Ph.D., Brown University, 1968
Appointed at UMass: 1969
Prior teaching appointments:
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle
University of Michigan (visiting)
Yale University (visiting)
Amherst College (visiting)
SUNY Albany (visiting)
Areas of interest:
normative ethics, metaethics,
philosophical problems about death, metaphysics.
Fred won a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship that (together with support from UMass) enabled him to spend the calendar year 2008 working on his new book What Is This Thing Called Happiness? The first draft of the book was completed in the summer of 2008. The book will be published by Oxford University Press and will probably appear sometime late in 2009. One paper derived from a chapter of the book was presented as a keynote address at the Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference in Boulder in August; another was presented as the keynote address at the Southwest Graduate Student Conference at Tempe; and another was presented as the Gail Stine Memorial Lecture at Wayne State. Other parts of the book have been published in Theoria and in a festschrift for Wlodek Rabinowicz. Fred’s article on Roderick Chisholm (written jointly with Richard Feldman) appeared in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the fall of 2008.
Fred’s Spring 2009 seminar is on “Weird Forms of Consequentialism”. Critics of consequentialism often remind us of cases in which standard forms of consequentialism yield counterintuitive results. Defenders of consequentialism sometimes then propose revised or adjusted forms of the theory that (they hope) will overcome the difficulty. But even if the revision overcomes the difficulty, a question remains: is the revised theory still properly categorized as a form of consequentialism? Or has the defender thrown out the consequentialist baby with the critical bathwater?
Drafts of Fred’s current work, as well as copies of his published papers and other works of art can be found here.
Doing the Best We Can (Reidel, 1986)
Confrontations with the Reaper (Oxford, 1992)
Utilitarianism, Hedonism, and Desert (Cambridge, 1997)
Pleasure and the Good Life: On the Nature, Varieties,
and Plausibility of Hedonism (Oxford, 2004)