I mainly do research in moral psychology, specifically as it relates to moral emotions and the morality of interpersonal relationships. I am particularly interested in defending claims about our being morally responsible and assessable for things other than actions (including attitudes, emotions, desires, and concepts).
However, I also study and write about issues in metaethics, philosophy of mind, and environmental ethics, especially those that are relevant to moral psychology.
My approach is guided by feminist methodologies and informed by relevant empirical research in the social sciences.
The links below take you to the official versions on the relevant publishers’ websites. If you don’t have access to those, pre-print versions are available on my PhilPeople page by clicking on the title and then selecting “Download from archive” or looking under “External links.”
“Climate Legacy: a Newish Concept for the Climate Crisis” Environmental Ethics (published via Online First on August 17, 2021)
“Moral Responsibility for Concepts, Continued: Concepts as Abstract Objects” European Journal of Philosophy 28.4 (2020)
“The Creeps as a Moral Emotion” [co-authored, equally, with Dr. Jeremy Fischer] Ergo 7.6 (2020)
“Moral Responsibility for Concepts” European Journal of Philosophy 26.4 (2018): 1381-1397
“When Wanting the Best Is Bad” Social Theory and Practice 44.1 (2018): 95-119
“Can Emotions Have Abstract Objects? The Example of Awe” Philosophia 46.3 (2018): 733-746
“Courage as an Environmental Virtue” Environmental Ethics 36.3 (2014): 339-355
“Sagoff on Ecosystems as Self-Organizing Systems” Ethics, Policy & Environment 16.3 (2013): 258-261
Review of Adrienne Martin’s How We Hope: A Moral Psychology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014) in Mind 125.499 (July 2016)
Review of Love and Its Objects: What Can We Care For? of Love and Its Objects: What Can We Care For? Edited by Christina Maurer, Tony Milligan, and Kamila Pacovská (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) for Hypatia Reviews Online (June 2016)
Review of Christine Overall’s Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate (Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 2012) for Hypatia Reviews Online (January 2013)
“CLIMATE LEGACY: A New(ish) Concept for the Climate Crisis” at:
- International Society for Environmental Ethics in Chicago, IL (February 2020)
- Association for Practical and Professional Ethics in Atlanta, GA (February 2020)
“Moral Responsibility for Concepts” at:
- American Philosophical Association Eastern Division in Baltimore, MD (January 2017)
- Poster presentation at the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress in Boulder, CO (August 2016)
“Emotions about Abstract Objects,” European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions in Athens, Greece (June 2016)
“Exclusionary Desires,” Indiana Philosophical Association Conference, Earlham College (November 13, 2015)
A paper about the concept of a daughter at the Hypatia Conference, “Exploring Collaborative Contestations and Diversifying Philosophy,” Villanova University (May 2015)
A paper about the emotion jealousy and its relation to self-respect at:
- Inaugural Conference of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions, Lisbon, Portugal (July 2014)
- Georgetown University Philosophy Conference (April 2014)
- 39th Conference on Value Inquiry, “Virtue, Vice, and Character,” Western Kentucky University (2013)
“Courage as an Environmental Virtue” at “Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call for Stewardship” at Brigham Young University (2012)
“Jealousy: Foe to Caring Relationships” at the 63rd Annual Northwest Philosophy Conference (2011)
Invited & Other
A paper about carbon taxes at the APA Central Meeting, online (February 24, 2021)
“If Concepts Are Abstract Objects, Can We Be Morally Responsible for Our Relations to Them?” at The Philip L. Dulmage Memorial Workshop on Responsibility and Blame, Wayne State University (April 5, 2019)
Comments on “Self and Identity: Navigating Transformative Decisions with Our Commitments and Personal Projects,” by Katherine Cheng, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, Vancouver BC (April 17, 2019)
“Awe In (and Out of) the Classroom” for the David Owsley Museum of Art Alliance (February 14, 2018)
Comments on “Hypocrisy and the Standing to Blame,” by Coleen Macnamara at the Northwestern University Society for the Theory of Ethics and Politics (NUSTEP) (June 19, 2013)
“Moral Responsibility for Concepts,” Workshop on Gender and Philosophy (WOGAP) at MIT (April 10, 2015)
“Introduction to Philosophy of Science” at Colby-Sawyer College (2014)
A paper about the emotion jealousy and its relation to self-respect at Colby-Sawyer College (2014)
Comments on “A Utilitarian Argument for the Non-Identity of Compassion and Commiseration,” by Steve Bein at the 110th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association (2013)
“Courage as an Environmental Virtue” at:
- Colby-Sawyer College Faculty Development Seminar (2013)
- University of Calgary (2012)
- Fort Lewis College Philosophy Club (2012)
“Jealousy: Foe to Caring Relationships,” Bellevue College (2011)
Comments on “How the Doctrine of Double Effect Can Vindicate the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing” by Howard Nye at the 63rd Annual Northwest Philosophy Conference (2011)
Comments on “Owning and Creation of Individual Selves” by James Jeffries at the 62nd Annual Northwest Philosophy Conference (2010)
Comments on “Evaluation Without Hyper-Intellectualisation” by Avery Archer at the 5th Biennial University of Washington Graduate Conference in Philosophy (2009)
The emotion jealousy arises in diverse circumstances and is experienced in phenomenologically diverse ways. In part because of this diversity, evaluations of jealous subjects tend to be conflicting and ambiguous. Thus philosophers who are interested in the moral status of jealousy face a challenge: to explain how, despite the diversity of jealous subjects and experiences of jealousy, our moral evaluations of those subjects in light of those experiences might be unified. In this project, I confront and respond to this challenge, which I call the challenge of heterogeneity.
Throughout the project, I illuminate the heterogeneity of both jealousy itself and our judgments about jealous subjects by grounding my work in a wide variety of writings about jealousy by Western philosophers, historians, political figures, psychologists, religious scholars, and literary authors. Synthesizing this material helps me argue that Luke Purshouse’s descriptive account of jealousy is the best currently on offer in the philosophical literature, and yet to defend a clarified and revised version of his view. Thus in Part I, I develop an account of jealousy with three necessary but not sufficient conditions. On my view, if one is jealous:
- One desires that oneself stand in some relation to a specific, non-replicable good;
- One has in mind a (possibly imagined) rival and regards the rival’s having the good as logically or causally inconsistent with the satisfaction of this desire; and
- One has in mind some (possibly imagined) set of circumstances in which this desire would be satisfied.
In discussing this view, I emphasize the key role that relationships play in giving rise to jealousy, since this makes jealousy both descriptively and normatively unique. By focusing on the relationships in the context of which jealousy arises, I am able to transition away from purely descriptive accounts of jealousy and simplistic normative accounts that merely link jealousy with selfishness, insecurity, or some other morally problematic trait of character.
In Part II, I develop an account of jealousy’s moral significance with an eye to the challenge of heterogeneity. To do so, I divide cases of jealousy into three types: those involving jealous desires relating to (1) caring relationships, (2) non-caring relationships, and (3) material goods or personal qualities. I argue that in all three types of cases, jealousy undermines the actual or potential moral value of the jealous subjects’ relationships, and that this undermining provides a paradigmatic moral reason to criticize subjects for their jealousy. Thus I identify a common normative thread uniting all cases of jealousy while acknowledging the complexity of this emotion and the many ways in which cases of jealousy differ from each other.
My arguments do not show that jealousy’s undermining of relationships always provides sufficient moral reason to render an all-things-considered judgment that a jealous subject should be criticized. However, I consider multiple arguments for the claim that sometimes a person’s being jealous constitutes a moral reason to praise that person, and show that we have good reason to reject all those proposals. Thus I conclude that the paradigmatic moral reason to criticize jealous subjects that I have identified is significant, and that we have good reasons to believe that a subject’s being jealous is a moral reason to criticize, not praise, that subject.