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Murphy Institute People

Alison Denham
  • Associate Professor Of Philosophy
  • 2005-2006 CEPA Faculty Fellow
  • adenham@tulane.edu
  • Phone: (504) 865-5305
  • 105 Newcomb Hall
    Tulane University
    New Orleans, LA 70118


Alison Denham is Associate Professor of Philosophy. Before coming to Tulane she was Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she received her doctorate from Wadham College, University of Oxford (1989). Her research and teaching interests include aesthetics, moral psychology, and philosophy of mind. Professor Denham’s publications include a book, Metaphor and Moral Experience: An Essay in the Psychology of Value, an edited volume, Plato on Art and Beauty, as well as articles and essays in journals such as Contemporary British Philosophy, the European Journal of Philosophy, and Modern Fiction Studies.




Books and Edited Volumes

Metaphor and Moral Experience: an Essay in the Psychology of Value (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Plato on Art & Beauty (edited volume, Palgrave MacMillan, 2012).


Articles, Chapters, and Book Reviews

“An Aetiology of Recognition: Empathy, Attachment and Moral Competence” in E. Harcourt, ed.,   Attachment: Virtues and Vices (Oxford University Press,  2021)

Making Sorrow Sweet: Emotion and Empathy in the Experience of Fiction,”  in A. Houen (ed.), Affect and Literature  (Cambridge University Press, 2020): doi:10.1017/9781108339339.011

“The Nature of Nurture: Poverty, Father Absence and Gender Equality” in Nicolás Brando & Gottfried Schweiger (eds.), Philosophy and Child Poverty: Reflections on the Ethics and Politics of Poor Children and Their Families (Springer, 2019).

"Empathy and Moral Motivation, in Heidi Maibom (ed.), The Philosophy of Empathy (Routledge., 2017).

What's Not to Like? Review of The Meaning of Disgust by Colin McGinn, European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1): 302-307 (2016). ​​​​

"Fragments of the Self: Identity, Agency and Integration” with F. D. Worrell, in  D. Moseley & G. Gala (eds.), Philosophy & Psychiatry (Routledge, 2015).​​​

"Celan's Song: Pictures, Poetry and Epistemic Value, in John Gibson (ed.), The Philosophy of Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2015). 

“Tragedy Without the Gods: Autonomy, Necessity and the Real Self,” British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (2): 141-159 (2014). 

“Attuned, Transcendent & Transfigured: Nietzsche's Aesthetic Psychology” in Daniel Came (ed.), Nietzsche on Art & Life (Oxford University Press, 2013).

“Psychopathy, Empathy & Moral Motivation” in J. Broakes (ed.) Iris Murdoch, Philosopher: A Collection of Essays (Oxford University Press, 2011).

“The Future of Tonality,” The British Journal of Aesthetics (July 2009).

“Varieties of Explanation: A Philosophical Memoir of Patrick Lancaster Gardiner,”  Proceedings of the British Academy 138 (2007).

“Envisaging the Good: Iris Murdoch’s Moral Psychology,” Modern Fiction Studies: Special Issue on Iris Murdoch (Autumn 2001).

Review of Of Mind and Music by Laird Addis, Music and Letters,  81 (2):2000.

Review of Philosophy’s Cool Place by D.Z. Phillips, The Times Literary Supplement (June 23, 2000).

Review of After the End of Art, by A. Danto, The British Journal of Aesthetics (March 1999).

The Moving Mirrors of Music: Roger Scruton Resonates with Tradition,” Music and Letters 8 (3): 411-432 (1999).

 Review of After the End of Art by A. Danto, British Journal of Aesthetics 39 (2): 212-214.     

“Kant and Contemporary Moral Philosophy,” in Contemporary British Moral Philosophy, ed. A. Montefiore and V. Muresan (Bucharest, 1996).

“Metaphor and Judgements of Experience,” European Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1996).


The Murphy Institute

Established in memory of Charles H. Murphy, Sr. (1870-1954), and inspired by the vision of Charles H. Murphy, Jr. (1920-2002), The Murphy Institute exists to help Tulane faculty and students understand economic, moral, and political problems we all face and think about. More important, it exists to help us understand how these problems have come to be so closely interconnected.