Universalism in ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L108-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 15, 2024, from

References and further reading

  • Bentham, J. (1789) An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, ed. J.H. Burns and H.L.A. Hart, revised F. Rosen, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.

    (Classic statement of utilitarianism.)

  • Cicero, M.T. (54–51) De Republica, trans. M. Grant, On Government, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1993, books III, V and VI.

    (Early form of universalism about scope of moral principles.)

  • Gewirth, A. (1987) ‘The Golden Rule Rationalized’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 3: 133–144.

    (Modern form of universalism, with affinities to golden rules.)

  • Gewirth, A. (1988) ‘Ethical Universalism and Particularism’, Journal of Philosophy 85: 283–301.

    (A universalist approach to ethical judgment.)

  • Hare, R.M. (1963) Freedom and Reason, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    (Basic source on universal prescriptivism.)

  • Hare, R.M. (1975) ‘Abortion and the Golden Rule’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 3: 201–222.

    (Application of universal prescriptivism to problem of abortion; includes discussion of golden rules.)

  • Herman, B. (1993) The Practice of Moral Judgment, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    (Insightful discussions of difficulties raised about Kantian ethics.)

  • Kant, I. (1781/1787) Kritik der Reinen Vernunft, trans. N. Kemp Smith, Critique of Pure Reason, London: Macmillan, 1973.

    (Locus classicus for Kant’s insistence that there cannot be complete rules for judgment.)

  • Kant, I. (1785) Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, in Kants gesammelte Schriften, ed. Königlichen Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin: Reimer, vol. 4, 1903; trans. H.J. Paton, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (originally The Moral Law), London: Hutchinson, 1948; repr. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.

    (References made to this work in the entry give the page number from the 1903 Berlin Akademie volume; these page numbers are included in the Paton translation. Classic, short, if difficult, exposition of Kant’s ethics.)

  • McDowell, J. (1979) ‘Virtue and Reason’, Monist 62 (3): 331–350; revised version repr. as ‘Non-cognitivism and Rule Following’, in S. Holtzman and C. Leach (eds) Wittgenstein: To Follow a Rule, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. 141–162.

    (An influential statement of a radical particularist position, which questions the very possibility of following rules or principles.)

  • Mill, J.S. (1861) Utilitarianism, in J.M. Robson (ed.) Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, vol. 10, Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969.

    (Account of utilitarianism expanding on Bentham.)

  • O’Neill, O. (1987) ‘Abstraction, Idealization and Ideology in Ethics’, in J.D.G. Evans (ed.) Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Problems, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (What is abstraction? Is it avoidable? Is it harmful? In asking these questions, this essay is particularly relevant to §§2 and 3.)

  • O’Neill, O. (1989) Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant’s Practical Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Papers on patterns of universalist ethical reasoning that use Kant’s categorical imperative.)

  • O’Neill, O. (1991) ‘Kantian Ethics’, in P. Singer (ed.) A Companion to Ethics, Oxford: Blackwell, 175–185.

    (Overview of Kant’s position and some well-known criticisms).

  • Plato (c.386–380) Meno, in Protagoras and Meno, trans. W.K.C. Guthrie, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1956.

    (Discusses the nature of virtue.)

  • Potter, N. and Timmons, M. (1985) Morality and Universality: Essays on Ethical Universalizability, Dordrecht: Reidel.

    (Useful papers on different conceptions of universality in ethics; large bibliography.)

  • Reiner, H. (1983) ‘The Golden Rule and the Natural Law’, in Duty and Inclination: The Fundamentals of Morality Discussed and Redefined with Special Regard to Kant and Schiller, trans. M. Santos, The Hague: Nijhoff, 271–293.

    (Historical overview; useful references especially to German literature.)

  • Singer, P. (1972) ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 1: 229–243.

    (Well-known utilitarian argument to show that beneficence should have cosmopolitan scope: the affluent should help the hungry however far away they may be.)

  • Wattles, J. (1996) The Golden Rule, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Examines the principle ‘Do to others as you want others to do to you’ in contexts of psychology, philosophy and religion, from Confucius, Hillel and Jesus to R.M. Hare and Paul Ricoeur.)

  • Wiggins, D. (1980) ‘Deliberation and Practical Reason’, in Needs, Values, Truth: Essays in the Philosophy of Value, Aristotelian Society Series, vol. 6, Oxford: Blackwell, 1987; revised edn, 1991.

    (A particularist reading of Aristotle on judgment.)

  • Williams, B. (1985) Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and London: Fontana.

    (Particularist criticism of aspects of ethical universalism.)

Citing this article:
O'Neill, Onora. Bibliography. Universalism in ethics, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L108-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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