Michael Huemer

Philosophy Department • University of Colorado

Boulder, Colorado 80309-0232


B.A. Philosophy University of California, Berkeley 1992
Ph.D. Philosophy Rutgers University, New Brunswick 1998

Academic Positions

University of Colorado, Boulder Assistant Professor of Philosophy 1998-2005
Associate Professor of Philosophy 2005-2011
Professor of Philosophy 2011-        

Areas of Specialization

Epistemology, ethics, meta-ethics, political philosophy.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Philosophy
Symbolic Logic
Philosophy and Society
Philosophy & Science Fiction
Major Social Theories
Economics, Game Theory, & Rational Choice
History of Science (ancient & medieval)
Metaethics (seminar)
Philosophy of Science



  1. The Problem of Political Authority. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  2. Ethical Intuitionism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 309 pp.
  3. Epistemology: Contemporary Readings (edited volume). Routledge, 2002. 611 pp.
  4. Skepticism and the Veil of Perception. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. 209 pp.

Epistemology Articles

  1. “Inferential Appearances,” in Traditional Epistemic Internalism, ed. Brett Coppenger and Michael Bergmann (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  2. “The Failure of Analysis and the Nature of Concepts” in The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods, ed. Chris Daly (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).
  3. “Serious Theories and Skeptical Theories: Why You Are Probably Not a Brain in a Vat,” Philosophical Studies, forthcoming.
  4. “Alternative Self-Defeat Arguments: A Reply to Mizrahi,” Logos and Episteme 5 (2014): 223-9.
  5. Phenomenal Conservatism,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/phen-con/, 2013.
  6. “Phenomenal Conservatism Uber Alles,” in Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 328-50.
  7. “Epistemological Asymmetries between Belief and Experience,” Philosophical Studies 162 (2013): 741-8.
  8. “Does Probability Theory Refute Coherentism?”, Journal of Philosophy 108 (2011): 35-54.
  9. “Phenomenal Conservatism and Self-Defeat: A Reply to DePoe,” Philosophical Studies 156 (2011): 1-13.
  10. “Epistemological Egoism and Agent-Centered Norms,” in Evidentialism and its Discontents, ed. Trent Dougherty (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 17-33.
  11. “The Puzzle of Metacoherence,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2011): 1-21.
  12. “Foundations and Coherence” in A Companion to Epistemology, 2nd ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 22-33.
  13. Explanationist Aid for the Theory of Inductive Logic,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2009): 1-31.
  14. “When Is Parsimony a Virtue?” Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2009): 216-36.
  15. “Epistemic Possibility,” Synthese 156 (2007): 119-42.
  16. “Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism,” Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 74 (2007): 30-55.
  17. “Weak Bayesian Coherentism,” Synthese 157 (2007): 337-46.
  18. “Moore’s Paradox and the Norm of Belief” in Themes from G. E. Moore, ed. Susana Nuccetelli and Gary Seay (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 142-157.
  19. “Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition,” American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2006): 147-58.
  20. “Is Critical Thinking Epistemically Responsible?”, Metaphilosophy 36 (2005): 522-31.
  21. “Logical Properties of Warrant,” Philosophical Studies 122 (2005): 171-82.
  22. Sense Data,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, summer 2004.
  23. “Arbitrary Foundations?” Philosophical Forum 34 (2003): 141-52.
  24. “Fumerton’s Principle of Inferential Justification,” Journal of Philosophical Research 27 (2002): 329-40.
  25. The Problem of Defeasible Justification,” Erkenntnis 54 (2001): 375-97.
  26. “Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument,” Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 61 (2000): 397-413.
    Reprinted in Epistemology: Contemporary Readings.
  27. The Problem of Memory Knowledge,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1999): 346-57.
    Reprinted in Epistemology: Contemporary Readings.
    Reprinted in Epistemology: An Anthology, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 2008).
  28. Probability and Coherence Justification,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (1997): 463-72.


  1. “Virtue and Vice Among the Infinite” in Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, ed. John Turri and Peter Klein (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  2. “Free Will and Determinism in the World of Minority Report” in Science Fiction and Philosophy, ed. Susan Schneider (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp. 103-112.
  3. “Elusive Freedom? A Reply to Helen Beebee,” Philosophical Review 113 (2004): 411-416.
  4. “Causation as Simultaneous and Continuous,” Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2003): 556-65. Co-authored with Ben Kovitz.
  5. “Van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument,” Philosophical Review 109 (2000): 524-43.

Ethics & Meta-Ethics

  1. “An Ontological Proof of Moral Realism,” Social Philosophy & Policy 30 (2013): 259-79.
  2. “Transitivity, Comparative Value, and the Methods of Ethics,” Ethics 123 (2013): 318-45.
  3. “Against Equality and Priority,” Utilitas 24 (2012): 483-501.
  4. “Lexical Priority and the Problem of Risk,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (2010): 332-51.
  5. “A Paradox for Weak Deontology,” Utilitas 21 (2009): 464-77.
  6. “Values and Morals: Outline of a Skeptical Realism,” Philosophical Issues 19 (2009): 113-30.
  7. “Singer’s Unstable Metaethics” in Singer under Fire, ed. Jeffrey Schaler (Open Court, 2009), pp. 359-79.
  8. “Precis of Ethical Intuitionism” and “Apology of a Modest Intuitionist” (contributions to book symposium), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2009): 192-6, 222-36.
  9. “Revisionary Intuitionism,” Social Philosophy & Policy 25 (2008): 368-92.
  10. “In Defence of Repugnance,” Mind 117 (2008): 899-933.
  11. “Non-Egalitarianism,” Philosophical Studies 114 (2003): 147-71.
  12. “Naturalism and the Problem of Moral Knowledge,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (2000): 575-97.

Social & Political

  1. Why People Are Irrational About Politics,” in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, ed. Jonathan Anomaly, Geoffrey Brennan, Michael Munger, and Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  2. “Is Wealth Redistribution a Rights Violation?” in The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism, ed. Jason Brennan, David Schmidtz, and Bas van der Vossen (Routledge, forthcoming).
  3. “Can Constitutions Limit Government?” in The Oxford Handbook of Freedom, ed. David Schmidtz (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  4. “The True Cost of Government Bailouts,” Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 11 (2013): 335-48.
  5. “In Praise of Passivity,” Studia Humana 1 (2012): 12-28.
  6. “Is There a Right to Immigrate?”, Social Theory and Practice 36 (2010): 429-61.
    Reprinted in Arguing About Political Philosophy, ed. Matt Zwolinski (Routledge, 2014).
  7. “The State” in Central Issues of Philosophy, ed. John Shand (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp. 257-74.
  8. “The Drug Laws Don’t Work,” The Philosophers’ Magazine, no. 41 (2008): 71-5.
  9. America’s Unjust Drug War” in The New Prohibition, ed. Bill Masters (Accurate Press, 2004), pp. 133-44.
    Reprinted in The Right Thing to Do, 4th edition & later, ed. James and Stuart Rachels (McGraw Hill, 2007).
    Reprinted in The Ethical Life, ed. Russ Shafer-Landau (Oxford University Press, 2009).
    Reprinted in Social and Personal Ethics, 8th edition, ed. William Shaw (Wadsworth, 2013).
  10. Is There a Right to Own a Gun?Social Theory and Practice 29 (2003): 297-324.
    Reprinted in Social and Personal Ethics, 5th edition & later, ed. William Shaw (Wadsworth, 2005).
    Translated into Polish and reprinted by the Instytut Misesa, http://mises.pl/blog/2011/03/06/huemer-czy-mamy-prawo-posiadac-bron/.
  11. “Rawls’s Problem of Stability,” Social Theory and Practice 22 (1996): 375-95.

Book Reviews

  1. Intellectual Virtues by Robert Roberts and Jay Wood, Philosophical Books 49 (2008): 388-90.
  2. Against Coherence by Erik Olsson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 5/10/2006.
  3. The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, Philosophical Review 113 (2004): 279-83.
  4. The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding by Jonathan Kvanvig, Mind 113 (2004): 763-6.
  5. A Defense of the Given by Evan Fales, Philosophical Review 108 (1999): 128-30.

Public Lectures & Interviews

  1. “The Problem of Political Authority” (interview), New Books in Philosophy, 1/1/2014, newbooksinphilosophy.com.
  2. “The Worst Thing in the World,” Architecture for Humanity, Denver, 10/8/2013.
  3. “The Evolution of Values,” TEDx Denver, 6/15/2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrZ2DJzbYYo.
  4. “The Illusion of Authority,” Think! lecture series, University of Colorado, Boulder, 12/11/2012.
  5. “The Illusion of Authority,” PPE lecture, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 11/29/2012.
  6. “The Duty to Disregard the Law,” Students for Liberty webinar, 11/13/2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_EoNJ-pEiU.
  7. “Is There a Right to Immigrate?,” Students for Liberty Colorado Regional Conference, University of Denver, 11/10/2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWlwTq0bJaM.
  8. “Ethical Intuitionism,” University of Minnesota, Morris, 10/5/2012.
  9. “The Unjust Price of Justice,” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 3/12/2012.
  10. “The Irrationality of Politics,” TEDx Denver, 1/19/2012. www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JYL5VUe5NQ.
  11. “Is America Run by Special Interests?” (lecture for “What Is Occupy?”, educational event organized by Occupy CU), Boulder, 12/9/2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNIZ04J9394.
  12. “Terrorism: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?”, Boulder, 12/6/2011.
  13. “Terrorism: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?”, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 11/18/2011.
  14. “Report on the Search for the Worst Thing in the World,” Boulder, 11/9/2010.
  15. “Is There a Right to Immigrate?” University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 9/16/2010.
  16. “Why People Are Irrational about Politics,” Fort Hays State University, 3/9/2010.
  17. “America’s Crumbling Economy,” Boulder, 10/6/2009.
  18. “Making a Virtue of Selfishness? A Debate about Ayn Rand’s Ethics” (debate with Onkar Ghate), Boulder, 3/2/2009.
  19. “Why Believe Moral Claims?”, University of Colorado, Center for Humanities and the Arts, Work in Progress session, 8/15/03.
  20. “Is Critical Thinking Epistemically Responsible?” Georgia State University, 3/14/02.
  21. Leader for workshop, “Can Morality Come from God?”, 2nd annual symposium of the Boulder International Humanist Institute, September 1999; and 3rd annual symposium, August 2000.

Academic Talks & Commentaries

  1. “Author Meets Critics: Michael Huemer, The Problem of Political Authority,” Molinari Society group meeting, Eastern APA, 12/29/2013.
  2. “Virtue and Vice Among the Infinite,” Workshop on Infinite Regress, Vanderbilt University, 10/19/2013.
  3. “An Ontological Proof of Moral Realism,” St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality, 5/20/2013.
  4. “The Illusion of Authority,” keynote address, Western Canadian Undergraduate Conference of Philosophy, University of Victoria, 3/23/2013.
  5. “A Probabilistic Proof of Moral Realism,” Social Philosophy & Policy conference, Tucson, 1/11/2013.
  6. “The True Cost of Government Bailouts,” Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics symposium, Georgetown University, 11/30/2012.
  7. “The Duty to Disregard the Law,” Freedom Center Brown Bag Series, University of Arizona, 11/5/2012.
  8. Arizona Current Research Workshop: The Problem of Political Authority (commenters: Gary Chartier, Peter de Marneffe), University of Arizona, 11/3/2012.
  9. “The Failure of Analysis,” University of Arizona, 11/2/2012.
  10. “The Failure of Analysis and the Nature of Concepts,” University of Rochester Graduate Philosophy Conference (keynote address), 10/19/2012.
  11. “The Failure of Analysis and the Nature of Concepts,” University of California, San Diego Graduate Philosophy Conference, 5/26/2012.
  12. “The Duty to Disregard the Law,” University of California, San Diego, 5/25/2012.
  13. “Against Democratic Authority,” University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 11/18/2011.
  14. “Authority and Hypothetical Consent,” Bowling Green State University, 1/14/2011.
  15. “Epistemological Egoism and Agent-Centered Norms,” Midwest Epistemology Conference, Purdue University, 10/8/2010.
  16. Comments on “Non-Cognitivism and Normative Uncertainty” by Andrew Sepielli, Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference, University of Colorado, 8/6/2010.
  17. “The Puzzle of Metacoherence,” Rutgers University Epistemology Conference, 5/9/09.
  18. “The Puzzle of Metacoherence,” University of Nevada, Reno, 4/6/09.
  19. “Against Priority,” University of Arizona, 2/27/09.
  20. “The Puzzle of Metacoherence,” Shapiro Conference: The Epistemology of Perceptual Judgment, Brown University, 2/14/09.
  21. Panelist, session on Science Fiction & Philosophy, Pacific APA, Pasadena, 3/21/08.
  22. Commentator for “Is Intuition a Form of Perception?” by John Bengson, Pacific APA, Pasadena, 3/21/08.
  23. “Absolute Deontology and the Problem of Risk,” Society for Exact Philosophy, University of British Columbia, 5/18/07.
  24. “Revisionary Intuitionism,” Eastern Division APA, Washington, 12/30/06.
  25. “Revisionary Intuitionism,” Social Philosophy & Policy Center conference, Bowling Green, 11/17/06.
  26. “Weak Bayesian Coherentism,” Society for Exact Philosophy, UC San Diego, 5/19/06.
  27. “The Vanity of Philosophical Parsimony,” University of Arizona, 3/31/06.
  28. Commentator for “A Defense of Phenomenal Conservatism” by Andrew Cullison, Pacific Division APA, Portland, 3/24/06.
  29. “A Paradox for Moderate Deontology,” Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Seattle University, 10/21/05.
  30. Commentator for “Ethical Options and Train Wrecks” by Darin Dockstader, Northwest Conference on Philosophy, Seattle University, 10/22/05.
  31. Commentator for “The Long Road to Skepticism” by Baron Reed, Eastern Division APA, 12/28/04.
  32. Commentator for “Foundational Epistemology” by Earl Conee, Pacific Division APA, 3/28/04.
  33. “Why Should We Believe Moral Claims?”, George Mason University, 9/8/03.
  34. “Non-Egalitarianism,” University of Colorado, Boulder, 9/9/02.
  35. “Why Believe Moral Claims?”, University of Colorado, Center for Humanities and the Arts, Work in Progress session, 8/15/03.
  36. “Non-Egalitarianism,” Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference, 8/5/02.
  37. Commentator for “Is Moore’s Argument an Example of Transmission Failure?” by James Pryor, Pacific Division APA, 3/29/02.
  38. “Why Political Beliefs Are Irrational,” University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 3/18/02.
  39. “Why Political Beliefs Are Irrational,” Georgia State University, 3/15/02.
  40. Commentator for “Incompleteness and Epistemic Justification” by Mark Wunderlich, Eastern Division APA, 12/30/00.
  41. Leader for workshop, “Can Morality Come from God?”, 2nd annual symposium of the Boulder International Humanist Institute, September 1999; and 3rd annual symposium, August 2000.
  42. Commentator for “Trustworthiness in Explanation” by Sheralee Brindell, Mountain Plains Philosophy Conference, October 1999.
  43. Commentator for “Skepticism about the External World and Coherence among Beliefs” by Ram Neta, Rutgers University Graduate Student Conference, Spring 1997.


Michael Tooley
Philosophy Department
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0232
Peter Klein
Philosophy Dept., 106 Somerset St.
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Richard Fumerton
Philosophy Department
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1408
Stuart Rachels
Department of Philosophy
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0218