I. Ethics and Intuitions

  1. Frances Kamm  

In Search of the Deep Structure of Morality

  2. Peter Singer            

Each of Us Is Just One Among Others

  3. Daniel Kahneman 

Can We Trust Our Intuitions?

 II. Virtue and Flourishing

  4. Philippa Foot          

The Grammar of Goodness

  5. Alasdair MacIntyre 

The Illusion of Self-Sufficiency

 III. Ethics and Evolution

   6. Ken Binmore

 The Origin of Fairness

   7. Allan Gibbard     

 A Pragmatic Justification of Morality

 IV. Unity and Dissent

   8. T.M. Scanlon

 The Kingdom of Ends on the Cheap

   9. Bernard Williams  

 A Mistrustful Animal

 V. Love and Morality

  10. Harry Frankfurt   

  The Necessity of Love

  11. David Velleman     

  Really Seeing Another


Reviews of Conversations on Ethics, Oxford University Press (hardback; Kindle; paperback).



Intellectually stimulating and highly entertaining  (...)  Voorhoeve has a knack for teasing out revealing answers.  His probing questions often bring out the weakest or most revealing parts of the interviewed philosophers' views (...) Exciting.

Krister Bykvist, The Philosophers' Magazine 49 (2010): 110-1. Full review here.


[A] beautifully produced collection. (...) A pleasure to read as well as philosophically valuable. Overall, it is an excellent book, providing something different, involving and very welcome.

Hugh Upton, Philosophical Investigations 33 (2010): 380-3. Full review here.


A superb collection of interviews with leading figures in moral philosophy: Voorhoeve deftly limns the broad outlines of their thought and paints a physical picture of the setting, before interrogating his subjects' theories.  (...)   [A]n exemplary demonstration of philosophical discussion in action.

Steven Poole, The Guardian (6 February 2010). Full review here.


The dialogue is always insightful. (...) The interviewees turn out to be genuine philosophers, diligent and enormously intelligent but nonetheless struggling and fallible. The value of Voorhoeve's book is that it shows how great minds come to their ideas and come to disagree on fundamental issues. (...) I can recommend it to anyone who wants to delve deeper into ethics.

Bart Engelen, Ethical Perspectives 17 (2010): 680-3. Full review here.


[A] delight, both in conception and in execution. (...) Voorhoeve's engagement with each thinker is informed, precise, clear, and insightful. Each interview is a pleasure to read. I can highly recommend Conversations on Ethics as worthwhile for anyone interested in ethics. 

Lauren Tillinghast, Philosophical Practice 5 (2010): 712-3. Full review here.


Probes positions in a precise and clear way.  (...) The conversational form is  refreshing when compared with other textual forms, like the monograph. (...)  Not only does it provide readers with the outline of each interviewee's position, but it also offers a personal impression of each thinker. (...) Exciting.

Uta Bittner, Zeitschrift fuer medizinische Ethik 56 [4] (2010): 376-8 Full review here.


Voorhoeve has a real gift for detecting the vulnerable parts in any thinker's argumentation and exposing them in a manner that forces the philosopher to produce a more comprehensive account of her or his views. (...) [A]n excellent illustration of the two desiderata that have inspired philosophical inquiry since the time of Socrates: (...) a special ability for critical thinking [and] a demand for honesty and authenticity.

Cristian Iftode, Public Reason 2 (2010): 96-100. Full review here.


Accessible and even potentially thrilling for the non specialist. (...) Voorhoeve excels in many conversations at probing the ideas of his interlocutor. (...) A great contribution to the field.

Francois Claveau, Ethics & Economics 7 (2010). Full review here.


Richly instructive and delightful to read. Voorhoeve has a sophisticated command of his interlocutors' philosophical views, and his questions often hit the nail on the head. (...) The conversational method, with its unique ability to dwell on the more obscure or vulnerable junctions of a philosophical view, helps deepen our understanding of what is sometimes hidden between the lines of systematic texts. (...)  [I}t provides the most valuable insights on the nature of ethics.  

Shlomo Cohen, Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2010): 63-77. Full review here.


Nietzsche said that all great problems demand great love. (...) Nietzsche was a hard man to please. But he would have felt some satisfaction with Voorhoeve's eleven interviews. His philosophers fight for their theories, defending them ferociously and lovingly. (...)  Almost always, one falls in with their reasoning--at least, this is what happened to me. But, of course, this leads to inconsistency. For the difference in their views is far too great. This is bewildering, and teaches us a good lesson: not to be unmovable in one's attachments to one's moral views. (...) It shows just how difficult moral calculation and justification of one's views to others is.

Jan Greven, Trouw (a Dutch daily newspaper, 2010; click here for the full article; translation mine.)


This book beautifully refutes the idea that engaging with philosophical questions is difficult and tiring.

Uta Bittner & Tobias Eichinger, Philosophisches Jahrbuch 118 (2011): 161-5. Full review here; translation mine.


I have rarely enjoyed a philosophy book as much. Voorhoeve's bold effort really works. He cunningly brings ethical theory to life through insightful conversations with key philosophers and scientists. Not only do the issues come alive, but the participants do as well. Don't miss the chance to eavesdrop on these conversations.

Norman Daniels, Harvard University


Voorhoeve has interviewed many of the most interesting and influential recent thinkers on ethical topics, expertly focusing on their core positions and arguments in a series of insightful philosophical dialogues. In doing so he has produced not only a comprehensive introduction to contemporary ethical thought, but also a real sense of the human beings behind the writings.

Jonathan Wolff, University College London


Information on an evening on the book at the Harvard Humanities Center. Reported in the Harvard Crimson.


An evening on the book at philosophical cafe Felix & Sofie (Amsterdam); on their books of the month list for November 2009.


An interview about the book in the Journal of Moral Philosophy, with John Garthoff.


Chinese translation (2015).

Xinhua Press. ISBN: 978-7-5166-1238-5