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)

Teaching Spring 2015
  • Delia Fara and Gilbert Harman, Philosophy 523: Modal Logic as Metaphysics (Mondays 1pm to 3:40pm.)
    • The seminar will carefully study Timothy Williamson's important book, Modal Logic as Metaphysics (2013), following roughly the following tentative schedule.
      • February 2. Chapter 1, "Contingentism and Necessitism," and pp. 30-44 of Chapter 2, "The Barcan Formula and Its Converse: Early Developments".
      • February 9, Rest of Chapter 2, pp. 45-80.
      • February 16. Part of Chapter 3, "Possible Worlds Model Theory," pp. 81-118.
      • February 23. Rest of Chapter 3, pp. 119-147 and beginning of Chapter 4, "Predication and Modality," pp. 148-158.
      • March 2. Rest of Chapter 4, pp. 159-194.
      • March 9. Chapter 5, "From First-Order to Higher-Order Modal Logic," pp. 195-229.
      • (March 15: Princeton Spring break.)
      • March 23. Rest of Chapter 5, pp. 230-261.
      • March 30. Chapter 6, "Intensional Comprehension Principles and Metaphysics," pp. 262-300.
      • April 6. Chapter 7, "Mappings between Contingentist and Necessitist Discourse," pp. 305-339
      • April 13. Rest of Chapter 7, pp. 340-375.
      • April 20. Chapter 8, "Consequences of Necessitism," pp. 376-390.
      • April 27. Rest of Chapter 8 and "Methodological Afterword," pp.391-429.
  • Gilbert Harman, Philosophy 307: Systematic Ethics
    • Lectures Monday and Wednesday 11-11:50 am, plus a precept. 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?

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.
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: "2014-12-31 19:48:31 gilbertharman"