Foto på Jonas Olson
Foto på Jonas Olson

Research Areas

Metaethics and related subjects

Academic Background

  • Professor of Practical Philosophy, since autumn 2015.
  • University Lecturer in Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University, since autumn 2008.
  • Tutorial Fellow, Brasenose College; Departmental Lecturer, University of Oxford, September 2005 - September 2008.
  • Ph.D. in Practical Philosophy, Uppsala University, May 2005.
  • Assistant Lecturer, University of Otago, New Zealand, September 2004 - March 2005.
  • M.A. in Practical Philosophy, Lund University, January 2001.

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Paperback edition 2017. (Book symposium in Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (2016): 397-473. Reviews in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Dialogue, Analysis, Philosophy in Review, Ethics, Philosophical Quarterly, and International Journal for the Study of Skepticism. Book note in Australasian Journal of Philosophy.)

Edited Book

The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory (co-edited with Iwao Hirose). New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. (Review in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.) Buy it from OUP and use promotion code AAFLYG6 to get a 30% discount.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

(Most of the forthcoming papers listed below exist in draft and are available on request.)

  1. 'Are Desires De Dicto Fetishistic?' Inquiry 45 (2002): 89-96.
  2. 'Revisiting the Tropic of Value: Reply to Rabinowicz and Rönnow-Rasmussen'. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2003): 412-22. 
  3. 'A Particular Consequentialism: Why Moral Particularism and Consequentialism Need Not Conflict' (with Frans Svensson). Utilitas 15 (2003): 194-2005.
  4. 'Intrinsicalism and Conditionalism about Final Value'. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (2004): 31-52. 
  5. 'Buck-Passing and the Wrong Kind of Reasons'. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2004): 295-300.
  6. 'Regimenting Reasons' (with Frans Svensson). Theoria 71 (2005): 203-14.
  7. 'G. E. Moore on Goodness and Reasons'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2006): 525-34.
  8. 'Brentano and the Buck-Passers' (with Sven Danielsson). Mind 116 (2007): 511-22.
  9. 'Expressivism and Moral Certitude' (with Krister Bykvist). Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2009): 202-15.
  10. 'Reasons and the New Non-Naturalism'. In S. Robertson (ed.), Spheres of Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 164-82. 
  11. 'Fitting Attitude Analyses of Value and the Partiality Challenge'Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2009): 365-78.  
  12. 'The Wrong Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem'Utilitas 21 (2009): 225-32.
  13. 'The Freshman Objection to Expressivism and What to Make of It'. Ratio 23 (2010): 87-101. 
  14. 'In Defence of Moral Error Theory'. In M. Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2011: 62-84.
  15. 'A. C. Ewing's First and Second Thoughts on Metaethics' (with Mark Timmons). In T. Hurka (ed.), Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers from Sidgwick to Ewing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011: 183-211.
  16. 'Error Theory and Reasons for Belief'. In A. Reisner & A. Steglich-Petersen (eds), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011: 75-93.
  17. 'Getting Real about Moral Fictionalism'. In R. Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics vol. 6. Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2011: 181-204.
  18. 'Projectivism and Error in Hume's Ethics', Hume Studies 37 (2011): 19-42.
  19. 'Skorupski's Middle Way in Metaethics', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2012): 192-200. (Invited conribution to a book symposium on John Skorupski's The Domain of Reasons.)
  20. 'Against the Being For Account of Normative Certitude' (with Krister Bykvist), Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2012). At
  21.  'The Personal and the Fitting', Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (2014): 341-52. (Critical notice of Toni Rönnow-Rasmussen's Personal Value.)
  22. 'Rationalism vs. Sentimentalism: Reviewing Price's Review', Philosophical Papers 43 (2014): 429-45.
  23. 'Doubts about Intrinsic Value'. In I. Hirose & J. Olson (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015: 44-59.
  24. 'Introduction to Value Theory' (with Iwao Hirose). In I. Hirose & J. Olson (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015: 1-9.
  25. 'Against Pluralism in Metaethics' (with Jens Johansson). In C. Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015: 593-609.
  26. ‘On the Defensibility and Believability of Moral Error Theory: Reply to Evers, Streumer, and Toppinen’. Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (2016): 461-73. (Contribution to a book symposium on Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence; along with a précis of the book, JMP 13: 397-402.)
  27. 'Two Kinds of Ethical Intuitionism: Brentano's and Reid's'The Monist 100 (2017): 106-19.
  28. 'Brentano's Metaethics'. In U. Kriegel (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Brentano and the Brentano School. New York: Routledge, 2017: 187-95.
  29. 'Non-Cognitivism and Fundamental Moral Certitude: Reply to Eriksson and Francén Olinder' (co-author Krister Bykvist). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2017): 794-9.
  30. 'Error Theory in Metaethics'. In T. McPherson and D. Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge, 2017: 58-71.
  31. 'Nihilism and the Epistemic Profile of Moral Judgement'. Forthcoming in K. Jones, M. Timmons, and A. Zimmerman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology. New York: Routledge.
  32. 'The Metaphysics of Reasons'. Forthcoming in D. Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  33. 'Moral and Epistemic Error Theory: The Parity Premise Reconsidered'. Forthcoming in C. McHugh, J. Way, and D. Witing (eds.), Metaepistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Encyclopaedia Entries 

  1. 'Buck-Passing Accounts' (5000 words). In H. La Follette (ed.), The International Encyclopaedia of Ethics. Oxford: BlackwellWiley: pp. 625-36.
  2. 'Ewing, A. C.' (with Mark Timmons, 3000 words). In The International Encyclopaedia of Ethics: pp. 1817-23.
  3. 'Metaethics' (7000 words). In The International Encyclopaedia of Ethics: pp. 3219-35.


  1. Stephen Darwall, Welfare and Rational Care. Economics and Philosophy 22 (2006): 171-77.
  2. Ingmar Persson, The Retreat of Reason. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (August 2006). 
  3. Robert Audi, The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value. Philosophical Review 115 (2006): 540-42.
  4. Michael Slote, The Ethics of Care and EmpathyAnalysis 69 (2009): 190-92.
  5. Charles Pigden (ed.), Hume on Is and Ought. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2013): 821-4.
  6. Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (November 2013).
  7. David Bakhurst, Brad Hooker, & Margaret O. Little (eds.), Thinking about Reasons: Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Dancy. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (2014): 672-5.
  8. Mark Schroeder, Explaining the Reasons We Share: Explanation and Expression in Ethics, vol. I. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (February 2015).
  9. Thomas Hurka, British Ethical Theorists from Sidgwick to Ewing. Utilitas 28 (2016): 234-7.
  10. Richard Joyce, Essays in Moral Skepticism. Forthcoming in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications (Selection)

  1. 'Sorting Out Reason: On Stoutlands Criticism of the Belief Desire Model' (with Frans Svensson). In K. Segerberg & R. Sliwinski (eds.), A Philosophical Smorgasboard: Essays in Honour of Frederick Stoutland. Uppsala Philosophical Studies 52, 2003: 143-50. (Predecessor of item 6 in the list of peer-reviewed articles.)
  2. 'A Question about Supervenience and Value-Making Properties'. In W. Rabinowicz & T. Rönnow-Rasmussen (eds.). Patterns of Value: Essays on Formal Axiology and Value Analysis vol. 1. Lund Philosophy Reports, 2003: 130-37.
  3. 'Brentano on Pleasure'. Ibid: 138-43.
  4. 'Buck-Passing and the Consequentialism/Deontology Distinction'. In D. Egonsson, J. Josfesson, B. Petersson, & T. Rönnow-Rasmussen (eds.), Hommage a Wlodek: Philosophical Essays in Honour of Wlodek Rabinowicz. Lund University, 2007. 
  5. 'Mackie's Motivational Argument from Queerness Revisited'. In R. Sliwinski & F. Svensson (eds.), Neither/Nor: Philosophucal Essays Dedicated to Erik Carlson on the Occasion of his Fiftieth Birthday. Uppsala Philosophical Studies 58, 2011.

Publications in Swedish

  1. 'Om värdebärare och värdereduktion'. Filosofisk tidskrift 1/2002: 43-54.
  2. 'Partikularistisk konsekventialism' (med Frans Svensson). Filosofisk tidskrift 3/2004.
  3. 'Om moraliska övertygelsers styrka och emotivismens svaghet: Replik till Danielsson' (with Krister Bykvist). Filosofisk tidskrift 4/2010: 16-24.
  4. Review of Bo Sandelin, Adam Smith. Tidskrift för politisk filosofi 2011: 51-57. 
  5. 'Förnuft och känsla: Rationalism, sentimentalism och Humes metaetik'. In R. Callergård (ed.), Förnuft, känsla och moral: Perspektiv på David Hume. Stockholm: Thales, 2011.
  6. Review of Stefan Björklund, En anständig individualism: Adam Smith flankerad av Francis Hutcheson och David Hume. Filosofisk tidskrift 4/2014.
  7. Review of S. Eliaeson, P. Mindus, and S. P. Turner (eds.), Axel Hägerström and Modern Social Thought. Filosofisk tidskrift 1/2016.
  8. 'Bergström om normativa skäl'. Filosofisk tidskrift 2/2017.
  9. Review of Lena Halldenius, Mary Wollstonecraft, feminismen och frihetens förutsättningar. Forthcoming in Filosofisk tidskrift.

Current Project

'A Controversy Started of Late': Rationalism and Sentimentalism in 18th Century Metaethics. Three-year project commencing January 2014, funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.