Freshman seminar.The practice of making judgments about right and wrong, of ascribing praise and blame, of deliberating about what one should and should not do -- in short, the entire network of commitments, duties, and customs that makes up that peculiar institution known as "morality" -- is at once the most firmly grounded and the most problematic of human institutions. On the one hand, morality (or something like it) seems an inevitable and perhaps inescapable component of human life. On the other hand, all attempts to find an ultimate basis for
Graduate seminar (co-taught with Derek Parfit).We shall discuss some conflicting views about what matters, normative reasons, how it would be best for things to go, and the wrongness of acts. We shall also discuss some conflicting metaethical views about these views.
Lecture course.An introduction to the theory of knowledge. Topics include skepticism about the external world, the analysis of knowledge, sensitivity and safety, the regress of reasons, foundational vs. coherence views, and internalism vs. externalism.
Graduate seminar. Recent work on the nature, structure, and ultimate grounds of epistemic normativity. Topics include: doxastic voluntarism; the deontic conception of epistemic justification; pragmatic reasons for belief; Pascal's wager; the value of knowledge and true belief; the aim of belief; epistemic consequentialism; and analogies between epistemic and moral norms.
Graduate seminar. Is the widespread practice among analytic philosophers of appealing to "intuitions" about cases legitimate? What, if anything, could establish the legitimacy of that practice? What, if anything, would constitute a viable alternative?