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)

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.
  • Other topics: normative moral reasoning, evolution of human argument, polarization, Heidegger.
Teaching Spring 2015
  • 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 attitudes?
      • 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 welfare?
  • Philosophy 523: Modal Logic as Metaphysics (co-taught with Delia Fara)
    • Main text: Timothy Williamson, Modal Logic as Metaphysics (2013).
Online versions of some of my recent work

Full publication list in HTML

Full publication list in PDF



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

Last edited: "2014-10-18 10:05:08 gilbertharman"