email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Fragile LifeA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Tapestry of ValuesA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAging, Biotechnology, and the FutureAlbert Schweitzer's Reverence for LifeAlphavilleAltruismAltruismAmerican EugenicsAmerican PsychosisAn American SicknessAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy And a Time to DieAnimal LessonsAnimal RightsAnimals Like UsApplied Ethics in Mental Health CareAre Women Human?Aristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAutonomyAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismAutonomy, Consent and the LawBabies by DesignBackslidingBad PharmaBad SoulsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBeauty JunkiesBefore ForgivingBeing AmoralBeing YourselfBending Over BackwardsBending ScienceBernard WilliamsBetter Humans?Better Than WellBeyond ChoiceBeyond GeneticsBeyond HatredBeyond Humanity?Beyond LossBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond the DSM StoryBias in Psychiatric DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably NumbCommonsense RebellionCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentComprehending CareConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConflict of Interest in the ProfessionsConsuming KidsContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContentious IssuesContesting PsychiatryCrazy in AmericaCreating CapabilitiesCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical PsychiatryCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCutting to the CoreCyborg CitizenDamaged IdentitiesDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDebating ProcreationDebating Same-Sex MarriageDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecoding the Ethics CodeDefining DifferenceDefining Right and Wrong in Brain ScienceDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDeveloping the VirtuesDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of Children's RightsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Propaganda WorksHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Make Opportunity EqualHow Universities Can Help Create a Wiser WorldHow We HopeHow We Think About DementiaHuman BondingHuman EnhancementHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman TrialsHumanism, What's That?Humanitarian ReasonHumanityHumanizing MadnessI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Was WrongIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf That Ever Happens to MeImproving Nature?In Defense of FloggingIn Defense of SinIn Love With LifeIn Our Own ImageIn the FamilyIn the Land of the DeafIn the Name of IdentityIn the Wake of 9/11In Two MindsInclusive EthicsInclusive EthicsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchInnovation in Medical TechnologyInside Assisted LivingInside EthicsIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIntensive CareInto the Gray ZoneIs Human Nature Obsolete?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is There a Duty to Die?Is There an Ethicist in the House?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJudging Children As ChildrenJust a DogJust BabiesJust CareJustice for ChildrenJustice for HedgehogsJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeJustifiable ConductKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Theory of VirtueKids of CharacterKilling McVeighLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLaw and the BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning from Baby PLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLegal Aspects of Mental CapacityLegal ConceptionsLegal InsanityLegalizing ProstitutionLet Them Eat ProzacLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberal EugenicsLife After FaithLife at the BottomLife, Sex, and IdeasListening to the WhispersLiving ProfessionalismLosing Matt ShepardLostLuckyMad in AmericaMad PrideMadhouseMaking Another World PossibleMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMalignantMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaning and Moral OrderMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeans, Ends, and PersonsMeans, Ends, and PersonsMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral BrainsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonalities on the PlatePersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRun, Spot, RunRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and EthicsScience in the Private InterestScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealScience, Seeds and CyborgsScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSeeing the LightSelf-ConstitutionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSex, Family, and the Culture WarsSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpeech MattersSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic PsychiatryThe Animal ManifestoThe Animals' AgendaThe Art of LivingThe Autonomy of MoralityThe Beloved SelfThe Best Things in LifeThe Big FixThe Bioethics ReaderThe Biology and Psychology of Moral AgencyThe Blackwell Guide to Medical EthicsThe Body SilentThe BondThe Book of LifeThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Textbook of BioethicsThe Case against Assisted SuicideThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case Against PunishmentThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Challenge of Human RightsThe Code for Global EthicsThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Common ThreadThe Connected SelfThe Constitution of AgencyThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Criminal BrainThe Decency WarsThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Disability PendulumThe Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to ConfrontationThe Domain of ReasonsThe Double-Edged HelixThe Duty to ProtectThe Emotional Construction of MoralsThe End of Ethics in a Technological SocietyThe End of Stigma?The Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical BrainThe Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health SciencesThe Ethics of BioethicsThe Ethics of Human EnhancementThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of SightseeingThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Ethics of the Family in SenecaThe Ethics of the LieThe Ethics of TransplantsThe Ethics of WarThe Ethics ToolkitThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Evolution of MoralityThe FamilyThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Forgiveness ProjectThe Form of Practical KnowledgeThe Fountain of YouthThe Freedom ParadoxThe Future of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThe Future of Human NatureThe Good BookThe Good LifeThe Great BetrayalThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Healing VirtuesThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of Human RightsThe HorizonThe Idea of JusticeThe Ideal of NatureThe Illusion of Freedom and EqualityThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Importance of Being UnderstoodThe Insanity OffenseThe Joy of SecularismThe Language PoliceThe Last Normal ChildThe Last UtopiaThe Limits of MedicineThe LobotomistThe Love CureThe Lucifer EffectThe Manual of EpictetusThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of NiceThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind Has MountainsThe Modern Art of DyingThe Modern SavageThe Moral ArcThe Moral BrainThe Moral Demands of MemoryThe Moral FoolThe Moral MindThe Moral Psychology HandbookThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Good You Can DoThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of the Moral BrainThe Nature of NormativityThe New Disability HistoryThe New Genetic MedicineThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Offensive InternetThe Origins of FairnessThe Oxford Handbook of Animal EthicsThe Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of LifeThe Perfect BabyThe Philosophy of NeedThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of PsychiatryThe Politics Of LustThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Price of PerfectionThe Price of TruthThe Problem of PunishmentThe Prosthetic ImpulseThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe PsychopathThe Purity MythThe Pursuit of PerfectionThe Relevance of Philosophy to LifeThe Right Road to Radical FreedomThe Right to Be ParentsThe Righteous MindThe Root of All EvilThe Rules of InsanityThe Second SexismThe Second-Person StandpointThe Silent World of Doctor and PatientThe Sleep of ReasonThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Speed of DarkThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story of Cruel and UnusualThe Story WithinThe Stubborn System of Moral ResponsibilityThe Suicide TouristThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Therapy of DesireThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Triple HelixThe Trolley Problem MysteriesThe Trouble with DiversityThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Ugly LawsThe Varieties of Religious ExperienceThe Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric EngagementThe Virtues of FreedomThe Virtues of HappinessThe Virtuous Life in Greek EthicsThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine and BioethicsThe War Against BoysThe War for Children's MindsThe Whole ChildThe Woman RacketThe Worldwide Practice of TortureTherapy with ChildrenThieves of VirtueThree Generations, No ImbecilesTimes of Triumph, Times of DoubtTolerance Among The VirtuesTolerance and the Ethical LifeTolerationToxic PsychiatryTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreatment Kind and FairTrusting on the EdgeTry to RememberUltimate JudgementUnborn in the USA: Inside the War on AbortionUndermining ScienceUnderstanding AbortionUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Kant's EthicsUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnderstanding TerrorismUnderstanding the GenomeUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesVulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied EthicsWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat Genes Can't DoWhat Have We DoneWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
John Skorupski's The Domain of Reasons is a kind of book that is not often seen in what can be described as the contemporary analytical tradition in philosophy. Such qualification is justified by the fact that it is -- in terms of the structure, some of the problems it addresses, its conceptual framework, and its author's ambition -- reminiscent of, for instance, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Fichte's Science of Knowledge, or Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit or The Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. The position defended in The Domain of Reasons, however, is very much a product of the contemporary philosophy, and that of metaethics in particular. Having this in mind, Skorupski's book provides a challenge to and requires attention of scholars who are quite familiar both with the history of philosophy in general, and with its development from the beginning of the 20th century onwards.
The reader is introduced into the book by a clear exposition of its main aim, which is to work "out consequences of an account of normativity according to which all normative properties are reducible to what I call reason relations, so that normative propositions in all fields are propositions about reasons" (Preface). That all normative propositions are propositions about reasons is one of the four main theses defended in the book (29; see also Appendix); it without a doubt addresses one of the main concerns in contemporary metaethics -- viz. the concern for the nature of normativity (including moral authority, moral evaluation, moral knowledge, moral norms, etc.), which hinges on the question whether moral judgments capture moral properties that are reducible to some sort of facts (relations) or not.
The ambition of Skorupski's work, however, goes beyond the field of metaethics, which is clearly visible in the fact that he wants to establish "The Normative View", or "Normative Critical philosophy", which purports to explain the "relation between self, thought, and the world" (1). Developing an explanatory account of the complex relation between the subject and the world, which would make the world "ours" yet not susceptible to authority (or caprice) of individual subjectivity, is an ambition the roots of which predate the philosophy established after the publication of Moore's Principia Ethica. 18th and 19th century German philosophers like Kant, Jacobi, Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, for instance, were obsessed with finding a solution to the problem of the subject's epistemic relation to the known world. When morality is concerned, however, Skorupski's work can also be seen as a continuation of the pre-Kantian debate between 16th and 17th century moral rationalists and sentimentalists, which was concerned with the question of the ontological status of moral properties, as well as with the question whether moral evaluation is an epistemic product of reason or sentiment.
The author explains that his work inherited the ambition of the "Critical Philosophy", the most significant exponents of which are Kant, Wittgenstein, and representatives of the Vienna Circle. The merit of the Critical philosophy lies in the fact that it confronts the position defined by the author as "Global realism", which defends two theses: "(1) "factualism: to assert any proposition is to say that some fact obtains, (2) cognition independence: facts are cognition independent" (7). Skorupski explains that Global realism leads either to scepticism or dogmatism (absolutism), which, according to the Critical philosophy, offer equally unsatisfactory theoretical explanations of the nature of the relation between cognition, feeling, and action on one side, and the world on the other. Skorupski argues that the primarily epistemic project of Critical philosophy could not have been completed in the past due to incorrect views on ontology of objects of human knowledge. Skorupski's idea is that this project can succeed if it is grounded in what he calls 'the domain of reasons'.
The domain of reasons is constituted by the existence of three main kinds of distinct and irreducible reasons, albeit unified in terms of their epistemic and ontological status: epistemic reasons (reasons to believe), practical (reasons to act), and evaluative reasons (reasons to feel). What lies behind are 'reason relations' -- i.e., 'specific relations', 'overall', and 'sufficient relations'; and it is in virtue of the "existence" of these relations -- one needs to be cautious in the use of the term 'existence' due to the specific ontological status of reason relations -- that Skorupski defines his own position as "irrealist cognitivism" (Preface). According to irrealist cognitivism, knowing subjects have cognitive and epistemic access to reasons as special kinds of facts (which is yet another of the four main theses defended in The Domain of Reasons) -- viz. facts that are "[actual,] objective but nonetheless irreal" (29-30, 434). These 'nominal facts' differ from 'putative' and 'fictional' facts, and, more importantly, they differ from 'substantive facts' (i.e., "brute facts") in two respects: first, reason relations do not have the causal standing which is attributed only to the "real" (30), and second, the notion of 'ontic cognition-independence' cannot be applied to nominal facts (405).
Skorupski intends to show that adoption of the normative view "points to the dictum that 'The world is our [emphasis added] world…in the sense that the concept of the world is itself an internal concept. It is in terms of norms that hold relative to our nature, and in terms of our cognitive tradition, that we understand it…These norms are neither facts about the world nor facts about us. They are objective universal truths about reason relations: irreal, pure objects of cognition that mediate between knowing subject and known world" (504). Skorupski explains that the norms in question are a priori truths, knowledge of which is acquired via the "normative insight", which must be distinguished from the faculty of 'intuition' posited by the "intuitionistic realism about the a priori" (137-141).
The Normative view is made possible by the fact that a human being is "self-determining" being, or a being acting from reasons -- i.e., responsive to what one as an individual take sufficient reasons to be -- as well as by the fact that an individual is epistemically reflective or self-auditing being -- i.e., one assessing reflectively what one has reasons to believe (i.e., what one sees as sufficient reasons), "and in particular whether one has reason to inquire further" (508). Only reflective assessment of reasons one has (i.e., of 'sufficient reasons') can lead one towards the knowledge of 'warranted reasons' (see Chapter 5 for more on the distinction between the two), which are the source of all autonomous action, and provide an answer to the question: "'Do I have sufficient reason for this belief, sentiment, or action?'" (21)
Since reason relations have a specific ontological status, propositions about them differ from factual propositions in two main respects: a.) in their ontological status -- the former are synthetic a priori propositions, which means that "all (synthetic) a priori propositions are in the first place normative [this is the third main thesis defended in the book]" (29); and b.) in their epistemic status -- our epistemic access to propositions about reason relations is not 'receptive' (hence, the epistemic material is not just "received" by or independent of the self-determining thought, as is the case with 'substantive' or "brute" facts), but 'spontaneous' or explainable only in terms of the spontaneous response of "belief, will, and feeling" to synthetic a priori normative truths. The distinction between 'receptivity' and 'spontaneity', and the corresponding ontological distinction between two kinds of facts that provide us with the epistemic material, are crucial in establishing the claim that factual propositions and propositions about reason relations differ in terms of their ontological and epistemic status; which is the last of the four main theses of The Domain of Reasons (509).
The book is divided into four main parts. Part 1 introduces the concept of reason relations, and that of the corresponding notion of the domain of reasons. It discusses the logical structure of propositions about reasons, and provides analysis of the concepts of universalizability (all reasons are universal), normativity (opposed to the concept of descriptivity), and warrant (as distinct from 'knowledge' and 'justification'). Part 2 is concerned with epistemic reasons, and exposition of the thesis that concepts of aprioricity, analyticity, necessity, evidence, and probability, are all normative concepts analysable in terms of the concept of reason. Part 3 is concerned with morality, and provides an account of practical reasons for action, and that of evaluative reasons for feeling. As far as morality is concerned, the unity of reasons thesis -- i.e., the thesis that all reasons "have the same epistemological and ontological standing" -- will allow Skorupski to argue that one's moral claims can be epistemically warranted as all other claims about reasons can: "Claims about moral obligation are a special class of claims about evaluative reasons, and evaluative reasons are neither more nor less problematic, meta-theoretically [not substantively], than other reasons" (402). Both Part 2 and Part 3 contain not only second-order analysis of moral concepts, but also a discussion of substantive (first-order) normative theses and controversies -- about epistemic norms (Chapters 8 and 9), and about normative sources of practical reasons (Chapters 11, 13, and 14).
Finally, Part 4 presents meta-theoretical arguments on epistemology, semantics, and ontology of reasons (Chapters 16 and 17). Skorupski here provides analysis of Wittgenstein's discussion of the 'rule-following' against "normative naturalism", and Moore's 'open question argument' against "normative realism", to argue that both Wittgenstein and Moore can be interpreted as at least leading to irrealist cognitivism, if not even as being its representatives (Chapter 18). Chapter 19 is concerned with concepts that are crucial for understanding the notion of 'self-determination': 'apperception', 'grasp of reasons', 'the self', 'will', 'freedom', and 'other persons'. Part 4 concludes with "The Critique of Reasons" (Chapter 20), which provides us with a review of the account of normativity developed in the preceding chapters, as well as that of its place in the tradition of Critical philosophy.
Is Skorupski's project complete or without flaws? If one wants to go into a detailed evaluation then the answer will undoubtedly be negative. For instance, and this is a hint only, one cannot but ask whether the radical divide between cognition and feeling, which Skorupski rightfully rejects, has not been replaced by an equally radical (and problematic) divide -- "bedrock dualism" as the author calls it (434) -- between receptive and spontaneous knowledge. One cannot but agree with Skorupski's insight that epistemic arguments depend on the establishment of subtle conceptual distinctions between terms like 'existence', 'objectivity', 'reality', etc., which must be accompanied by the development of the rich ontology of different kinds of things that provide content to our thoughts (namely, substantive facts, nominal facts, putative facts, fictions, etc.); but this insight, and the distinctions it calls for, are in need of a better or more developed grounding.
Speaking from a wider historical perspective, I have found it somewhat disappointing that The Domain of Reasons does not have to say more on Hume's metaethics. This is especially significant if one has in mind the influence of a wide range of (often mistaken) traditional and, it must be added, dogmatic interpretations of Hume's theory in the debates between cognitivists and non-cognitivists, realists and anti-realists, and naturalists and non-naturalists; which is a Gordian knot of metaethics that Skorupski intends to cut (402; see also Chapters 10 and 17) by arguing against "a profoundly false contrast between 'Reason' and feeling" (26).
The Domain of Reasons, however, need not be evaluated only by a meticulous analysis of its arguments; no work of philosophy is immune to it. What makes Skorupski's project truly remarkable is the fact that it makes an attempt to reconcile a kind of ontological scepticism with epistemic optimism, so to speak. In other words, the project is based on the "clear-cut removal of metaphysical background of realism" (504), yet without its author falling pray to or being steered towards cognitive or epistemic scepticism. In addition, The Domain of Reasons is an expression of a valuable theoretical approach, according to which the history of philosophy (including both "the continental" and "the analytical" tradition) and contemporary theory are to be seen as a single continuous undertaking, rather than distinct enterprises with only limited points of contact. The cultivation and development of this kind of approach can, I believe, make a contribution to metaethics in general, and to moral epistemology in particular.
© 2012 Dejan Simkovic
Dejan Simkovic, PhD candidate at The University of Sydney.