Department of Philosophy



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Michael Vossen

Michael Vossen

Metaphysics, Metaethics, Virtue Ethics 

B.A. Reed College, M.A. University of Missouri, Saint Louis.  

Michael is interested in a family of questions relating to ethical accounts advanced by Aristotelian Naturalists and Particularists. Towards the former, Michael focuses on metaethical accounts of evaluation and goodness advanced by Geach and Judith Thomson. This involves work on the semantics of sentences expressing kind-relative evaluate properties, such as “this knife is a dull knife.” This in turn is bound up with examining metaphysical accounts of concepts involved in said metaethics, and so looks at analyses of defect, dispositions, kinds, action and grounding. Towards the latter, Michael researches the role these evaluative properties might play in ethics, particularly concerning the nature of moral perception, concept acquisition and ethical education, and the role this may play in giving and following advice on what kind of person to be and what life to live.