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Instructor: Geoffrey Sayre-McCord. This course meets T 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. in CW 213.

The seminar will be on Hume’s Moral Theory.

For a long time I have been working on various aspects of Hume’s moral theory with the aim of getting a coherent, attractive, and plausible interpretation of his  view and the important arguments people have found (or thought that they have found) in it. I believe I have such an interpretation up and running that is pretty comprehensive, psychologically realistic, and morally appealing. Yet it is one that differs in crucial respects from the standard interpretations of Hume’s theory. So, for instance, I argue that Hume rejects motivational internalize about moral judgments, offers a standard for moral judgments that gives them truth conditions, rejects utilitarianism, defends a robust theory of practical reason, and a plausible theory of justice, all while capturing much of what is appealing about public reason political philosophy The idea of the course is to work through Hume’s views, my interpretation of them (spread across a lot of paper that I am working into a book), and the alternative interpretations in the literature and in the seminar room.


Please note: This course counts as “participation only” for PHIL grad students.

Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in this course. PHIL grad students are exempt from this enrollment requirement.