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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

David Sobel

Sobel portrait

Irwin and Marjorie Guttag Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy

Philosophy

308 Hall of Languages

dsobel@syr.edu


Research and Teaching Interests

David Sobel works primarily in ethics. Much of his research has focused on understanding what makes something valuable. Recently he has also explored how demanding our moral obligations can be, problems for some libertarian conceptions of our natural rights, as well as the best understanding of what makes something good for us.

His main teaching interests are in ethics and political philosophy. In recent years he has increasingly focused his undergraduate classes on issues concerning economic inequality, mass incarceration, and gun control. His graduate teaching tends to address questions of what makes things valuable or good for a person and, especially, the role of the agent’s attitudes and concerns in determining what is valuable or good for her.

Let me read you some of my recent work

"A Robust Hybrid Theory of Well-Being" (co-authored with Steven Wall)

  • Video, from Rice.edu

"The Case for Stance Dependent Reasons"

Education

Ph.D., The University of Michigan

News

Discussing Philosophical Ethics Without Shouting

(Dec. 6, 2016)

David Sobel co-edits online blog PEA Soup

A&S Graduate Students Bring Philosophy to Syracuse Charter School

(Dec. 15, 2015)

Eighth-graders tackle life’s persistent questions: Is it ever OK to lie? Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Syracuse Hosts International Philosophy Conference Sept. 18-20

(Aug. 31, 2015)

Philosophers, scholars, and researchers converge on campus for Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

Books

  • Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 6

    Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 6

    Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 6, by David Sobel (Editor), Peter Vallentyne (Editor), Steven Wall (Editor), Oxford University Press (March 6, 2020), 272pp., ISBN-13: 978-0198852636

  • From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism

    From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism

    From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism, by David Sobel, Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 10, 2017), 352 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0198712640

  • Reasons for Action

    Reasons for Action

    Reasons for Action, edited by David Sobel and Steven Wall, Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2009), 298 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0521877466