Mark Alfano

Mark Alfano
  • Macquarie University
  • Associate Professor in Philosophy
  • Affiliation During NDIAS Fellowship: University of Oregon
  • Residential Fellow (2011-2012)
  • “Factitious Virtue”

Mark Alfano specializes in moral psychology, a branch of philosophy that intersects with ethics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, social psychology, and behavioral economics.

Dr. Alfano has published over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with his articles appearing in such journals as Erkenntnis, The Monist, Philosophical Quarterly, and Journal of Nietzsche Studies. His current research focuses on ways to accommodate and co-opt empirical insights into human nature. These insights suggest that although we very much believe that people have such character traits as courage, honesty, and modesty, our actions are often better explained by appeal to seemingly trivial and morally irrelevant features of our situations, such as ambient sounds, ambient smells, the presence of bystanders, and our mood. His response to this research is forthcoming in Character as Moral Fiction (Cambridge University Press), which he is completing here at the Institute for Advanced Study. Alfano is a past recipient of the City University of New York’s Chancellor’s Fellowship and Writing Fellowship and will be a postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School and Center for Human Values in 2012-2013.