My account of pattern-based reasons was presented in my first book, Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation, which was published by Routledge in 2008. I am fortunate that this book received some generous reviews.

Brad Hooker reviewed the book for the publishers:

The philosophical content in this manuscript is highly sophisticated, packed with conceptual subtlety and innovation, with new arguments on nearly every page . . .  Woodard is advancing a moral theory that is both novel and plausible, which is a striking achievement, given how many people are trying and failing to do this.

Tim Mulgan reviewed it in Mind:

This is an excellent, sophisticated, thought-provoking book. It makes a real contribution to a central issue in teleological ethics. Anyone interested in teleological ethics will learn a great deal from this book.

Rob Lawlor reviewed it in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:

[The] focus on pattern-based reasons (and also on the pluralist approach) seems to me to be an important contribution to moral theory . . .  Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation offers a new theory that could be a candidate for the title of most plausible version of consequentialism.

Mitch Parsell reviewed it in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy:

This beautifully concise monograph is an invaluable resource for those interested in pattern-based reasons, cooperation and pluralistic approaches in ethics. The book contains a range of resources for categorizing and evaluating ethical positions, and some tremendously interesting extensions of traditional thought experiments to illustrate the centrality of structural claims to ethics. I highly recommend it.


I am currently finishing a second book, provisionally titled Taking Utilitarianism Seriously, in which I present a revised theory of pattern-based reasons, and discuss a range of common objections to utilitarianism.