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Lisa TessmanLisa Tessman

Professor of Philosophy

Phd Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996

Office: Library Tower 1215
Personal Website:


Ethics: especially virtue ethics, moral dilemmas, moral psychology, feminist ethics and social theory.

Recent Courses

Contemporary Ethics
Moral Intuitions and Moral Reasoning
Moral Failure
Moral Dilemmas
What Morality Demands
Feminist Ethics
Critical Theories of Race
African American Philosophy
Introduction to Philosophy

Recent and Representative Publications


Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality. Oxford University Press, 2014 | Read 

Burdened Virtues

Virtue Ethics for Liberatory Struggles. Oxford University Press, 2005 

Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal, Ed. Springer, 2009. | Download Introduction (.pdf, 460kb)

Jewish Locations: Traversing Racialized Landscapes. Rowman and Littlefield, 2001. Co-edited with Bat-Ami Bar On.


Forthcoming 2015. "Value Pluralism, Intuitions, and Reflective Equilibrium." Philosophical Topics.

Forthcoming 2014. "Making More Space for Moral Failure." In Virtue and the Moral Life: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives, ed. William Werpehowski and Kathryn Getek-Soltis. Lexington Books: 133-152.

2013. "Virtue Ethics and Moral Failure: Lessons from Neuroscientific Moral Psychology." Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Ethics, ed. Michael Austin. Palgrave Macmillan: 171-189.

2010. “Idealizing Morality.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 25 (4): 797-824. | Download article (.pdf, 148kb)

2010. “Against the Whiteness of Ethics: Dilemmatizing as a Critical Approach.” In The Center Must Not Hold: White Women Philosophers on the Whiteness of Philosophy, ed. George Yancy. Lexington Books: 193-209. 

2009. “Feminist Eudaimonism: Eudaimonism as Non-Ideal Theory.” In Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal, ed. Lisa Tessman. Springer: 47-58. 

2009. “Expecting Bad Luck.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 24 (1): 9-28. | Download article (.pdf, 104kb)

2008. “Reply to Critics.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 23 (3): 205-216. This reply is part of a Symposium on Burdened Virtues, which includes the work of three critics (Cheshire Calhoun, Marilyn Friedman, and Christine Koggel). | Download article (.pdf, 76kb)

2005. "The Burdened Virtues of Political Resistance.” In Feminist Interventions in Ethics and Politics, eds. Barbara S. Andrew, Jean Keller and Lisa H. Schwartzman. Rowman and Littlefield: 77-96.

Curriculum vitae

Download CV (.pdf, 227.6kb)

Last Updated: 8/6/18