Geoffrey Sayre-McCord

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Geoffrey Sayre-McCord
Geoffrey Sayre-McCord.jpg
Born (1956-12-10) December 10, 1956 (age 63)
NationalityUnited States
EducationBA from Oberlin College and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh
Occupationphilosopher, professor, author
EmployerUniversity of North Carolina
Known formoral realism

Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (né McCord, born December 10, 1956) is a philosopher who works in moral theory, meta-ethics, the history of ethics, and epistemology. He teaches at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also the director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society.

Education and career[edit]

Sayre-McCord received his BA from Oberlin College and his PhD (under the direction of David Gauthier) from the University of Pittsburgh. The recipient of several university-wide teaching awards, Sayre-McCord is the Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at the University of North Carolina, where he has taught since 1985.

Philosophical work[edit]

He is known especially for his work on moral realism and on David Hume's moral theory. He is author of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Moral Realism."[1] He has also written on contractualism. He was, for five years, a co-editor of the journal Noûs.


Selected articles[edit]

  • "Coherence and Models for Moral Theorizing," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1985)
  • "Deontic Logic and the Priority of Moral Theory," Noûs (1986)
  • "The Many Moral Realisms," Southern Journal of Philosophy, Spindel Conference Supplement, (1986)
  • "Moral Theory and Explanatory Impotence," Midwest Studies (1988)
  • "Deception and Reasons to be Moral," American Philosophical Quarterly, (1989)
  • "Functional Explanations and Reasons as Causes," Philosophical Perspectives (1990)
  • "Being a Realist about Relativism," Philosophical Studies (1991)
  • "Normative Explanations," Philosophical Perspectives (1992)
  • "On Why Hume's General Point of View Isn't Ideal -- and Shouldn't Be," Social Philosophy and Policy (1994)
  • "Coherentist Epistemology and Moral Theory," in Moral Knowledge?, ed. by Sinnott-Armstrong and Timmons (1996)
  • "Hume and the Bauhaus Theory of Ethics," Midwest Studies (1996)
  • "Hume's Representation Argument Against Rationalism," Manuscrito (1997)
  • "The Meta-Ethical Problem," Ethics (1997)
  • "'Good' on Twin Earth," Philosophical Issues (1997)
  • "Contractarianism," Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory (1999)
  • "Criminal Justice and Legal Reparations," Philosophical Issues (2001)
  • "Mill's 'Proof': A More than Half-Hearted Defense," Social Philosophy and Policy (2001)
  • "On the Relevance of Ignorance to the Demands of Morality," Rationality, Rules, and Ideals, ed. by Sinnott-Armstrong (2002)
  • "Moral Realism," Oxford Handbook of Moral Theory, ed. by Copp (2006)
  • "Moral Semantics and Empirical Enquiry," Moral Psychology, ed. by Sinnott-Armstrong (2008)
  • "Hume on Practical Morality and Inert Reason," Oxford Studies in Metaethics, ed. by Shafer-Landau (2008)
  • "Sentiments and Spectators: Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Judgment," The Philosophy of Adam Smith, ed. by Brown and Fleischacker (2010)

Edited volumes[edit]

  • Essays on Moral Realism (Cornell University Press, 1988)
  • Hume: Moral Philosophy (Hackett Publishing, 2006)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]