Sayre-McCord received his Bachelor from Oberlin College and his Doctor of Philosophy (under the direction of David Gauthier) from the University of Pittsburgh.
He has written extensively in these areas. He is known especially for his work on moral realism and on David Hume"s moral theory. He has also written on contractualism.
His Essays on Moral Realism is widely used in undergraduate and graduate courses on meta-ethics and he was, for five years, a co-editor of the highly regarded journal Noûson
The recipient of several university-wide teaching awards, Sayre-McCord is the Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at the University of North Carolina, where he has taught since 1985.
Married Harriet Sayre, August 23, 1980. Children: Robert, Thomas.