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Profile: Lorraine Besser-Jones (Middlebury College)
  1. Lorraine Besser-Jones & Michael Slote (eds.) (2015). The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Routledge.
    First published in 2014. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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  2. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2014). Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well. Routledge.
    In this book , Lorraine Besser-Jones develops a eudaimonistic virtue ethics based on a psychological account of human nature. While her project maintains the fundamental features of the eudaimonistic virtue ethical framework—virtue, character, and well-being—she constructs these concepts from an empirical basis, drawing support from the psychological fields of self-determination and self-regulation theory. Besser-Jones’s resulting account of "eudaimonic ethics" presents a compelling normative theory and offers insight into what is involved in being a virtuous person and "acting well." This original (...)
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  3. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2012). Drawn to the Good? Brewer on Dialectical Activity. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):621-631.
    In The Retrieval of Ethics, Talbot Brewer defends an Aristotelian-inspired understanding of the good life, in which living the good life is conceived of in terms of engaging in a unified dialectical activity. In this essay, I explore the assumptions at work in Brewer's understanding of dialectical activity and raise some concerns about whether or not we have reason to embrace them. I argue that his conception of human nature and that towards which we are drawn stands in tension with (...)
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  4. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2012). The Role of Practical Reason in an Empirically Informed Moral Theory. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):203-220.
    Empirical research paints a dismal portrayal of the role of reason in morality. It suggests that reason plays no substantive role in how we make moral judgments or are motivated to act on them. This paper explores how it is that an empirically oriented philosopher, committed to methodological naturalism, ought to respond to the skeptical challenge presented by this research. While many think taking this challenge seriously requires revising, sometimes dramatically, how we think about moral agency, this paper will defend (...)
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  5. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2012). The Cautious Jealous Virtue: Hume on Justice (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (3):461-462.
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  6. Donald Ainsle, Margaret Atherton, Annette Baier, Don Baxter, Bill Beardsley, Martin Bell, Lorraine Besser-Jones, John Biro, Simon Blackburn & Charlotte Brown (2011). Hume Studies Referees, 2010–2011. Hume Studies 37 (2):297-298.
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  7. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2011). The Motivational State of the Virtuous Agent. Philosophical Psychology 25 (1):93 - 108.
    Julia Annas argues that Aristotle's understanding of the phenomenological experience of the virtuous agent corresponds to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of the ?flow,? which is a form of intrinsic motivation. In this paper, I explore whether or not Annas? understanding of virtuous agency is a plausible one. After a thorough analysis of psychological accounts of intrinsic and extrinsic states of motivation, I argue that despite the attractiveness of Annas? understanding of virtuous agency, it is subject to a serious problem: all (...)
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  8. Kate Abramson, Donald Ainslie, Lilli Alanen, Annette Baier, Tom Beauchamp, Helen Beebee, Martin Bell, Christopher Berry, Lorraine Besser-Jones & John Biro (2010). Hume Studies Referees, 2009–2010. Hume Studies 36 (2):261-263.
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  9. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2010). Hume on Pride-in-Virtue: A Reliable Motive? Hume Studies 36 (2):171-192.
    Many commentators have argued that on Hume’s account, pride turns out to be something that is unstable, context-dependent, and highly contingent. On their readings, whether or not an agent develops pride depends heavily on factors beyond her control, such as whether or not her house, which is beautiful, is also the most beautiful in her neighborhood and whether or not her neighbors will admire the beauty of her house rather than become envious of it. These aspects of Hume’s theory of (...)
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  10. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2008). Personal Integrity, Moraity, and Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (3):361-383.
    Most moral theories purport to make claims upon agents, yet often it is not clear why those claims are ones that can be justifiably demanded of agents. In this paper, I develop a justification of moral requirements that explains why it is that morality makes legitimate claims on agents. This justification is grounded in the idea that there is an essential connection between morality and psychological well-being. I go on to suggest how, using this justification as a springboard, we might (...)
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  11. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2008). Review of Christopher J. Finlay, Hume's Social Philosophy: Human Nature and Commercial Sociability in a Treatise of Human Nature. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (4).
  12. Lorraine Besser-jones (2008). Social Psychology, Moral Character, and Moral Fallibility. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):310–332.
    In recent years, there has been considerable debate in the literature concerning the existence of moral character. One lesson we should take away from these debates is that the concept of character, and the role it plays in guiding our actions, is far more complex than most of us initially took it to be. Just as Gilbert Harman, for example, makes a serious mistake in insisting, plainly and simply, that ther is no such thing as character, defenders of character also (...)
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  13. Abraham Anderson, Margaret Atherton, Annette Baier, Tom Beauchamp, Helen Beebee, Martin Bell, Lorraine Besser-Jones, Richard Bett, Mark Box & Deborah Boyle (2007). Hume Studies Referees, 2006–2007. Hume Studies 33 (2):385-387.
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  14. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2006). The Role of Justice in Hume's Theory of Psychological Development. Hume Studies 32 (2):253-276.
    Hume’s theory of justice, intricately linked to his account of moral development, is at once simplistic and mysterious, combining familiar conventionalistelements with perplexing, complicated elements of his rich moral psychology. These dimensions of his theory make interpreting it no easy task, although many have tried. Emerging from these many different attempts is a picture of Hume as defending an account of justice according to which justice consists of expedient rules designed to advance one’s self-interest. The mistake of this view, I (...)
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  15. Donald Ainslie, Julia Annas, Margaret Atherton, Neera Badhwar, Donald Lm Baxter, Martin Bell, Lorraine Besser-Jones, Richard Bett, Simon Blackburn & M. A. Box (2005). Hume Studies Referees, 2004–2005. Hume Studies 31 (2):385-387.
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  16. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2005). Hume's Law. [REVIEW] Hume Studies 31 (1):177-180.
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  17. Lorraine Besser-Jones (2005). Just War Theory, Legitimate Authority, and the "War" on Terror. In Timothy Shanahan (ed.), Philosophy 9/11: Thinking About the War on Terrorism. Open Court.
     
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