Daniel Jacobson
Bruce D. Benson Professor of Philosophy • Director, Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization

Office hours via Zoom M 2:00-3:00 or by appointment

Daniel Jacobson works on a range of topics in ethics, moral psychology, aesthetics, and the moral and political philosophy of J. S. Mill. He has published extensively on issues concerning sentimentalism, the philosophy of emotion, and freedom of speech. Jacobson was Project Leader of The Science of Ethics, a three-year project funded by the John Templeton Foundation. He has also held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Murphy Institute at Tulane University, and the Princeton University Center for Human Values. 
Jacobson's work in aesthetics was awarded the John Fisher Memorial Prize and has been reprinted broadly and translated into several languages. His essay, “Utilitarianism without Consequentialism: The Case of John Stuart Mill,” was chosen by The Philosophers’ Annual as one of the ten best philosophy articles published in 2008. Jacobson is co-editor (with Justin D’Arms) of the volume, Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics (Oxford University Press). Jacobson and D’Arms have published a series of papers on sentimentalism and the philosophy of emotion, and their book, Rational Sentimentalism, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He is currently working on another book project, Solving the Mill Problem: How to Reconcile the Principles of Liberty and Utility.

Selected Papers:

  1. A Defense of Mill’s Argument for the ‘Practical Inseparability’ of the Liberties of Conscience (and the Absolutism it Entails),” Social Philosophy & Policy 37 (2020): 9-30.
  2. "Whither Sentimentalism? On Fear, the Fearsome, and the Dangerous,” in Ethical Sentimentalism, eds. Remy Debes and Karsten Stueber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  3. “Moral Dumbfounding and Moral Stupefaction,” Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 2 (2012): 289-315.
  4. Utilitarianism Without Consequentialism: The Case of John Stuart Mill,” The Philosophical Review 117 (2008): 159-191.
  5. “In Praise of Immoral Art,” Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155-99.