Andrew McAninch

Associate Scholar

20142015 Forum on Color

Andrew McAninch

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Humanities and Humanistic Sciences, 2013-2015

I am a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy at Indiana University Bloomington in 2012 and work on issues at the intersection of ethics, metaethics, moral psychology, and philosophy of action. At Penn I have taught courses on contemporary ethical theory and biomedical ethics.

Rational Agency and Normative Avowal

My research project focuses on the question of what constitutes rational agency, where rational agency is understood to encompass the kinds of capacities that are of interest and concern to moral philosophers—namely, the capacities to act for reasons, to be guided by norms, and to be answerable to rational criticisms of one’s actions or attitudes. Drawing on work within both moral philosophy and the epistemology of self-knowledge, I argue that, although acting for reasons or norms can be explained in terms of a person’s behavioral and motivational dispositions, a person can be answerable to rational criticisms only if she has the ability to avow the reasons or norms that move her, even if those reasons or norms move her without prior reflection or deliberation.