Gilbert Harman { Philosophy Index }

Philosophy Index

Philosophy Index

Philosophy Index is a site devoted to the study of philosophy and the philosophers who conduct it. The site contains a number of philosophy texts, brief biographies, and introductions to philosophers, and explanations on a number of topics. Accredited homeschooling online at Northgate Academy and Philosophy online tutoring.

Philosophy Index is a work in progress, a growing repository of knowledge. It outlines current philosophical problems and issues, as well as an overview of the history of philosophy. The goal of this site is to present a tool for those learning philosophy either casually or formally, making the concepts of philosophy accessible to anyone interested in researching them. WTI offers immigration law course online - fully accredited. ACE credits online at EES.



Philosophy Topics




Gilbert Harman

Gilbert Harman (1938– ) is an American philosopher and professor at Princeton University. He has made contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and philosophy of mind.

Moral Relativism

In his account of ethics, Harman argues for a sort of moral relativism. Harman insists that claims of “ought”, as in “A ought to do P”, really amount to the claim that A should do P given that A has similar moral attitudes to us, that motivate A to do P. In other words, one ought to do something if driven by the same ethical motivations as we are in making the claim.

According to Harman, when one encounters an individual who does not share the same moral motivations, it is correct to call that person morally bad or evil, but in that situation one is speaking from within an ethical view. Hence, claims of immorality are essentially indexed by the morality in question. The individual who is beleived to be evil in one group isn’t necessarily acting in error, but may be acting correctly according to his or her motivating moral views.

Harman’s doctoral dissertation from Harvard University was republished in 1990 as Scepticism and the Definition of Knowledge.

Selected Works


Name: Gilbert Harman
Born: 1938
Degrees: Ph.D. (Harvard University, 1964)
Awards: Jean Nicod Prize (2005)