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Professor Railton’s main research has been in ethics and the philosophy of science, focusing especially on questions about the nature of objectivity, value, norms, and explanation. Recently, he has also begun working in aesthetics, moral psychology, and the theory of action. He has a special interest in the bearing of empirical research in psychology and evolutionary theory on these questions.
He has been a visiting professor at Berkeley and Princeton, and he has received fellowships from the Society for the Humanities (Cornell), the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been associated with CREA (Paris) and CSMN (Oslo). Professor Railton has been President of the American Philosophical Association, Central Division (2011-12) and is a recipient of the 2009 D’Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities. In recent years he has worked and taught with psychologists in a number of fields.
A collection of some of his papers in ethics and meta-ethics, Facts, Values, and Norms, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2003.