is UST Professor of Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...
at the University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...
and is author of From Morality to Virtue
(1992) and Morals From Motives
(2001). He was previously professor of philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...
at the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...
, and at Trinity College Dublin.
He is widely recognized as a leading figure in the recently renewed field of virtue ethics
Virtue ethics describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior, rather than rules , consequentialism , or social context .The difference between these four approaches to morality tends to lie more in the way moral dilemmas are...
. He argues that virtue ethics, in a particular form which draws on the concept of an ethics of care
The ethics of care is a normative ethical theory; that is, a theory about what makes actions right or wrong. It is one of a cluster of normative ethical theories that were developed by feminists in the second half of the twentieth century...
, offers significant intuitive and structural advantages over deontology, utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can...
, and common-sense morality. He has also recently endorsed the meta-ethical
In philosophy, meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. Meta-ethics is one of the three branches of ethics generally recognized by philosophers, the others being normative ethics and applied ethics. Ethical...
view of moral sentimentalism in opposition to moral rationalism
Moral rationalism, also called ethical rationalism, is a view in meta-ethics according to which moral truths are knowable a priori, by reason alone. Some prominent figures in the history of philosophy who have defended moral rationalism are Plato and Immanuel Kant...
(see his articles from 2003, 2004, 2005a and his books (2007 and 2010)).
- Goods and Virtues (1983), Oxford University Press.
- Common-Sense Morality and Consequentialism (1985), Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Beyond Optimizing (1989), Harvard University Press.
- From Morality to Virtue (1992), Oxford University Press.
- Morals From Motives (2001), Oxford University Press.
- The Ethics of Care and Empathy (2007), Routledge.
- Essays on the History of Ethics (2009), Oxford University Press.
- Moral Sentimentalism (2010), Oxford University Press.
- "The Morality of Wealth" (1977) in World Hunger and Moral Obligation Prentice Hall
- "Sentimentalist Virtue and Moral Judgment: Outline of a Project" (2003) in Metaphilosophy 34(1/2), pp. 131–143; reprinted in in Moral and Epistemic Virtues, Michael Brady & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004).
- "Moral Sentimentalism" (2004), Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 3–14.
- "Moral Sentimentalism and Moral Psychology" (2005a) in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, David Copp (ed.), Oxford University Press.
- "The Dualism of the Ethical" (2005b), Nous-Supplement: Philosophical Issues, vol. 15, pp. 209–217.