Macalester Bell

Title | Organization: 
Visiting Assistant Professor Fall 2014 | Columbia University

Macalester Bell works primarily in ethics and moral psychology, but she also has teaching and research interests in aesthetics, social and political philosophy, and feminism.  Within ethics and moral psychology, she is especially interested in articulating an account of the appropriate attitudinal responses to serious immorality and injustice.  As part of this project, she has published papers on forgiveness, inspiration, and the virtues and vices of anger. 

She recently finished a book that explores the dangers and moral importance of contempt for persons.  The book, Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt, was published by Oxford University Press in April.

Currently, she is thinking about forgiveness of the dead, the ethics of deaccessioning, and the moral dimensions of photography. 

For more information on her book, papers, talks, and courses, please visit her personal website:


Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt,
New York: Oxford University Press, April 2013

Areas of Specialization: 

Ethics; Moral Psychology

Articles / Publications: 

Grizzly Man, Sentimentality, and our Relationships with Other Animals” in Understanding Love Through Philosophy, Film, and Fiction,eds.Christopher Grau and Susan Wolf (New York: Oxford University Press, in press)

“The Standing to Blame: A Critique” in Blame: Its Nature and Norms,eds. Neal A. Tognazzini and Justin Coates (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) pp. 263-281

“Forgiveness, Inspiration and the Powers of Reparation,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 49, 3, 2012, pp. 205-221

“Globalist Attitudes and the Fittingness Objection,” Philosophical Quarterly, 61, 244, 2011, pp. 449-472

“Anger, Oppression, and Virtue,” in Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal, ed. Lisa Tessman (Dordrecht; New York: Springer, 2009) pp. 165-183

“Forgiving Someone for Who They Are (and Not Just What They’ve Done),” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 77, 3, 2008, pp. 625-658

“A Woman’s Scorn: Toward a Feminist Defense of Contempt as a Moral Emotion,” Hypatia,20, 4, 2005, pp. 80-93