Biography:Alan H. Goldman

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Short description: American philosopher
Alan H. Goldman
New York
EducationColumbia University (Ph.D.)
Yale University (B.A.)
Spouse(s)Joan Goldman
AwardsNEH Fellowship
ACLS Fellowship
Era21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
InstitutionsCollege of William & Mary
Doctoral advisorArthur Danto, Issac Levi
Main interests
moral philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, value theory

Alan Harris Goldman (born 1945) is an American philosopher and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the College of William & Mary.[1] He is known for his works on philosophy and popular culture, literature, morality, love, and beauty.[2][3][4]


He has defended an explanationist theory of knowledge, a coherentist theory of moral truth, an ideal critic account of acceptable aesthetic judgment, and a subjectivist view of well-being and value. In an earlier book he argued for preference in admissions and hiring on socio-economic, not gender or racial, grounds. In the first book on ethics across the professions, he introduced the concept of role differentiation, while attacking zealous advocacy by lawyers, medical paternalism, and profit maximization by corporations.[5][6][7][8]


  • Life's Values: Pleasure, Happiness, Well-Being, Meaning, Oxford University Press, 2018
  • Philosophy and the Novel, Oxford University Press, 2013
  • Reasons from Within, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Practical Rules: When We Need Them and When We Don't, Cambridge University Press, 2002
  • Aesthetic Value, Westview Press, 1995
  • Moral Knowledge, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988
  • Empirical Knowledge, University of California Press, 1988
  • The Moral Foundations of Professional Ethics, Rowman and Littlefield, 1980
  • Justice and Reverse Discrimination, Princeton University Press, 1979
  • Mark Twain and Philosophy (ed.), Rowman and Littlefield, 2017


  1. "Goldman's CV". 
  2. Goetz, Stewart (18 June 2019). "Review of Life's Values: Pleasure, Happiness, Well-Being, and Meaning" (in en). NDPR. ISSN 1538-1617. 
  3. Skilleås, Ole Martin (18 December 2013). "Review of Philosophy and The Novel" (in en). NDPR. ISSN 1538-1617. 
  4. Skilleås, Ole Martin (6 March 2017). "Review of Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature" (in en). NDPR. ISSN 1538-1617. 
  5. Paul, Sarah K. (27 June 2011). "Review of Reasons from Within: Desires and Values" (in en). NDPR. ISSN 1538-1617. 
  6. Richardson, Henry S. (8 July 2002). "Review of Practical Rules: When We Need Them and When We Don't" (in en). NDPR. ISSN 1538-1617. 
  7. Goodin, Robert (1981). "Review of The Moral Foundations of Professional Ethics". Ethics 92 (1): 137–139. ISSN 0014-1704. 
  8. O'Brien, David M. (August 1980). "Justice and Reverse Discrimination. Alan H. Goldman" (in en). The Journal of Politics 42 (3): 879–881. doi:10.2307/2130564. ISSN 0022-3816. 

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