Julia Driver

Professor of Philosophy
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
research interests:
  • Normative ethics
  • Metaethics
  • Moral Psychology
  • History of Sentimentalism
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contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1073
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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Professor Driver's research is primarily in Normative Ethical Theory and Moral Psychology, with related metaphysical interests in the nature of causation as well as the nature of value.

She is the author of Uneasy Virtue (Cambridge), Ethics: the Fundamentals (Blackwell), and Consequentialism (Routledge, 2012) as well as articles in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy, Ethics, and the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. She is co-editor of the online journal, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, and an Associate Editor at Ethics and Nous.

Professor Driver has received an NEH Fellowship, a Young Scholar's Award from Cornell's Program in Ethics and Public Life, a Laurence Rockefeller Fellowship at Princeton's Center for Human Values, a Visiting Fellowship from the Australian National University, an H.L.A. Hart Fellowship at Oxford University, and the Harsanyi Fellowship from the Australian National University. She is currently Vice-President, and President-Elect, of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association.

Selected Publications

Uneasy Virtue

Uneasy Virtue

Driver challenges Aristotle's classical theory of virtue, arguing that it fails to take into account virtues that do seem to involve ignorance or epistemic defect. Modesty, for example, is generally considered to be a virtue even though the modest person may be making an inaccurate assessment of his or her accomplishments. She argues that we should abandon the highly intellectualist view of virtue and instead adopt a consequentialist perspective that holds that virtue is simply a character trait that systematically produces good consequences.

Ethics: The Fundamentals

Ethics: The Fundamentals

Is there such a thing as right and wrong? If so, what makes one action right and another wrong? Are there moral laws that apply universally, or are certain actions right in one place but not another? Ethics: The Fundamentals explores these and many other related questions by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including moral relativism, virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. Lively everyday examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas make this first volume of Blackwell’s Fundamentals of Philosophy series an important resource for readers coming to the subject for the first time.