Staff Profile

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Career Summary

Biography

Joe Mintoff is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Newcastle, Australia, with teaching and research interests in moral philosophy.

(a) His current work is in moral epistemology, the philosophy of Socrates, and ancient approaches to the question of how one should live. His articles in this area have appeared in Ratio, American Philosophical Quarterly, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy.

His current projects are motivated by the familiar Socratic slogan that the unexamined life is not worth living, and are concerned to examine the specific role (if any) philosophy and critical thinking have to play in living well. These projects include the following:

• "A Deontic Solution to the Swamping Problem" – We want to know the good in order to attain it, but, if that is our reason, then won't true belief do just as well?

• "Zagzebski on Religious Knowledge" – Are religious believers epistemically responsible to trust their communities and those individuals whose wisdom they admire?

• "Philosophy and Peer Disagreement" – If two people are cognitive peers with the same access to the evidence and arguments on some question, then could it nevertheless be reasonable for them to disagree?

• "Gaita on Modern Moral Philosophy" – In getting students to think seriously about whether (eg) evil is an illusion, does moral philosophy thereby corrupt its students?

(b) His previous work has focused on the theory of rational choice, specifically on the articulation and defense of the concept of "minimally constrained maximization" as a unified general solution to the well-known paradoxes of rationality, including the paradox of deterrence and the prisoner's dilemma, and application of that concept to issues as diverse as the possibility of a utilitarian justification of legal rights with moral force and the prospects of true friendship between egoists. His articles in this area have appeared in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, and Ethics.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Australian National University, 01/10/1993
  • Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours), University of Wollongong
  • Master of Arts (Honours), University of Wollongong
  • Graduate Diploma of Philosophy, University of Wollongong

Research

Research keywords

  • Contractarianism
  • Examined Life
  • Good Life
  • Happiness
  • Moral Epistemology
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Socrates

Research expertise

Moral Philosophy, Happiness and the Good Life, Socrates and the Examined Life, Moral Epistemology, Contractarianism and Rational Choice Theory

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
220305Ethical Theory50
220304Epistemology40
220302Decision Theory10

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Contractarianism
  • Examined Life
  • Good Life
  • Happiness
  • Moral Epistemology
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Socrates

Teaching expertise

Moral Philosophy, Happiness and the Good Life, Socrates and the Examined Life, Moral Epistemology, Contractarianism and Rational Choice Theory

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2006Mintoff JG, 'Could an Egoist be a Friend?', American Philosophical Quarterly, 43 101-118 (2006) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2004Mintoff JG, 'Is an Agreement an Exchange of Intentions?', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 85 44-67 (2004) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2003Mintoff JG, 'Can Utilitarianism Justify Legal Rights with Moral Force?', University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 151 887-915 (2003) [C2]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2002Mintoff JG, 'How Can Intentions Make Actions Rational?', Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 32 331-354 (2002) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2008Mintoff JG, 'Minimally constrained maximization: An outline', Reasons and Intentions, Ashgate Publishing, Surrey 85-112 (2008) [B1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Chapter (4 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Mintoff JG, 'Did Alcibiades learn justice from the many?', Alcibiades and the Socratic Lover-Educator, Bristol Classical Press, London 90-106 (2012) [B1]
2010Mintoff JG, 'The examined life: Outline of a neo-socratic argument', An Anthology of Philosophical Studies. Volume 4, Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece 37-45 (2010) [B1]
2009Mintoff JG, 'Singer on finding meaning through doing good', On the Ethical Life, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne 132-139 (2009) [B1]
2008Mintoff JG, 'Minimally constrained maximization: An outline', Reasons and Intentions, Ashgate Publishing, Surrey 85-112 (2008) [B1]
Show 1 more

Journal article (17 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Mintoff J, 'Recasting Analytic Philosophy on the Problem of Evil', Sophia, 52 51-54 (2013) [C1]
2013Mintoff JG, 'On the Quantitative Doctrine of the Mean', The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 51 445-464 (2013) [C1]
2009Mintoff JG, 'In defense of the ideal of a life plan', Southern Journal of Philosophy, 47 159-186 (2009) [C1]
2008Mintoff J, 'Transcending absurdity (Thomas Nagel)', RATIO, 21 64-84 (2008) [C1]
2008Mintoff JG, 'Transcending absurdity', Ratio, 21 64-84 (2008) [C1]
2006Mintoff JG, 'Could an Egoist be a Friend?', American Philosophical Quarterly, 43 101-118 (2006) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2004Mintoff JG, 'Is an Agreement an Exchange of Intentions?', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 85 44-67 (2004) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2004Mintoff JG, 'Tabensky on The Unity of Life and the Skill of Living', South African Journal of Philosophy, 23 353-364 (2004) [C1]
2004Mintoff JG, 'Rule Worship and the Stability of Intention', Philosophia, 31 401-426 (2004) [C2]
2003Mintoff JG, 'Can Utilitarianism Justify Legal Rights with Moral Force?', University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 151 887-915 (2003) [C2]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2002Mintoff JG, 'How Can Intentions Make Actions Rational?', Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 32 331-354 (2002) [C1]

Journal Ranked A* in ARC ERA HCA journal list. Sole Author.

2001Mintoff JG, 'Buridan's Ass and reducible intentions', Journal of Philosophical Research, 26 207-221 (2001) [C1]
2000Mintoff JG, 'Is Rational Voluntary Constraint Possible?', Dialogue, XXXIX 339-364 (2000) [C1]
1999Mintoff JG, 'Are Decisions Motive-Perpetuating?', Analysis, 59 266-275 (1999) [C1]
1999Mintoff JG, 'Decision-making and the Backward Induction Argument', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 80 64-76 (1999) [C1]
1998Mintoff JG, 'Defending Instrumental Reason', Southern Journal of Philosophy, 36 393-415 (1998) [C1]
1998Mintoff JG, 'Hume and Instrumental Reason', Journal of Value Inquiry, 32 519-538 (1998) [C1]
Show 14 more

Conference (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2010Mintoff JG, 'Peer disagreement and epistemic justification', Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference (AAP2010) Abstracts, Sydney, NSW (2010) [E3]
2010Palmer L, Levett-Jones TL, Mintoff JG, McMillan MA, 'Teaching moral reasoning: Challenges for undergraduate nursing education', Rethinking Learning in Your Discipline. Proceedings of the University Learning and Teaching Futures Colloquium, 2010, Armidale, NSW (2010) [E3]

Co-authors: Tracy Levett-jones

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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants4
Total funding$10,330

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2002 (1 grants)

Reasons, Intention and Morality, Amsterdam, 21-22 June 2002$2,400
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Joe Mintoff
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,40020022002
GNo:G0181937

1999 (1 grants)

Rationality and Intentions Amsterdam, The Netherlands.$930
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Joe Mintoff
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$93019991999
GNo:G0180457

1997 (1 grants)

Pragmatic Intentions and Morality: an attempt to develop a pragmatic account of rational intention, and to apply the results to a justification of morality and$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Joe Mintoff
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00019971997
GNo:G0176607

1995 (1 grants)

Pragmatic intentions and morality: an attempt to develop a pragmatic account of rational intention, and to apply the results to a justification of morality and$5,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Joe Mintoff
SchemeRole
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$5,00019951995
GNo:G0175701
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2013PhD (Philosophy)Co-SupervisorThe Moral Theology of Kenneth Kirk, Bishop of Oxford: Studies in its Development, Application and Influence
2011PhD (Classics)Co-SupervisorThe Foundations of Aristotle's Ethics
2005PhD (Philosophy)Sole SupervisorMoral Thinking
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Dr Joseph (Joe) Mintoff

Work Phone(02) 4921 5181
Fax(02) 4921 6928
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaPhilosophy, Religion and Theology
Office
MC114,
McMullin Building,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/joseph-mintoff