Philosopher Michael Smith to Discuss Responsible Beliefs and Desires at Amherst College Oct. 30

October 10, 2008     

AMHERST, Mass.—Michael Smith, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, will deliver a talk titled “Beyond Belief and Desire, or: How to Be Orthonomous” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Amherst College’s Fayerweather Hall. Organized by the Amherst College Department of Philosophy and supported by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, the talk is free and open to the public.

Smith’s primary research interests focus on ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of mind and action, political philosophy and philosophy of law. He is the author of The Moral Problem, for which he was awarded the American Philosophical Association Book Prize; Ethics and the A Priori: Selected Essays on Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics; and co-author of Mind, Morality and Explanation: Selected Collaborations. He is also editor of Meta-Ethics and co-editor of Reason and Value: Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy and Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit.

After receiving a B.A. and an M.A. in philosophy at Monash University in Australia, Smith went to the University of Oxford, where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy. He then held teaching appointments at Wadham College in Oxford, Monash, Princeton and the Australian National University before returning to Princeton’s philosophy department in 2004. He has also held various visiting posts at universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Japan and New Zealand. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

The Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science was established in 1983 by Carol Micken and John I. Forry ’66 to promote the study of philosophical issues arising out of new developments in the sciences, including mathematics, and issues in the philosophy and history of science. The theme for this year’s series is “The Philosophy and Science of Weakness of the Will.”

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