Macalester Bell

Research Interests

Welcome!   I'm an associate professor of philosophy at Bryn Mawr College.  In 2018-19, I will be a Laurance S. Rockefeller Faculty Fellow at Princeton's University Center for Human Values

My primary teaching and research interests are in ethics and moral psychology.  I also teach and do some research in aesthetics and feminist philosophy.  I am especially interested in the appropriate attitudinal responses to serious wrongdoing and what I call "badbeing."  I have published several papers on forgiveness and the virtues and vices of anger; in my book, Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt, I explore the dangers and moral importance of contempt for persons.  I have two new papers that will be published soon: "Forgiving the Dead" is forthcoming in Social Philosophy & Policy and "On the Virtue of Taking Oneself Lightly" is forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.  

This summer, I participated in an interdisciplinary faculty seminar, After Evil: The Ethical Dynamics of Addressing the Past and presented a paper on using photographs as tools of moral persuasion at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress.

I am committed to increasing diversity in philosophy.  To that end, I have worked as both a graduate and faculty mentor at Rutgers' Summer Institute for Diversity and as a faculty mentor at the Mentoring Project for Pre-Tenure Women Faculty in Philosophy.  I am concerned about threats to viewpoint diversity in philosophy and in academia more generally, and I joined Heterodox Academy in 2017.