Some of My Interests.
Teaching Spring 2014
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.
- Other topics: normative moral reasoning, evolution of human
argument, polarization, Heidegger.
Online versions of some of my recent work
- Philosophy 307: Systematic Ethics
We will discuss questions about morality like the following:
- Are moral disputes about moral facts or are they merely expressions of
- Is morality a myth?
- Is a morally right course of action one that would be approved by an impartial observer?
- Are there morally virtuous character traits?
- Is morality a relative matter in the sense that what is right or
wrong is relative to the attitudes of one or another group?
- Do moralities differ in the way languages differ?
- Are they the same in the way languages are the same?
- Is there a single true 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 are 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 an individual always try to promote his or
her own interests?
- Or should people act to promote the general
- Philosophy 523: Modal Logic as Metaphysics (co-taught with Delia
Main text: Timothy Williamson, Modal Logic as Metaphysics (2013).
Full publication list in HTML
Full publication list in PDF
2011 NEH Summer Seminar
Last edited: "2014-08-29 17:13:30 gilbertharman"