Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy


Michelle Mason Bizri is Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota and Associate Professor of Philosophy (Adjunct), Brown University. A former Faculty Fellow of Harvard University's Program for Ethics and the Professions, in 2018 she co-founded The Gadfly Group, an organization dedicated to spotlighting corruption, promoting ethical reflection, and fostering accountability among individuals and institutions charged with governing in the public trust, with a focus on abuses of power in the governance of institutions of higher education.

Mason Bizri's primary area of academic research and teaching is ethics, especially as concerns questions in moral psychology. Her work in this area has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Templeton Foundation, among others, and published as articles in Ethics, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences and as chapters in Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, among others. Her books include The Moral Psychology of Contempt (editor, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) and a forthcoming monograph, tentatively titled Valuing Persons, under contract with Oxford University Press. The latter investigates and defends a quartet of attitudes -- contempt, shame, love, and pride -- as related reactive attitudes that constitute persons as responsible for approximating normative ideals, thereby challenging what she views as the hegemony of respect in normative moral psychology.

A second book-length project in normative ethical theory pursues a virtue-theoretic approach to contemporary debate about the practical rationality of moral action. Defending a developmental account of the human good, and bringing her practical experience as a child welfare advocate to bear, Mason Bizri defends a novel account of the connection between living a life of virtue and living a life that is good for whoever lives it.

Finally, The Interpreter of Guantanamo: A Case Study in Empathy, and its Failures, is in the interview stage. This trade publication will offer a biographical case study designed to shed light on the place of empathy, and its limits, in the ongoing tragedy of Guantanamo.

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