Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy
Professor Smith joined the Department of Philosophy in 2009 as an Associate Professor of Philosophy after teaching for ten years at the University of Washington in Seattle. In the fall of 2008, she visited Washington and Lee as the first Fellow in the Program in Society and the Professions, and in 2013 she was appointed to be the first Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and the first Director of the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. She teaches a variety of courses in moral and political philosophy as well as ancient philosophy.
Professor Smith’s research interests concern the connections between morality, moral agency, and moral responsibility. She has published a number of articles exploring whether, and if so in what way, we are morally responsible for our attitudes – for our desires, emotions, beliefs, and other intentional mental states. More recently, she has written articles on the moral importance of specific attitudes such as blame and tolerance, and she has argued for the existence of robust attitudinal obligations to others. Her work has been published in a number of the leading journals in philosophy, including Ethics, Philosophical Studies, and the Journal of Ethics, as well as a number of edited Oxford volumes. In 2013 she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct summer research, as well as a Laurence S. Rockefeller Faculty Fellowship to spend the 2013-2014 school year at the Princeton University Center for Human Values.
Ph.D. Philosophy, Harvard University (1999)
B.A. Philosophy and Political Science, Willamette University (1992)
Moral responsibility, Moral Agency, Moral Psychology, Metaethics
Introduction to Ethics, Contemporary Moral Problems, Ethics of War, Free Will and Moral Responsibility, Ethics of War, Metaethics, Virtue Ethics, Ethics of Globalization, Plato
- “Moral Blame and Moral Protest,”in Blame: Its Nature and Norms, ed.Justin Coates and Neal Tognazinni (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013): 27-48.
- “Attributability, Answerability, and Accountability: In Defense of a Unified Account,” Ethics 122 (April 2012): 575-589.
- “The Trouble with Tolerance,” in Reasons and Recognition: Essays on the Philosophy of T. M. Scanlon, ed. R. Jay Wallace, Rahul Kumar, and Samuel Freeman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011): 179-199.
- “Guilty Thoughts,” in Morality and the Emotions, ed. Carla Bagnoli (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011): 235-256.
- “Making a Difference, Making a Statement, and Making Conversation,” in a Symposium on John Martin Fischer’s My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility, Philosophical Books 47:3 (July 2006): 213-221.
- “Identification and Responsibility,” in Moral Responsibility and Ontology, ed. A. van den Beld (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000): 233-246.
- “Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment,” Philosophical Studies 138:3 (April 2008): 367-392.
- “Character, Blameworthiness, and Blame: Comments on George Sher’s In Praise of Blame,” Philosophical Studies 137:1 (January 2008): 31-39.
- “On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible,” Journal of Ethics 11:4 (December 2007): 465-484.
- “Responsibility for Attitudes: Activity and Passivity in Mental Life,” Ethics 115:2 (January 2005): 236-271.
- “Conflicting Attitudes, Moral Agency, and Conceptions of the Self,” Philosophical Topics Vol. 32, Nos. 1 & 2 (Spring & Fall 2004): 331-352.
- “Knowledge and Expertise in the Early Platonic Dialogues,” Archiv für Geschichte Der Philosophie, Band 80,Heft 2 (1998): 129-161.