Nicholas Drake

Photo by Dennis Buurman


1. “Review of Normative Concepts, by Matti Eklund,” in: Journal of Moral Philosophy, forthcoming. (Accepted 19 May 2019.)

2. "Love, Reasons, and Desire" in: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2020, online first at


This paper  defends subjectivism about the reasons we have to treat those we love especially well against objections.

3. "A Humean Constructivist Reading of J. S. Mill's Utilitarian Theory," in: Utilitas 28 (2), 2016, pp. 189-214.


This paper was a section of my Honours thesis, which was on the metaethical views of utilitarian philosophers. I argue that Mill is not a moral realist and does not believe in certain kinds of obligations, those involving external reasons and obligations with a particular, strong kind of practical authority. In this paper I argue that Mill’s metaethical position can be interpreted as a Humean constructivist view, but I'd now describe it more simply as moral subjectivism

For an excellent critique of this paper, see Peter Zuk, "Mill's Metaethical Non-cognitivism," Utilitas 30 (3), 2018, pp. 271-293. Zuk gives an argument I agree with, that I was wrong about Mill being a Humean constructivist (or as I’d say now, a subjectivist) about all practical reasons; however, I still think Mill is a subjectivist about moral reasons.

4. "Is Moral Bioenhancement Dangerous?"  in: Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1), 2016 (published online first, 2015), pp. 3-6.

This paper was written for a course I did in my Honours year. The course had three modules, and one was on moral bioenhancement, led by Nick Agar. This a response to his paper "Moral Bioenhancement is Dangerous".

© 2019 by Nicholas Drake