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Thomas Hurka
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. Proportionality in the Morality of War.Thomas Hurka - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (1):34-66.
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  2. More Seriously Wrong, More Importantly Right.Thomas Hurka - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):41-58.
    Common-sense morality divides acts into those that are right and those that are wrong, but it thinks some wrong acts are more seriously wrong than others, for example murder than breaking a promise. If an act is more seriously wrong, you should feel more guilt about it and, other things equal, are more blameworthy for it and can deserve more punishment; more serious wrongs are also more to be avoided given empirical or moral uncertainty. This paper examines a number of (...)
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  3. Against ‘Good for’/‘Well-Being’, for ‘Simply Good’.Thomas Hurka - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):803-22.
    This paper challenges the widely held view that ‘good for’, ‘well-being’, and related terms express a distinctive evaluative concept of central importance for ethics and separate from ‘simply good’ as used by G. E. Moore and others. More specifically, it argues that there's no philosophically useful good-for or well-being concept that's neither merely descriptive in the sense of naturalistic nor reducible to ‘simply good’. The paper distinguishes two interpretations of the common claim that the value ‘good for’ expresses is distinctively (...)
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  4. How Much Are Games Like Art?Thomas Hurka - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):287-296.
    This paper challenges Thi Nguyen's argument, in Games: Agency as Art, a central part of the value of game-play comes from the aesthetic experiences it allows, especially of our own agency, so playing a game is importantly like engaging with art. It challenges three arguments Nguyen makes in support of this view and argues, to the contrary, that the principal value in game-play rests in the achievments it allows.
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  5. More seriously wrong.Thomas Hurka - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5:41-58.
    Common-sense morality divides acts into those that are right and those that are wrong, but it thinks some wrong acts are more seriously wrong than others, for example murder than breaking a promise. If an act is more seriously wrong, you should feel more guilt about it and, other things equal, are more blameworthy for it and can deserve more punishment; more serious wrongs are also more to be avoided given empirical or moral uncertainty. This paper examines a number of (...)
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  6.  97
    Games and the good.Thomas Hurka & John Tasioulas - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):237-264.
    Using Bernard Suits’s brilliant analysis (contra Wittgenstein) of playing a game, this paper examines the intrinsic value of game-playing. It argues that two elements in Suits’s analysis make success in games difficult, which is one ground of value, while a third involves choosing a good activity for the property that makes it good, which is a further ground. The paper concludes by arguing that game-playing is the paradigm modern (Marx, Nietzsche) as against classical (Aristotle) value: since its goal is intrinsically (...)
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  7.  85
    Right act, virtuous motive.Thomas Hurka - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2):58-72.
    The concepts of right action and virtuous motivation are clearly connected, in that we expect people with virtuous motives to at least often act rightly. Two well-known views explain this connection by defining one of the concepts in terms of the other. Instrumentalists about virtue identify virtuous motives as those that lead to right acts; virtue-ethicists identify right acts as those that are or would be done from virtuous motives. This paper outlines a rival explanation, based on the “higher-level” account (...)
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  8. The Speech Act Fallacy Fallacy.Thomas Hurka - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):509-526.
    John Searle has charged R.M. Hare's prescriptivist analysis of the meaning of ‘good,’ ‘ought’ and the other evaluative words with committing what he calls the ‘speech act fallacy.’ This is a fallacy which Searle thinks is committed not only by Hare's analysis, but by any analysis which attributes to a word the function of indicating that a particular speech act is being performed, or that an utterance has a particular illocutionary force. ‘There is a condition of adequacy which any analysis (...)
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  9. A Surprisingly Common Dilemma.Thomas Hurka - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (1):74-84.
    This paper discusses a dilemma that’s arises for a surprising number of ethical views and that's generated by a thesis they share: they all hold that it's a necessary condition for a thing to have an ethical property like rightness or goodness that it be accompanied by the belief that it has that property (see e.g. Kant (on one reading), Dworkin, Kymlicka, Sidgwick, Sumner, Dorsey). If the required belief is read one way, these views make it necessary, for a thing (...)
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