Jennifer Zamzow Carnegie Mellon University

  • Postdoc, Carnegie Mellon University
  • PhD, University of Arizona, 2013.

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Areas of interest

About me
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics and Cognition in the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Ethics and Policy at Carnegie Mellon. My primary interests are in moral psychology, ethical theory, and applied ethics. I am particularly interested in exploring questions such as: What kinds of factors influence our moral decision making? How should this shape our normative and prescriptive theories? How can we engage in better moral decision making? In investigating these questions, I draw on research in ethical theory, experimental philosophy, cognitive science, and social psychology.
My works
3 items found.
  1.  45
    Jennifer L. Zamzow (2015). Rules and Principles in Moral Decision Making: An Empirical Objection to Moral Particularism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):123-134.
    It is commonly thought that moral rules and principles, such as ‘Keep your promises,’ ‘Respect autonomy,’ and ‘Distribute goods according to need ,’ should play an essential role in our moral deliberation. Particularists have challenged this view by arguing that principled guidance leads us to engage in worse decision making because principled guidance is too rigid and it leads individuals to neglect or distort relevant details. However, when we examine empirical literature on the use of rules and principles in other (...)
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  2.  81
    Theresa Lopez, Jennifer Zamzow, Michael Gill & Shaun Nichols (2009). Side Constraints and the Structure of Commonsense Ethics. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):305-319.
    In our everyday moral deliberations, we attend to two central types of considerations – outcomes and moral rules. How these considerations interrelate is central to the long-standing debate between deontologists and utilitarians. Is the weight we attach to moral rules reducible to their conduciveness to good outcomes (as many utilitarians claim)? Or do we take moral rules to be absolute constraints on action that normatively trump outcomes (as many deontologists claim)? Arguments over these issues characteristically appeal to commonsense intuitions about (...)
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  3. Jennifer Zamzow & Shaun Nichols (2009). Variations in Ethical Intuitions. In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 368-388.
    Philosophical theorizing is often, either tacitly or explicitly, guided by intuitions about cases. Theories that accord with our intuitions are generally considered to be prima facie better than those that do not. However, recent empirical work has suggested that philosophically significant intuitions are variable and unstable in a number of ways. This variability of intuitions has led naturalistically inclined philosophers to disparage the practice of relying on intuitions for doing philosophy in general (e.g. Stich & Weinberg 2001) and for doing (...)
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