James Dreier Professor of Philosophy

AB magna cum laude in Government 1982 Harvard College.
PhD in Philosophy 1988 Princeton University.

1988 - present Brown Philosophy Department.
1993-4 Visiting Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Melbourne.
2003 John Harsanyi Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

"Was Moore a Moorean? " forthcoming in The Legacy of G. E. Moore, M. Timmons (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2004.

"Lockean truth conditions and Logical truth conditions," ANALYSIS January 2004.

"Decision Theory and Morality", in the Oxford Handbook Rat., 2004.

"Troubling Developments in Metaethics," Noûs, 2002 (critical essay on Mark Timmons's Morality Without Foundations).

"Expressivist Embeddings and Minimalist Truth," Philosophical Studies 83:1 (2002), 29-51.

"Meta-ethics and Normative Commitment," Philosophical Issues 12 (2002).

"Gibbard and Moore," in Southern Journal of Philosophy (supplement) 2002.

"Humean Doubts about Categorical Imperatives," in Varieties of Practical Reasoning, Elijah Millgram, ed., MIT Press (2000), 27-49.

"Dispositions and Fetishes," Philosophy and Phenomenlogical Research 61:3 (2000), 619-38.

"Transforming Expressivism," Noûs, 33:4 (1999): 558-572.

"The Expressivist Circle: Invoking Norms in the Explanation of Normative Judgment," Philosophy and Phenomenlogical Research, 45:1, 136-143.

"Structures of Normative Theories," The Monist 76:1, 22-40.

"Rational Preference: Decision Theory as a Theory of Practical Rationality," Theory and Decision 40:3: 249-76.

"Projectivism," article for Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy supplement.

"Perspectives on Normativity," Noûs 28, 514-525.

"Internalism and Speaker Relativism," Ethics 101: 6-26.

"Humean Doubts," in Ethics and Practical Reason Cullity and Gaut (eds.), Oxford University Press.

"C. L. Stevenson," entry for Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

"C. L. Stevenson," entry for Blackwell's Companion to Analytic Philosophy, A. P. Martinich and David Sosa, eds.

"Accepting Agent Centered Norms," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74, 409-22.

"Pettit on Preference for Properties and Prospects", forthcoming in Philosophical Studies.

"The Supervenience Argument against Moral Realism," Southern J. of Philosophy, 30: 13-38.

research overview

Professor Dreier's interests include ethics, metaethics, political philosophy, and rationality and decision theory. His current work focuses on expressivism, practical rationality, moral relativism, and infinite utility.

research statement

My research has focused on meta-ethics , and as secondary focuses decision theory , rationality and practical reason , and ethical theory .

In meta-ethics I've published articles on moral relativism, on the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral, and on the problems of expressivism. In decision theory I have written on infinite utility, and on the contribution that decision theory can make to the theory of practical rationality and to ethics. I've published papers on what makes preferences rational and on how reasons depend on the agent's state of mind. My best-known work in ethical theory is about the structures of moral theories, especially on how theories can treat agent neutrality and agent centeredness. I've written papers that link all of these subjects as well.

funded research

I received $16,000 (Aus.) from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2003, in the form of a John Harsanyi Fellowship to provide partial support for my stay at the ANU Research School of Social Sciences.