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.
Research Expertise Moral Philosophy, Happiness and the Good Life, Socrates and the Examined Life, Moral Epistemology, Contractarianism and Rational Choice Theory.
Teaching Expertise Moral Philosophy, Happiness and the Good Life, Socrates and the Examined Life, Moral Epistemology, Contractarianism and Rational Choice Theory.
PhD, Australian National University
Master of Arts (Honours), University of Wollongong
Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours), University of Wollongong
Graduate Diploma of Philosophy, University of Wollongong
Rational Choice Theory
Fields of Research
Organisation / Department
University of Newcastle School of Humanities and Social Science Australia
Mintoff JG, 'Peer disagreement and epistemic justification', Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference (AAP2010) Abstracts (2010) [E3]
Palmer 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 (2010) [E3]