Classes

PHIL 173: Metaethics

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

Lecture course. A close examination of three metaethical views that take a deflationary approach toward the moral domain: nihilism, relativism, and expressivism.                                                                                                                 ...

Read more about PHIL 173: Metaethics

PHIL 169: Nozick's _Philosophical Explanations_

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2019
Undergraduate seminar. A close reading of Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick’s neglected masterpiece Philosophical Explanations. Topics include philosophical methodology, the identity of the self, why there is something rather than nothing, knowledge and skepticism, free will and determinism, the foundations of ethics, and the meaning of life.                                                             ... Read more about PHIL 169: Nozick's _Philosophical Explanations_

PHIL 300b: First-Year Colloquium

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2019

First-year graduate seminar. A presentation-intensive seminar on topics in normative philosophy (broadly construed). Open only to first-year graduate students in Harvard's philosophy department.                                                                                                         ...

Read more about PHIL 300b: First-Year Colloquium

PHIL 159: Epistemology

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2018

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, foundationalism vs. infinitism vs. coherentism, and internalism vs. externalism.                                                                                  ...

Read more about PHIL 159: Epistemology

PHIL 252: Norms of Belief

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2017
Graduate seminar (co-taught with Susanna Rinard). Recent work on the norms that govern belief and other doxastic attitudes. Questions to be addressed could include: Are there non-evidential reasons for belief? Is there a distinctively epistemic sense of rationality, and if so, what is its nature? Does belief have an aim, and if so, what is it? Does belief have fittingness conditions, and if so, what are they, and what is their relationship to the question of what one should believe? Can we choose to believe, and what implications does this have (either way) for questions... Read more about PHIL 252: Norms of Belief

FRSEMR 38i: Morality: That Peculiar Institution

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2015

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...

Read more about FRSEMR 38i: Morality: That Peculiar Institution

PHIL 268y: Normative and Meta-Normative Questions

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2015

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.                                          

PHIL 250z: Metaphysical Grounding

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2013

Graduate seminar. Recent work on the metaphysical in-virtue-of relation, with applications to debates in the philosophy of religion, metaphysics, epistemology, metaethics, and normative ethics.                                                                                                      ...

Read more about PHIL 250z: Metaphysical Grounding

PHIL 244: Epistemic Normativity

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2011

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.                                                       ...

Read more about PHIL 244: Epistemic Normativity

PHIL 98hf: Sellars's _Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind_

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2007

Undergraduate tutorial. Wilfrid Sellars’s Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (1956) is a seminal work of mid-twentieth-century analytic philosophy by one of the most important -- and influential -- American philosophers we have ever had. The book is most famous for Sellars’s anti-foundationalist attack on the “myth of the given,” but it is brimming with other important and exciting ideas in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of science, including the first functionalist treatment of thought, Sellars’s intriguing...

Read more about PHIL 98hf: Sellars's _Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind_

PHIL 262: Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2007

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?                                                                                     ...

Read more about PHIL 262: Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology