Pamela Hieronymi

Institutional Affiliation 
Professor of Philosophy, UCLA
Professional Bio 

Pamela Hieronymi is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her primary research area is moral psychology, with a special emphasis on issues of responsibility and agency. She has published influential work on reasons, trust, forgiveness, and the voluntariness of belief. In 2010 she won the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars from the American Council of Learned Societies. She spent the 2011–2012 academic year as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Hieronymi has presented her research widely, both nationally and internationally. In addition, she has appeared on Philosophy Talk public radio and her thoughts on technology and teaching were published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Area of Expertise 

Trained as an ethicist, my primary area of research concerns agency and responsibility, especially our agency with respect to, and our responsibility for, our own states of mind. I have argued, e.g., that believing could not be voluntary; that we cannot genuinely trust someone simply in order to improve our relationship with him or her; and that people can be rightly held responsible for their vices, even if the vice (such as insensitivity) effectively protects against its own elimination. I am currently writing a manuscript aiming to unwind the traditional philosophical problem of free will and moral responsibility. The problem, I argue, arises because we make certain natural-but-avoidable assumptions when we model our own experience. By doing some remodeling, we can avoid those assumptions and so better understand both our place in nature and our relations with one another.

Workshop Locations