About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Many-tentacled monster

Anyone else ever have days when they feel they are in a wrestling match with something like this?

I have to admit that it sometimes feels that way to me when I struggle with big projects, like my current one. You can solve one problem but there always seems to be another one to take its place. Right now, I'm trying to sort out in my mind whether a whole lot of work I've been doing in the past couple of years is strictly necessary for the thesis. Maybe it'll turn out that I could get the same results by sticking with a more off-the-shelf basic theory, rather than doing all the fundamental work in normative theory that's been occupying so much of my time. I'm starting to suspect that I could get many of the same conclusions as I'm reaching just by beginning with rule-utilitarianism. That, of course, does not mean that rule-utilitarianism is correct. It might be a very good practical approximation, though. I need to think about this.