Nagel, Thomas (1937–)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD087-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 24, 2024, from

List of works

  • Nagel, T. (1970) The Possibility of Altruism, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    (Incorporates material from Nagel’s B.Phil. and Ph.D. theses. Focuses on the motivational basis for morality, arguing that altruism is a basic rational requirement on moral action. This first work gives a stronger role to the objective standpoint and its deliverances than does Nagel’s subsequent work in moral philosophy.)

  • Nagel, T. (1979) Mortal Questions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Essays on a wide variety of topics that were published between 1969 and 1979, including the highly influential ‘Moral Luck’ and ‘What is it like to be a bat?’. Several essays deal with issues of public policy and are motivated by events and policies associated with the Vietnam War.)

  • Nagel, T., Cohen, M. and Scanlon T. (1980) Marx, Justice and History, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    (Essays by a variety of authors in Philosophy and Public Affairs from 1972 to 1979 that bring together contemporary analytic moral philosophy and Marxist social theory.)

  • Nagel, T. (1986) The View From Nowhere, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Presents Nagel’s systematic and comprehensive treatment of the fundamental philosophical issues in terms of the essential duality between objective and subjective points of view and the distinctive facts and values that they make available.)

  • Nagel, T. (1987) What Does It All Mean?, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (A concise and ‘direct’ or nonhistorical introduction to nine basic philosophical problems.)

  • Nagel, T. (1991) Equality and Partiality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Incorporates Nagel’s 1990 John Locke Lectures. A detailed development of Nagel’s proposal that the central problem of political theory– that of reconciling the conflicts between the individual and society – is posed by the division between these standpoints within each individual and needs to be addressed accordingly.)

  • Nagel, T. (1995) Other Minds: Critical Essays, 1969–1994, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (These essays focus on the views of particular philosophers in the philosophy of mind and in ethics and political theory. In the philosophy of mind, Nagel addresses the views of Freud, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Fodor and Dennett among others. In ethics and political theory, Nagel treats the views of philosophers such as Rawls, Nozick, MacIntyre and Williams as well as Schelling and Kolakowski. The book opens with a fascinating intellectual autobiography entitled ‘Introduction: The Philosophical Culture’.)

References and further reading

  • Darwall, S. (1987) ‘The View From Nowhere’, Ethics 98: 137–157.

    (Focuses on Nagel’s normative realism, §5 of this entry. Criticizes the account of agent-relative reasons while arguing that Nagel’s views on autonomy provide the resources for a successful account.)

  • McGinn, C. (1987) ‘The View From Nowhere’, Mind 96: 263–272.

    (Focuses primarily on Nagel’s discussion of the mind–body problem, §4 of this entry.)

  • Peacocke, C. (1989) ‘No Resting Place: A Critical Notice of The View From Nowhere by Thomas Nagel’, Philosophical Review 98: 65–82.

    (Focuses on Nagel’s account of conscious states and his normative realism, §§4 and 5 of this entry.)

  • Raz, J. (1990) ‘Facing Diversity: The Case of Epistemic Abstinence’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 19: 3–46.

    (Criticizes John Rawls’ as well as Nagel’s attempt to accommodate the diversity of views in pluralistic societies with the notion that justified political arrangements and actions require individual consent, §6 of this entry.)

Citing this article:
Sedivy, Sonia. Bibliography. Nagel, Thomas (1937–), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD087-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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