NEW OFFICE HOUR: 2 PM Tuesdays and by appointment.
Teaching Spring 2014.
Philosophy 307: Systematic Ethics
The course discusses various questions about morality. Are moral
disputes about moral facts or merely expressions of attitudes? Is
morality a myth? Is a morally right course of action one that would
be approved by an impartial observer? Are there moral virtues? Is
morality a relative matter, in the sense that there are different
moralities in different places or even in the same place? Do
moralities differ in the way languages differ? Are they the same in
the way languages are the same? Is there a single correct morality?
Are moral principles knowable a priori in something like the way
mathematical principles are? Do people have the same basic moral
principles, so that their moral differences based on different
understandings of situations. Do people internalize the principles of
their societies. How should we understand moral terminology, with its
"ought", "must", and "may" How should we understand moral argument
between people or the moral reasoning of particular people? Is egoism
a possible morality? Should or does an individual always try to
promote his or her own interests? Or should people act to promote the
Some of My Interests.
Online versions of some of my recent work
Ethics: moral psychology; guilt, shame, and resentment; analogies between
moral theory and linguistics; virtue ethics; morality as resting
on an implicit actual contract; moral relativism.
Language: conceptual role semantics, truth-functional
linguistic semantics, linguistics, rejection of analyticity.
Mind: consciousness, intention, self-reflexive
states, cognitive science.
Epistemology: induction, statistical learning theory,
psychology of reasoning, pragmatic aspects of reasoning, logic as a
theory of implication not inference, rejection of apriori
knowledge, epistemic foundations, belief as based on assumptions.
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2011 NEH Summer Seminar
Last edited: "2014-03-01 17:41:14 gilbertharman"