Allan Gibbard
Allan Gibbard

Allan Gibbard

Richard B. Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy
University of Michigan

Thinking How to Live Together

Lecture I: Insight, Consistency, and Plans for Living
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Michael E. Bratman

Lecture II: Living Together: Economic and Moral Argument
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by John Broome and Frances Kamm

Seminar and Discussion with commentators
Thursday, March 2, 2006
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Michael E. Bratman, John Broome, and Frances Kamm

The lectures and the seminar are free and open to the public.

Download and Listen

MP3 Format: Lecture One, Lecture Two, Seminar & Discussion

About Allan Gibbard

Allan Gibbard has made vital contributions to the field of ethical theory, particularly to the study of meta-ethics. His efforts to characterize the nature of moral judgment and define the meanings of moral statements are praised for their originality and elegance. He also has done work on the philosophy of language, metaphysics, and on the theories of conditionals, social choice, and identity. Gibbard is currently studying claims that the concept of meaning is normative, thereby extending his investigations of the patterns of normative concepts involved in beliefs and decisions.

Gibbard’s many publications on ethical theory include two books: Wise Choices, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgment (1990), which develops a general theory of moral judgments and judgments of rationality, and Thinking How to Live (2003), along with many articles. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, and a member of the American Philosophical Society, Gibbard has also held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Nelson, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He served as President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association from 2001 to 2002.

Born in Providence, RI, in 1942 and growing up in West Virginia, Gibbard received his B.A. in mathematics from Swarthmore College in 1963 with minors in physics and philosophy. After teaching mathematics and physics in Ghana with the Peace Corps (1963-1965), Gibbard studied philosophy at Harvard University, earning his Ph.D. in 1971. He served as professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago (1969-1974), and the University of Pittsburgh (1974-1977), before joining the University of Michigan. Gibbard chaired the University of Michigan’s Philosophy Department (1987-1988) and has held the title of Richard B. Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy since 1994.

About the Commentators

Michael E. Bratman

Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy
Stanford University

Michael E. Bratman is an internationally respected philosopher of action. His work is credited with furthering our understanding of moral responsibility, temptation and self-control, and also shared intention and shared cooperative activity. His research interests also include the nature of agency, practical reason, and free will.

Bratman’s publications include Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (1987), which is considered a foundational text on action theory, and Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency (1999). A new collection of his writings, entitled Structures of Agency: Essays is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Bratman earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Haverford College (1967) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Rockefeller University (1974). He has taught in the Stanford University Philosophy Department since 1974, and received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1977. In 2000 he became the U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences. A former chair of the Stanford Philosophy Department, Bratman currently serves as its Director of Graduate Studies.

John Broome

White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy 
Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

John Broome’s scholarship combines both economic and philosophical expertise. He has raised fundamental questions about economic equality, preserving the environment, and the allocation of medical resources-revealing how economic methods can contribute to moral philosophy. His current research is on the structure of normativity, rationality, and processes of reasoning.

Broome has written prolifically in the fields of normativity, ethics, and economics. His book-length studies are The Microeconomics of Capitalism(1983), Weighing Goods: Equality, Uncertainty and Time(1991), Counting the Cost of Global Warming (1992), Ethics Out of Economics (1999), which addresses various questions about the formal structure of good, the value of life, and the relation between preference and value, and Weighing Lives(2004).

In 1968, Broome received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Cambridge. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1972) as well as an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of London (1973). He taught at the University of St. Andrews before joining the faculty at the University of Oxford in 2000, where he now serves as White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy.

Frances Kamm

Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Philosophy
Harvard University

Frances Kamm is a leading moral philosopher whose work has focused on the nature of nonconsequentialist ethical theory and moral problems related to life and death situations. Her pioneering and profound writings are lauded for exploring important theoretical questions as well as their applications to practical ethical problems.

Kamm has authored several important works in the field of philosophical ethics, including Creation and Abortion (1992); Morality, Mortality, Volume 1: Death and Whom to Save From It (1993); and Morality, Mortality, Volume 2: Rights, Duties, and Status (1996), all from Oxford University Press. Kamm has also published many articles on the topics of normative ethical theory, bioethics, and the morality of war.

A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University (1969, with a major in philosophy), Kamm has held residential Fellowships at the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School, the Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford, and she has also been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim Fellowships, among others. She is a member of the editorial boards of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, Bioethics, and Utilitas, and also has served as a consultant on ethics to the World Health Organization. Prior to joining the Kennedy School and the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University in 2003, Kamm was Professor of Philosophy at New York University, with appointments also in its Law School and Medical School.