Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Practical Philosophy/Ethics

Thomas Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt


Office: Unter den Linden 6, room 3043

Phone: +49 30 2093-70456, Fax: +49 30 2093-7438



CV (.pdf)


Research Interests

Foundational questions in moral philosophy (metaethics, theory of reasons); normative ethics


Studied philosophy, mathematics, physics and economics at Göttingen and Oxford. PhD in philosophy (Göttingen, 1998). Habilitation in philosophy (Göttingen University, 2005). Since 2006 professor of philosophy at Humboldt University, Berlin. Visiting posts and fellowships at various universities, including St Andrews (UK), Münster and Zurich.

Publications (selection)

The Balancing View of Ought”, Ethics 134 Vol. 2 (2024), pp. 246-267.

How Reasons Determine Moral Requirements”, in: R. Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 18, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2023, pp. 97-115.

“Instrumentalism About Practical Reason: Not by Default”, Philosophical Explorations 19/1 (2016), pp. 17-27. (pdf)

“Accounting for Moral Conflicts”, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2016), pp. 9-19. (pdf)

“Ethischer Intuitionismus und das Problem der Moralbegründung”, in: D. v. d. Pfordten (ed.), Moralischer Realismus?, Münster: mentis 2015, pp. 185–199. (pdf)

“How to Understand the Problem of Moral Luck”, in: B. Kahmen/M. Stepanians (eds.), Causation and Responsibility: Critical Essays, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 2013, pp. 299-310. (pdf)

“Vom Allgemeinen zum Einzelfall. Die orientierende Funktion moralischer Prinzipien”, Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 66/4 (2012), pp. 513–538. (pdf)

“Evolutionäre Erklärungen von Moral und die Autonomie der Ethik”, in: Th. Schmidt/T. Tarkian (eds.), Naturalismus in der Ethik. Perspektiven und Grenzen, Paderborn: mentis 2011, pp. 87–107.

“Die Herausforderung des ethischen Relativismus”, in: G. Ernst (ed.), Moralischer Relativismus, Paderborn: mentis 2009, pp. 117–137. (pdf)

(see also my PhilPeople profilefor a complete list, see CV)

Talks (selection)

Contrastive Normativity Without Contrastivism“, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen (27 September 2023); Workshop Reasons in Ethics and Epistemology, Bielefeld University (05 October 2023); Ethik-Zentrum, University of Zürich (13 November 2023); Ruhr University Bochum (24 January 2024); Chapel Hill Normativity Workshop, UNC-Chapel Hill (09 March 2024)

“Supererogation and the Structure of Reasons“, Workshop Reasons, Ought, and Normative Transmission, HU Berlin (19 May 2022); Joint Session 2022, University of St Andrews (10 July 2022); GAP.11, HU Berlin (15 September 2022); Ethik-Zentrum, University of Zürich (27 March 2023); Centre for Moral and Political Philosophy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (18 April 2023); Workshop Current Issues in Metaethics and Practical Normativity, HU Berlin (13 June 2023); Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen (26 September 2023)

“How Reasons Determine Moral Requirements“, Department of Philosophy, HU Berlin (21 April 2021); Cyprus Metaethics Workshop (keynote talk), University of Cyprus (26 May 2021); Madison Metaethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin-Madison (17-19 September 2021); Ethik-Zentrum, University of Zürich (04 October 2021)

Oughts, Reasons, and Normative Transmission“, Department of Philosophy, Universität Lund (05 November 2020); Department of Philosophy, University of Bern (04 March 2021); Department of Philosophy, University of Erlangen (30 September 2021); Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews (31 March 2022); Department of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh (29 April 2022); Institut de Philosophie, Université de Neuchâtel (13 December 2022); Philosophisches Seminar, Heidelberg University (11 July 2023);  National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (29 September 2023)

“The Plurality of Ethical Arguments“, Workshop Fachdidaktik des Argumentierens, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (27 September 2021)

Ethical Pluralism, Determinacy, and Normative Unity“, Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University (25 February 2020)

“Acting in Accordance with Duty, Acting from Duty, and the Categorical Imperative”, Philosophical Society, Lund University (02 October 2018); Department of Philosophy, University of Salzburg (06 November 2018); Ethik-Zentrum, Universität Zürich (25 March 2019); Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews (15 November 2019)

“Moral Equivalence Judgements”, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen (11 October 2017); Ethik-Zentrum, University of Zürich (9 April 2018); research colloquium on practical philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, University of Bern (12 April 2018); Summer Institute on Practical Normativity: Reasons, Princeton University (05 August 2018); Workshop Reflective Equilibrium, University of Bern (25 January 2020) (handout)


(for a list of more talks, see CV)