Michael Ridge


  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 13.15

40 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


Michael Ridge joined the Philosophy Department at Edinburgh in October, 2001. He received a BA in philosophy from Wake Forest University in 1992. After spending a year as the head debate coach at the University of Louisville (1992/1993) he went on to receive an MA from Tufts University in 1995, an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997 and a PhD in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. After completing his degree at Chapel Hill he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Philosophy Program at the Australian National University, Research School of Social Sciences. His doctoral dissertation was in moral theory and he continues to focus his research in moral and political philosophy, though he also has substantial research interests in action theory, the philosophy of mind and the history of philosophy.

Professor Ridge’s primary work is in meta-ethics. In a series of articles he has developed and defended a new form of meta-ethical expressivism ("Ecumenical Expressivism") which attempts to incorporate important cognitivist elements while preserving the main advantages of expressivism. He is currently writing a book-length defense of this view. Professor Ridge also had done considerable work on the debate over moral particularism and moral generalism, culminating in his co-authored (with Sean McKeever) book in that area, Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal (OUP). He intends to do more work on this topic in the future. He has also done work on a number of side projects, ranging from duties of reparation for historical injustices to the development of new ways of understanding rule consequentialism. In future work he intends to work more on the intersection of meta-ethics and meta-epistemology, possibly leading to collaborative work with Dr Chrisman and Professor Pritchard.



  • Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal, with Oxford University Press, 2006 (with Sean McKeever)

Recent Articles

  • "Giving the Dead Their Due," Ethics, October, 2003, pp. 38-59.
  • "How Children Learn the Meanings of Moral Words," Ethics, January, 2004, pp. 301-317.
  • "Epistemology Moralized: David Hume's Practical Epistemology," Hume Studies, 2003, November (29: 2), pp. 165-204.
  • "Universalizability for Collective Rational Agents: A Critique of Agent-Relativism," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2005, January (70: 1), pp. 34-66.
  • "Non-Cognitivist Pragmatics and Stevenson's 'Do so as well!'," Canadian Journal of Philosophy, December, 2003, pp. 563-574.
  • "The Many Moral Particularisms," Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2005, pp. 83-106 (with Sean McKeever).
  • "Sincerity and Expressivism," Philosophical Studies, 2006, pp. 487-510.
  • "Why Must We Treat Humanity With Respect? Evaluating the Regress Argument," European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2005, pp.57-74.
  • "Ecumenical Expressivism: Finessing Frege," Ethics, 2006, pp. 302-336.
  • "How to be a Rule-Utilitarian: Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism," Philosophical Quarterly, 2006, pp. 242-253.
  • "Turning On Default Reasons," forthcoming, Journal of Moral Philosophy (with Sean McKeever).
  • "Particularism and the Contingent A Priori," Act Analytica, 2006, pp. 3-11 (with Sean McKeever).
  • "Ecumenical Expressivism: The Best of Both Worlds?" Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume two, Oxford University Press, January, 2006, pp. 302-336.
  • "Epistemology for Ecumenical Expressivists," forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
  • "Saving the Ethical Appearances," Mind, 2006, pp. 633-650.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Exam Board Convener

Undergraduate teaching

Moral and Political Philosophy

Office hours

Tuesday: 1pm - 2pm

Current PhD students supervised

Research summary

Moral and Political Philosophy, Action Theory, Philosophy of Mind.