Asia Ferrin

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I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at American University. As a researcher, I work to present counternarratives to what Hilde Lindeman Nelson calls “master narratives.” Master narratives are constructed by and for socially dominant groups and in turn limit the identities and agency of marginalized and oppressed people. I am currently working on developing counternarratives in moral psychology, normative ethics, political philosophy, the philosophy of education, and the philosophy of gender. A recent copy of my CV is here.

At the moment, at the center of my research is a book manuscript, tentatively titled: Mindlessly Moral: Unthought Attunement and Attachment. In it, I argue that neither moral excellence nor moral agency requires deliberative practices or capacities. I reject wide-spread and long-standing rationalistic assumptions and invite a radical reimagining of the kind of moral creatures we are and could be. Drawing on cutting-edge scientific work as well as theorists working in existential, Latinx feminist, and Buddhist philosophical traditions, I illustrate that our best moral selves are “mindless”—that is, moral practice and agency are best served by turning down, not up, the thinking mind. This project, like much of my work, intersects with empirical psychology and cognitive science.  See also my recent work on difficulty and responsibility, animal agency, and moral decisions

My recent courses include Moral Emotions and Wrongdoing, Ethical Theory, Feminist PhilosophyMoral Psychology, Bioethics and Justice, Implicit Bias, Introduction to Philosophy, and Oppression, Privilege, and Resistance. Beyond my teaching, I am committed to improving the academic philosophical climate and providing outstanding mentorship to students. Check out, for example, my recent pieces on productive philosophical conversation and surviving the PhD.