Profile: Yonatan Shemmer

BA Hebrew University, Jerusalem, PhD Stanford


Yonatan Shemmer joined the department in 2005. Yonatan completed his PhD in 2002 and since then has held a fellowship in the Humanities at Stanford University. His main interests are the philosophy of action, the philosophy of pratical reason and the contribution of these two fields to Ethics and to the theory of normativity in general.

Yonatan has argued against the view that it is conceptually impossible and psychologically implausible that we have direct control of our desires. He has explored the implication that such direct control of our desires may have for Humean theories of practical reason. In particular, he has agured that such control may enable Humean (and instrumentalist) views to solve problems of cooperation, problems that are usually presented as central reasons for the rejection of these views. He is now writing a series of articles defending the claim that intrinsic desires are sources of normativity. He hopes that he can thereby strengthen the beleaguered foundations of Humeanism in practical reason.

• "Desiring at will and Humeanism." Philosophical Studies. 119:33, 2004. p. 265-294.
• "Desiring at will and instrumentalism in practical reason." The Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 35, Number 2, June 2005, p. 269-288.
• "Desires as Reasons." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume LXXV No. 2, September 2007.

• "Reasons of One´s Own", Maureen Sie, Marc Slors & Bert van den Brink (eds.). Forthcoming in The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 4, No. 2, July 2007, p. 285-288.
• "Brute Rationality", Joshua Gert. Forthcoming in The Philosophical Review.

Office Hours - Spring 2018-19

Wednesday 9-11am