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 attitudes? Is morality a myth? Is a
morally right course of action one that would be approved by an
impartial observer? Are there moral 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 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 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
- Philosophy 523: Language and Metaphysics (co-taught with Delia
Full publication list in HTML
Full publication list in PDF
2011 NEH Summer Seminar
Last edited: "2014-07-23 13:10:18 gilbertharman"