Michael Lacewing Heythrop College, University College London
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  • Faculty, Heythrop College
  • Faculty, University College London
  • PhD, University of Reading, 2000.

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About me
I joined Heythrop College in 2001, and became Director of Research in 2008. I work in philosophy of psychoanalysis, and am currently interested in moral psychology and moral epistemology.
My works
33 items found.
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  1. Michael Lacewing (forthcoming). Inferring Motives in Psychology and Psychoanalysis. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (3):197-212.
    In this paper, I consider an argument offered by Hopkins (1988) regarding the nature and status of our everyday inferences from other people’s behavior to their motives and other mental states. (It may be that we recognize, rather than infer, immediate intentions and emotional states, for example, in bodily actions and facial expressions. But I am concerned with inferences that go beyond states that can be recognized immediately in this way.) Hopkins’ argument seeks to rebut the charge, leveled by Grünbaum, (...)
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  2. Michael Lacewing (forthcoming). Statistics, Desire, and Interdisciplinarity. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (3):221-225.
    I am very grateful to both Edward Erwin and Peter Fonagy for their thoughtful and engaging comments. I do not have space to deal fully with all the issues they raise, but I will try to clarify some key points at which perhaps I implied more than I intended, or failed to be clear. Erwin states that I claim the following principle is a method for inferring causes: “if X is causally relevant to the occurrence of Y, then the incidence (...)
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  3. Michael Lacewing (2014). Philosophy for As: Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion. Routledge.
    Philosophy for AS is the core textbook for the new 2014 AQA Advanced Subsidiary Philosophy syllabus. Structured closely around the AQA specification this textbook covers the two units, Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion, in an engaging and student-friendly way. All the anthology texts are explained and commented on and woven into the discussion of the syllabus. With chapters on 'How to do philosophy' and exam preparation provide students with the philosophical skills they need to succeed, and an extensive glossary to (...)
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  4. Michael Lacewing (2013). Expert Moral Intuition and Its Development: A Guide to the Debate. Topoi:1-17.
    In this article, I provide a guide to some current thinking in empirical moral psychology on the nature of moral intuitions, focusing on the theories of Haidt and Narvaez. Their debate connects to philosophical discussions of virtue theory and the role of emotions in moral epistemology. After identifying difficulties attending the current debate around the relation between intuitions and reasoning, I focus on the question of the development of intuitions. I discuss how intuitions could be shaped into moral expertise, outlining (...)
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  5. Michael Lacewing (2013). Psychoanalysis, Emotions and Living a Good Life. Think 12 (33):41-51.
    Research Articles Michael Lacewing, Think , FirstView Article.
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  6. Michael Lacewing (2013). The Problem of Suggestion in Psychoanalysis: An Analysis and Solution. Philosophical Psychology 26 (5):718-743.
    From its inception, psychoanalysis has been troubled by the problem of suggestion. I defend an answer to the problem of suggestion understood as a methodological concern about the evidential basis of psychoanalytic theory. This purely methodological approach is relatively uncommon in discussions in psychoanalysis. I argue that suggestion in psychoanalysis is best understood in terms of experimenter expectancy effects. Such effects are not specific to psychoanalysis, and they can be corrected for by relying on the corroboration of findings by different (...)
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  7. Michael Lacewing (2012). Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and the A-Rational Mind. By Linda A. W. Brakel. (Oxford UP, 2009. Pp. Viii + 197. Price £32.95.). [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):425-427.
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  8. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 4. Routledge.
    Philosophy for AS is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Subsidiary Level. Structured closely around the examination specifications, it covers the two units of the AS Level in an exceptionally clear and student-friendly style. As an invitation to philosophy, the book encourages and enables students to engage philosophically with the following syllabus topics: reason and experience Why should I be governed? Why should I be moral? the idea of God persons knowledge of the external world tolerance (...)
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  9. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 3. Routledge.
    Philosophy for AS is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Subsidiary Level. Structured closely around the examination specifications, it covers the two units of the AS Level in an exceptionally clear and student-friendly style. As an invitation to philosophy, the book encourages and enables students to engage philosophically with the following syllabus topics: reason and experience Why should I be governed? Why should I be moral? the idea of God persons knowledge of the external world tolerance (...)
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  10. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy. Routledge.
    Philosophy for A2: Unit 3 is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Level syllabus. Structured very closely around the AQA specifications for Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy, it introduces the student to each of the core themes: philosophy of mind political philosophy epistemology and metaphysics moral philosophy philosophy of religion. All chapters are helpfully subdivided into short digestible passages, and include: quiz questions to test core knowledge discussion questions to deepen understanding 'going further' sections for (...)
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  11. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 4: Philosophical Problems. Routledge.
    Philosophy for A2: Unit 4 is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Level syllabus for philosophy. Structured very closely around the AQA specifications for Unit 4: Philosophical Problems, Michael Lacewing helps students to engage with and understand the arguments of the five key texts: Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Plato's The Republic Mill's On Liberty Descartes' Meditations Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil . All chapters are helpfully subdivided into short digestible passages, and include: quiz questions (...)
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  12. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy, 2008 Aqa Syllabus. Routledge.
    Philosophy for A2: Unit 3 is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Level syllabus. Structured very closely around the AQA specifications for Unit 3: Key Themes in Philosophy, it introduces the student to each of the core themes: philosophy of mind political philosophy epistemology and metaphysics moral philosophy philosophy of religion. All chapters are helpfully subdivided into short digestible passages, and include: quiz questions to test core knowledge discussion questions to deepen understanding 'going further' sections for (...)
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  13. Michael Lacewing (2009). Philosophy for A2: Unit 4: Philosophical Problems, 2008 Aqa Syllabus. Routledge.
    Philosophy for A2: Unit 4 is the definitive textbook for students of the current AQA Advanced Level syllabus for philosophy. Structured very closely around the AQA specifications for Unit 4: Philosophical Problems, Michael Lacewing helps students to engage with and understand the arguments of the five key texts: Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Plato's The Republic Mill's On Liberty Descartes' Meditations Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil . All chapters are helpfully subdivided into short digestible passages, and include: quiz questions (...)
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  14. Michael Lacewing (2009). The Psychology of Evil: A Contribution From Psychoanalysis. In Pedro Alexis Tabensky (ed.), The Positive Function of Evil. Palgrave Macmillan.
    It has often been noted that evil – by which I mean evil in human motivation and action – is difficult to understand. We find it hard to make sense of what ‘drives’ a person to commit evil. This is not because we cannot recognise or identify with some aspect of the psychology of evil; we all experience feelings of envy, spite, cruelty, and hatred. But somehow this shared experience can seem insufficient, and we are left at a loss as (...)
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  15. Michael Lacewing (2008). Philosophy for AS. Routledge.
    As an invitation to philosophy, the book encourages and enables students to engage philosophically with the ten topics that make up the AS Level Philosophy syllabus.
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  16. Michael Lacewing (2008). What Reason Can't Do. In N. Athanassoulis & S. Vice (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Palgrave MacMillan.
    The aim of this paper to analyse the central argument of Cottingham’s (1998) Philosophy and the Good Life, and to strengthen and develop it against misinterpretation and objection. Cottingham’s argument is an objection to ‘ratiocentrism’, the view that the good life can be understood in terms of and attained by reason and strength of will. The objection begins from a proper understanding of akrasia, or weakness of will, but its focus, and the focus of this paper, is the relation between (...)
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  17. Louise Braddock & Michael Lacewing (eds.) (2007). The Academic Face of Psychoanalysis: Papers in Philosophy, the Humanities, and the British Clinical Tradition. Routledge.
    Ever since Freud, psychoanalysts have explored the connections between psychoanalysis and literature and psychoanalysis and philosophy, while literary criticism, social science and philosophy have all reflected on and made use of ideas from psychoanalytic theory. The Academic Face of Psychoanalysis presents contributions from these fields and gives the reader an insight into different understandings and applications of psychoanalytic theory. This book comprises twelve contributions from experts in their fields covering philosophy, psychoanalysis, sociology and literary theory. The chapters are divided into (...)
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  18. Michael Lacewing (2007). Do Unconscious Emotions Involve Unconscious Feelings? Philosophical Psychology 20 (1):81-104.
    The very idea of unconscious emotion has been thought puzzling. But in recent debate about emotions, comparatively little attention has been given explicitly to the question. I survey a number of recent attempts by philosophers to resolve the puzzle and provide some preliminary remarks about their viability. I identify and discuss three families of responses: unconscious emotions involve conscious feelings, unconscious emotions involve no feelings at all, and unconscious emotions involve unconscious feelings. The discussion is exploratory rather than decisive for (...)
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  19. Michael Lacewing (2006). Review of Marcia Cavell, Becoming a Subject. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (10).
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  20. Michael Lacewing (2006). Revise Philosophy for AS Level. Routledge.
    A revision guide for students taking Philosophy AS, helping students prepare for the three units they have to take: 1. Theory of knowledge (compulsory) 2. Moral philosophy OR Philosophy of Religion 3. One of the following texts: Plato's The Republic; Descartes' Meditations; Marx and Engels' The German Ideology; or Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism.
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  21. Michael Lacewing (2005). Book Review of Dancy, J., "Ethics Without Principles&Quot;. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221).
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  22. Michael Lacewing (2005). Emotional Self-Awareness and Ethical Deliberation. Ratio 18 (1):65-81.
    How are we to distinguish between appropriate emotional responses that reveal morally salient reasons and inappropriate emotional responses that reflect our prejudices? It is often assumed that reason – considered as distinct from emotion – will make the distinction. I argue that this view is false, and that the process by which emotional responses are vetted involves ‘emotional self-awareness’. By this, I mean feeling an emotion, being aware of so doing, and feeling some usually subtle emotional response, often of calm (...)
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  23. Michael Lacewing (2005). Real Love. The Philosophers' Magazine 29 (29):63-66.
    The idea that love is one of the most fundamental forces in the world, if not the most fundamental force, has a long and influential history. But does the idea of a fundamental connection between love and reality have a future? Can it hold any meaning for us if, for example, we do not believe in God? I want to offer some speculative thoughts that it can, thoughts that derive from a philosophical reflection on psychoanalysis. My central claim is that (...)
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  24. Elizabeth Burns & Michael Lacewing (2004). Essay Writing and Exam Preparation. In Elizabeth Burns & Stephen Law (eds.), Philosophy for as and A. Routledge.
  25. Michael Lacewing (2004). Book Review of Roberts, R., "Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology&Quot;. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 1:105-8.
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  26. Michael Lacewing (2004). Emotion and Cognition: Recent Developments and Therapeutic Practice. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (2):175-186.
    As is widely known, the last 25 years have seen an acceleration in the development of theories of emotion. Perhaps less well-known is that the last three years have seen an extended defense of a predominant, though not universally accepted, framework for the understanding of emotion in philosophy and psychology. The central claim of this framework is that emotions are a form of evaluative response to their intentional objects, centrally involving cognition or something akin to cognition, in which the evaluation (...)
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  27. Michael Lacewing (2004). Moral Philosophy (Unit 2). In Elizabeth Burns & Stephen Law (eds.), Philosophy for as and A. Routledge.
  28. Michael Lacewing (2004). Book Review: Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (1):105-108.
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  29. Michael Lacewing (2003). Roger Trigg, Philosophy Matters (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002). Think 1 (3):107-111.
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  30. Michael Lacewing (2002). A Relative Defence. Think 3 (3):69-75.
    I defend a form of moral relativism that draws upon value pluralism and incommensurability.
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  31. Michael Lacewing (2002). Book Review of Trigg, R., "Philosophy Matters&Quot;. [REVIEW] Think 3:107-111.
    A book review of Trigg's Philosophy Matters, covering issues of scientism, relativism and rationality.
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  32. Michael Lacewing (2002). Review of Jeff McMahan, The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (11).
  33. Michael Lacewing (2000). Book Review of Pugmire, D., "Rediscovering Emotions&Quot;. [REVIEW] Ratio (3):287-292.
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