Lisa Tessman Ph.D.

Lisa Tessman Ph.D.

Lisa Tessman, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University in New York. She has published in ethics, feminist philosophy, and related areas. She has a book coming out in June 2017 called When Doing the Right Thing Is Impossible, which is written for a general audience. The book focuses on those terrible situations in which no matter what you do, you’ll commit some moral wrongdoing. Her previous books include: Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality (2015) and Burdened Virtues: Virtue Ethics for Liberatory Struggles (2005).

Tessman’s work focuses on understanding how morality is shaped and how real people experience morality, especially under difficult conditions. She draws on both philosophical ethics—which asks questions about what is morally right and wrong as well as questions about what morality is—and empirical moral psychology—which studies how people actually make moral decisions and how they experience the demands of morality.

Author of

I'm Only Human

We need to know what kind of morality is right for the people we really are: human beings who rely on our emotions and intuitions, as well as our reasoning, when we make ethical choices or when we decide on what types of norms our society should have. But this is complicated—people create morality, but given that there are many varieties of moral values, how do we sort them out, and what happens when they conflict? Moral life can be difficult—even anguishing—especially when conflicts can force us to sacrifice some of what we deeply value.

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