University of Minnesota
Department of Philosophy
myU OneStop

Department of Philosophy

Prof Michelle N Mason

Michelle N Mason

Prof Michelle N Mason

Philosophy 721 HellerH 271 19th Ave S

Department Affiliations


My main philosophical interests intersect value theory and the philosophy of mind and action. My current research and teaching interests are in ethics, where my present concerns include the contribution that reflection on the concept of a practical virtue has to offer to contemporary debate about the practical rationality of moral action. The concept of a practical virtue captures intuitions about admirable action in a way that provides a fruitful perspective from which to consider the evaluative patterns of reasoning and action we associate with morality and their place in a more general theory of reasons for action.

My interest in moral psychology includes the reactive attitudes, and a desire to explore the implications of theoretical commitments in moral theory for the nature and range of those attitudes one takes to be morally justifiable.

Finally, I enjoy thinking and writing about issues in aesthetics.


  • ethical theory
  • moral psychology
  • practical reason
  • history of ethics
  • aesthetics

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Philosophy, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2001.


  • Mason, Michelle. "Reactivity and Refuge," Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Vol. 2, D. Shoemaker and N. Tognazzini, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming December 2014).
  • Mason, Michelle. "Moral Psychology," International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Hugh LaFolette, ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • Mason, Michelle. "Reactive Attitudes," International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Hugh LaFollette, ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • Mason, Michelle. "Senza Vergogna," La Vergogna/Shame, E. Antonelli and M. Rotili, eds. (Milan: Mimesis Edizione, 2012): 229-245.
  • Mason, Michelle. "Blame: Taking it Seriously," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83:2 (2011): 473-481.
  • Mason, Michelle. "On Shamelessness," Philosophical Papers 39:3 (2010): 401-425.
  • Mason, Michelle and Value Tiberius. "Aristotle," The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology, Shane J. Lopez, ed. (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009): 63-64.
  • Mason, Michelle and Value Tiberius. "Eudaimonia," The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology, Shane J. Lopez, ed. (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009): 351-355.
  • Mason, Michelle. Review of Deadly Vices by Gabriele Taylor. Mind 117:467 (2008): 742-744.
  • Mason, Michelle. Review of What is Good and Why by Richard Kraut. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, November 17, 2007.
  • Mason, Michelle. "Aretaic Appraisal and Practical Reasons" Southern Journal of Philosophy, 4:4 (2006): 629-656.
  • Mason, Michelle. "Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason," Hume Studies, 31:2 (2005): 347-378.
  • Mason, Michelle N. "Moral Sentiments." The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd ed. (2005): 388-393.
  • Mason, Michelle. Review of Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View by Christine Swanton. Ethics 115:2 (2005): 430-434.
  • Mason, Michelle N. "Contempt as a Moral Attitude." Ethics 113:2 (2003): 234-272.
  • Mason, Michelle N. "Moral Prejudice and Aesthetic Deformity: Rereading Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste'." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59:1 (2001): 59-71.

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor: Ethics: 2013 - present

Outreach Activities

  • Guardian ad Litem: Ramsey County- 2nd Judicial District Juvenile Court, 2007 - 2008
  • Community Representative: Restorative Justice Community Action, 2005 - 2007


  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 6/2011 - 7/2011
  • Faculty Residential Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Fall 2010
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, 2005 - 2007
  • Faculty Fellow in Ethics, Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions, September 2002 - June 2003
  • "Thank a Teacher" Teaching Award, University of Minnesota, 2001
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, September 1999 - June 2000

Courses Taught

  • Phil 1003W - Introduction to Ethics
  • Phil 3311 - Introduction to Ethical Theory
  • Phil 3302 - Moral Problems of Contemporary Society
  • Phil 4330W - Contemporary Moral Theories
  • Phil 4321 - Theories of Justice
  • Phil 4320W - Intensive Study of a Historical Moral Theory
  • Phil1910 - Freshman Seminar: The Ethics of Attitudes
  • Phil 8310 - Seminar in Moral Philosophy
Alternative Output Formats Alternative Output Formats

Departmental Main Office
 - Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

General Information
831 Heller Hall
271 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455