葛里芬教授生于 1933 年，早年于耶鲁大学就读，于 1955 年取得文学士学位，毕业后获罗德学人奖学金前往牛津大学深造，于 1960 年取得博士学位。葛里芬教授先后任牛津大学基督学院讲师 (1960-66) 、哲学讲师 (1964-90) 、哲学教授 (1990-96) ，同时亦担任基布尔学院院士及导师 (1966-96) 。葛里芬教授于 1996 年出任牛津大学韦氏道德哲学讲座教授，至 2000 年退休。葛里芬教授现任美国罗格斯大学的杰出访问哲学教授，及澳洲应用哲学及公共伦理学中心的兼任教授。
葛里芬教授是公认的顶尖道德哲学家，曾于不同大学担任访问教授，包括美国威斯康辛大学 (1970, 78) 、西班牙圣地牙哥大学 (1988, 95) 、墨西哥科技研究学院 (ITAM)(1994) 、墨西哥国立大学 (UNAM)(1994, 2003) 、苏格兰圣安祖大学 (2000) 及澳洲国立大学 (2001) 。葛里芬教授成就卓着，先后获颁波兰教育奖章 (1992) 、委内瑞拉洛萨达勋章 (1999) 及西班牙圣地牙哥大学颁发荣誉博士衔 (2003) 。
葛里芬教授着有四本专着，包括《维根斯坦的逻辑原子论》 (1964) 、《论福祉》 (1986) 、《论价值判断》 (1996) 以及《论人权》 (2008) 。
I was born in the United States, was an undergraduate at Yale University, and then moved to Oxford for graduate work, where I have lived ever since. When my supervisor at Oxford, Gilbert Ryle, heard that I had been at Yale, he remarked, ‘Where they have the zoo theory of teaching philosophy: one of each species’. Ryle was right; at that time undergraduate education at Yale was a matter of looking into cages labelled ‘rationalist’, ‘empiricist’, ‘logical positivist’, etc. It is no way to learn philosophy.
As a graduate student at Oxford I became interested in Wittgenstein’s early book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , which then I thought superior to his much more favoured late book, Philosophical Investigations . Out of this work came my first book Wittgenstein’s Logical Atomism and my abandoning of my preference for the Tractatus . But my interest in the Tractatus left me with an interest in Frank Ramsey, decision theory, the idea of ‘utility’, and ultimately moral philosophy. Up to that time I had succumbed to the prejudice, not uncommon among philosophers, that moral philosophy was not serious philosophy (serious philosophy being metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, etc.). Having come into moral philosophy by that route, it is not surprising that my next book was Well-Being: Its Meaning, Measurement, and Moral Importance . But I thought that most moral philosophers had a mistakenly ambitious conception of what the subject was. Most of them thought that moral philosophy was engaged in a grand Cartesian project: a moral philosopher should take to pieces the ethics produced by the local culture, keep what is sound, discard what is not, reassemble the pieces adding some high system. I argued against this wish for system in a book called Value Judgement: Improving Our Ethical Beliefs .
I then became interested in a project of a size within the capacities of moral philosophy: to make clearer what human rights are. I published the results recently (2008) in a book called On Human Rights .
I am now revisiting the question of what philosophy can contribute to normative ethics. I think that moral philosophy has to be much more modest in its aspirations than most of my colleagues think; the problem is to see how much more modest it must be. That will be the subject of my graduate seminar in Hong Kong.
从以上有关动机的考察，可以得出三种不同的结论： (1) 非「不能」、实「不愿」， (2) 无论可以与否，皆不是「应为」， (3) 「难以为之」 ( 甚至到变成「不能为」 ) ，这方面实例不少。本文支持第三结论。
5 Mar 2010 (Fri)
12 Mar 2010 (Fri)
19 Mar 2010 (Fri)
Week 1: What Biology and Psychology Can Tell Us about Ethics
Week 2: Naturalizing Ethics
Week 3: Systematizing Ethics
Week 4: Bernard Williams’ Rejection of Morality