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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Hille Paakkunainen

Paakkunainen portrait

Associate Professor and Graduate Director


Ethics [ILM]

Health Humanities [ILM]

532 Hall of Languages


Research and Teaching Interests

Hille Paakkunainen works in Metaethics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Action. Most of her work thus far concerns the nature of various normative phenomena, such as having a good reason for doing something, or being justified in believing something; and the relationship between such phenomena and forms of reasoning or agency. She is also interested in how such normative phenomena fit into a naturalistic understanding of the world.

Paakkunainen regularly teaches courses in ethics and epistemology. Recent courses include:

PHI 860 Practical and Theoretical Reasoning (Graduate), Fall 2020
PHI 850 Epistemic Consequentialism, Virtue Theory, and Deontology (Graduate), Fall 2019
PHI 860 Motivation (Graduate), Spring 2019
PHI 860 Constructivism in Metaethics (Graduate), Fall 2017

PHI 192 Introduction to Moral Theory (Undergraduate), Fall 2020
PHI 396 / BIO 396 / REL 359 Stem Cells & Society (Undergraduate), Spring 2019
PHI 387 Epistemology (Undergraduate), Fall 2018
PHI 393 Contemporary Ethics (Undergraduate), Spring 2018


PhD, University of Pittsburgh


  • Internal Reasons: Contemporary Readings

    Internal Reasons: Contemporary Readings

    Internal Reasons: Contemporary Readings, edited by Setiya, K, Paakkunainen, H., The MIT Press (November 4, 2011), 400pp., ISBN-13: 978-0262516402

Selected Publications

Practical Inferences. Forthcoming in Agency, Norms, Inquiry, and Artifacts: Essays in Honor of Risto Hilpinen. Eds. Paul McNamara, Mark Brown, & Andrew Jones. Springer.

Rationality and Supervenience: A Comment on Broome (and Lord). Forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review.

Doubts about “Genuinely Normative” Epistemic Reasons. In Metaepistemology, ed. Whiting, D., Way, J. & McHugh, C. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2019).

Doing Away with the “Shmagency” Objection to Constitutivism. Manuscrito 41 (4):431-480 (2018). Special issue on Agency & Rationality, ed. Sergio Tenenbaum & David Horst.

The “Just Too Different” Objection to Normative Naturalism. Philosophy Compass 13 (2):1-13 (2018).

Internalism and Externalism about Reasons. In The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity, ed. Daniel Star. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2018).

Can There Be Government House Reasons for Action? Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy 12:56-93 (2017).