on university working parties at Keele on: non-pay budgets, academic courses, science teaching load, tenure (Joint Working Party of Senate and Council) and the structure of promotion committees (Joint Working Party).

When I arrived at Reading I persuaded the University to fund an ongoing series of postgraduate awards in my Faculty, which significantly improved the flow of doctoral students to Reading, and especially to my Department.