Coming Attractions


Fall 2022

The Big Questions: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110, Lectures T/Th 5:30 - 6:20, CL50 224

Moral Psychology and Climate Change PHIL 403, T/Th 3:00 - 4:15 BRNG 1248 (The class will look something like the syllabus under the link, but it will be considerably updated as well.)

Course Description

There’s an old saying that if you want to change the world, you need to know which levers to pull. In this course, we’ll consider some of those levers, especially those that lie within ourselves. We’ll use research in the interdisciplinary field of moral psychology to explore the philosophic and ethical facets of climate change, and aim for a better understanding of what exactly it is about the climate crisis that makes it so difficult for us to grasp and effectively act on.

We’ll first look at state of the art research on the character of human moral psychology, drawing on work by philosophers, psychologists, biologists, economists, and anthropologists. We’ll pay particularly close attention to the psychology of cooperation, and the central roles that culture, social norms, and informal institutions play in shaping both individual and group behavior. We’ll also look at how the threats produced by climate change engage our minds, and more alarmingly, fail to engage them. It appears that the climate crisis is a "perfect storm", almost custom designed to elude the grasp of our intuitive morality. We will examine in more detail how key features of the climate crisis lie behind some of our cognitive blind spots, fail to push our emotional buttons or get a grip on our motivational apparatus, and give rise to particularly difficult forms of collective action problems. Finally, we’ll consider some ideas for how to get around these obstacles, especially ideas that attempt to harness emerging research on human moral psychology to more effectively nudge us and our institutions towards meaningful social change.



Currently Playing


Spring 2022

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435 T/Th 1:30 - 2:45 MJIS 1001


Back Issues 

Fall 2021

The Big Questions: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

The Normative Mind (and Its Many Uses) PHIL 535

Spring 2020

Independent Study: Bias, Social Epistemology, and the Ethics of Algorithms PHIL 590

The Big Questions: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Fall 2020

• Sabbatical

Spring 2020

• This semester I was honored to be a Faculty Fellow at the Purdue College of Liberal Arts Center for Humanistic Studies

Fall 2019

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Private Selves, Public Personae: The Philosophy of Identities and the Sciences of the Mind HONR 399

Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

I did not teach this academic year because I was lucky enough to be living the dream as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Spring 2018

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Fall 2017

Normativity and the Psychology of Social Norms PHIL 535

Spring 2017

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Dissertation Workshop Seminar PHIL 680

Fall 2016

• Moral Psychology and Climate Change PHIL 490

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Spring 2016

• Minds, Mental Illness, and the Curious Case of Culture-bound Syndromes PHIL 535

Fall 2015

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

• Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Spring 2015

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110 Honors

Fall 2014

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

• Studies in Philosophy of Mind: Evolution and Externalism PHIL 535

Spring 2013

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

The Many Sides of Madness: Philosophy of Psychiatry PHIL 680

Fall 2012

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Spring 2012

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Studies in Philosophy of Mind: Agents Persons and Selves PHIL 535

Philosophy in David Foster Wallace PHIL 590 Independent Study

Fall 2011

Principles of Logic PHIL 150

Directed Readings in Norms and Informal Institutions PHIL 590: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Reading Seminar

Spring 2011

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Moral Psychology PHIL 590 Independent Study

Fall 2010

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Minds & Morals PHIL 490

Spring 2010

Studies in Philosophy of Mind: Modularity and the Architecture of the Human Mind PHIL 535

Philosophy of The Natural Sciences (Philosophy of Biology) PHIL 551

Fall 2009

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110 (Lecture, CRN 25220 Sec 019)

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110 (Section, CRN 25219 Sec 018)

Spring 2009

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Mind & Morality PHIL 580

Fall 2008

Theories of Concepts PHIL 590 Independent Study

Spring 2008

Mind, Brains, and Programs: The Philosophic Foundations of Cognitive Science PHIL 490B

Studies in Philosophy of Mind: Physicalism, Dualism, Panpsychism PHIL 535

Fall 2007

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 110

Philosophy of Mind PHIL 435

Spring 2006

Introduction to Symbolic Logic PHIL 201 (At Rutgers University)


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Comments, suggestions, clever derision and unqualified flattery all welcome at drkelly@purdue.edu.