Gilbert Harman

Gilbert Harman

Department of Philosophy
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1006

Phone: 609-258-4301
Fax: 609-258-1502

Change in View: Principles of Reasoning
(Available from MIT Press and Amazon)

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 general welfare?

Some of My Interests.

  • 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.
Online versions of some of my recent work

Full publication list in HTML

Full publication list in PDF


Upcoming Events in Cognitive Science in and around Princeton.


2011 NEH Summer Seminar
  • Twentieth Century American Philosophy: Quine and Davidson, directed with Ernie Lepore: Seminar Web Site.

Last edited: "2014-03-16 20:02:28 gilbertharman"