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James Chamberlain

PhD Student, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I completed my undergraduate degree in Philosophy and English at Keele University in 2001, then returned to philosophy ten years later via an MA in Philosophy at Birkbeck, which I completed in 2013. I am now doing a part-time PhD in Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.

I am developing a broadly sentimentalist account of morality, which is influenced by David Hume's moral theory. I argue that we should reinterpret Hume's moral sentimentalism to understand his account of 'calm passions' as being in some ways similar to Tamar Szabó Gendler's account of 'aliefs'. Interpreting Hume in this way has led me to consider new ways of understanding sentimentalism in the 21st century, and I am developing a theory of moral judgements by which all such judgements are aliefs.

I am also interested in the relationship between alief and emotion, and the ways in which these mental states and occurrences interact with reflective reasoning and with beliefs. I continue to take an interest in reading and understanding Hume, and to consider how best to understand his theories.

I live in Nottingham with my wife Katie, our daughter Alice and Mabel the dog. I am a keen musician on the rare occasions when I have time

Research Summary

I am currently researching the role of the 'calm passions' in Hume's moral theory, particularly within his Treatise of Human Nature. I am interested in their place and importance within his moral… read more

Current Research

I am currently researching the role of the 'calm passions' in Hume's moral theory, particularly within his Treatise of Human Nature. I am interested in their place and importance within his moral sentimentalism and in his moral psychology more generally. By comparing some of Hume's theory with modern theories of emotion I also hope to shed some light on potential implications for current sentimentalist theories of ethics.

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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