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Gilbert Harman (born 1938) is a contemporary American philosopher, teaching at Princeton University, who has published widely on Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics and the philosophies of Language and Mind.

Harman shares the belief of his Ph.D. advisor Willard Van Orman Quine that philosophy and science are continuous, as well as his skepticism about conceptual analysis. As a moral philosopher, he is best-known for his explanatory argument for moral anti-realism and for his defense of ethical relativism, most recently and comprehensively in Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996). More recently, he has attacked the idea that people have set characters of the sort that could ground virtue ethics. He was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in Paris in 2005.

He is the father of Elizabeth Harman, also a philosopher, who will join the Princeton faculty in 2006.

He was educated at Swarthmore College and Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy.



  • Thought (Princeton,1973) ISBN 0-691-07188-8
  • The Nature of Morality: An Introduction to Ethics (Oxford,1977) ISBN 0-19-502143-6
  • Change in View: Principles of Reasoning (MIT,1986) ISBN 0-262-58091-8
  • Scepticism and the Definition of Knowledge (Garland,1990) [This is Gilbert Harman's doctoral dissertation which was submitted to Harvard University in 1964]
  • (with Judith Jarvis Thomson), Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity (Blackwell,1996) ISBN 0-631-19211-5
  • Reasoning, Meaning and Mind (Clarendon,1999) ISBN 0-19-823802-9
  • Explaining Value and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy (Clarendon,2000) ISBN 0-19-823804-5


  • (with Donald Davidson), Semantics of Natural Language (D. Reidel,1972)
  • On Noam Chomsky: Critical Essays (Anchor,1974)
  • (with Donald Davidson), The Logic of Grammar (Dickenson,1975)
  • Conceptions of the Human Mind: Essays in Honor of George A. Miller (Laurence Erlbaum,1993)

See also

External links

is:Gilbert Harman

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