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Instructor: Geoffrey Sayre-McCord. This course meets M 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. in CW 213.

On the Grand Scale of Graduate Courses (which ranges from ‘general survey’ at one end to ‘narrowly focused research seminar’ on the other) Contemporary Moral Theory will lean heavily towards the general survey end.  The central objective of the course is to give participants a working acquaintance with a reasonable chunk of the most important work that has been done in moral theory during the twentieth and early twenty-first century.  Our aim will be to cover those works in contemporary moral theory that every graduate student interested in moral theory should have read before leaving graduate school.  Those who plan to work in moral theory will of course need to read a great deal more; but after the course is over everyone in it should feel comfortable in all but the most specialized discussions in moral theory. Specific reading will be determined in part by the interests and backgrounds of those in the seminar.


Instructor permission is required to enroll in this course. Please email Prof. Geoffrey Sayre-McCord at for permission to add. PHIL grad students are exempt from this enrollment requirement.

Prerequisite (for undergraduates): 2 PHIL courses, including one in value theory.