Heather V. Adair

Contact Information


Department of Philosophy, Skinner Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7505

About Me

I am a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Maryland. I am interested primarily in philosophy of mind, philosophy of emotion, and aesthetics, particularly as they intersect with contemporary findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Most recently, I have been focusing on areas of research related to understanding and affect, empathy, and the role of questioning attitudes in aesthetic appreciation. Prior to starting my graduate work, I studied Philosophy at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and taught in Madrid, Spain under the funding of the Fulbright Program.

Areas of Specialization

Philosophy of mind, philosophy of emotion, aesthetics, and moral psychology.

Areas of Competence

Applied ethics, moral psychology.


Adair, H.V. (in press). “Updating Thought Theory: Emotion and the Non-Paradox of Fiction”. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

Adair, H.V. & Carruthers, P. (2017) Attitude-Scenario-Emotion (ASE) sentiments are superficial. Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 40 (2017), (1,000 words) e226. (Dual author.) (Commentary on “The deep structure of social affect: Attitudes, emotions, sentiments, and the case of ‘contempt’” by Matthew Gervais and Daniel Fessler.)

In Progress or Under Review

Disfluency, Negative Affect, and Interest: A Better Theory of Aesthetic Pleasure

Understanding without Caring: the Role of Affect in Empathy

Teaching Materials

A PDF compilation of all of my teaching evaluations from the University of Maryland; 2013 to present. Password protected.

A video lecture on compatibilism, taken from the free will unit of my 2019 online summer course, Philosophy Through Film (later applied to the film Minority Report)

Syllabi that I have either designed and implemented, or am eager to use in the future.