Experimental posting

Hi. This of very much an experimental post. I’ve recently got a new phone and installed the wordpress app.

I guess in light of the days events there can only really be one thing to talk about. We have seen, live and in high definition, a tragedy of massive scale. The lives of certainly hundreds and likely thousands have been lost, and millions affected. Continue reading


Big ethics post

This was my dissertation. It goes over some of the same ground as the previous ethics posts, but expands somewhat too.


In this essay, I will give a review of normative ethical theories. Although this has been the subject of previous work of mine, I felt I had done insufficient justice to some of the arguments surrounding the general forms of the ethical theories. I also wish to use this opportunity to explore certain theories that I have not covered significantly in my time as a philosophy undergraduate. There will be a degree of overlap in what I take to be the spine of the assignment, namely in the discussions about the generalised forms of the ethical systems, although the focus here is in greater depth and more extended. There will also be a small amount of similarity when discussing the particular forms of consequentialism, as I find there to be only two major theories in the consequential framework. I will attempt, where it will not damage the overall structure of the work, to use different examples and theories as case studies. This explains the omission approaches such as the standard Kantian school and W. D. Ross’ view of prima facie duties among others. Continue reading

Ethical theories

This is yet another university essay, this time looking at normative ethical theories.

Outline the key features of the three main approaches to normative ethics (i.e., virtue ethics, deontological/duty/principle ethics, and consequentialism) and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of these approaches.

In this essay I will outline the main differences between the various approaches to normative ethics. These are virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism. I will first discuss the main features of virtue ethics, then an argument against it that I find it unable to counter. I will then look at the deontological position, again presenting an argument I feel undermines it. I will then discuss my normative preference, consequentialism, defending it against three of the more common criticisms. First, however, I will show how the normative theories are related. Continue reading


This essay in meta-ethics discusses what is of value in the world, and forms the basis for most of the rest of my ethical thought.

What is valuable in the world, why and in what sense, and what follows from this?

In this essay I will discuss which things can be found valuable, outline some reasons why these things may be said to be valuable, and address some of the consequences of my favoured approach. I will do this by explaining and evaluating several common viewpoints. I will start with the holistic, deep ecological, approach of Arna Ness. We will then encounter the individualistic biocentric, or life based, approach as argued by Harley Cahen. Next I will review the pathocentric views of Peter Singer, centred on the capacity for subjective experience such as pain. Then I will discuss the forms of value implicit within Warwick Fox’s distinctions of types of harm. Finally I will look at the value Don Marquis’ puts on a ‘Future Like Ours’. I will then outline my own views. First I will define the sense in which I am using the term ‘value’. Continue reading


Again, this was originally a university essay which I’ve not read for years. I remember not liking phenomonolgy much, as it didn’t seem to follow the same analytic rules.

Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological method is designed to enable us to isolate universal essences, on the basis of experience. Explain and critically assess this method, with particular reference to Locke’s discussion of abstraction in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book iii chapter 3.

In this essay I will outline Husserl’s method of transcendental phenomenology. To do this I will break the method down into the three major stages. The first stage of the method is known as the phenomenological epoche, or transcendental reduction. The second stage will be that of intentional analysis. The third and final stage is that of free imaginative variation. Then I will compare this method with that of abstraction put forward by Locke. I will conclude with a discussion of the relative strengths of Husserl’s and Locke’s positions. First, however, a brief discussion of what Husserl was trying to achieve with the phenomenological method. Continue reading

Truth and facts

The following is an essay from a philosophy module, I think on Logic and Language. I haven’t re-read it to see to what extent I still agree with what I wrote then.

Is the truth of a proposition a matter of its corresponding with a fact?

In this essay I will discuss the correspondence theory of truth, and the claim that the truth of a proposition is a matter of its corresponding with a fact. To do this I will first outline Bertrand Russell’s criteria for a theory of truth. I will then outline the central claim common to correspondence theories. Then we shall see Russell’s structurally isomorphic version of the correspondence theory. I will then discuss Austin’s theory of conventions. Then I will compare a performative account, which is not a correspondence theory. Finally, I will conclude with my own beliefs on the subject. Continue reading

About pixie359

So, another blog pops up. I don’t really know how to start. Or where this is going. Or anything really. I suppose I’ll use this first post as a bit of an introduction. I would quite like to keep at least a veneer of mystique and anonymity, so I won’t use too many personal details, although I doubt I’d be hard to find for anyone who cared enough to bother looking for me. Continue reading