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
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,"
(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
- 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
- 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
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.
- Other topics: normative moral reasoning, evolution of human
argument, polarization, Heidegger.
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Full publication list in PDF
2011 NEH Summer Seminar
Last edited: "2014-12-31 19:48:31 gilbertharman"