- John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
- Available for postgraduate supervision
My main research areas are philosophy of psychology and moral philosophy, especially the intersection of these areas. I also work in the philosophy of psychiatry.
In moral philosophy, I am currently working on theories of moral responsibility; I defend the importance of the consequences of our practices of holding each other responsible for justifying blame and praise. I also look at ways in which moral agency may be affected in psychiatric illness.
In the philosophy of psychiatry I am investigating the relationship between mental disorders and brain disorders. Are all mental disorders brain disorders, and if so, what does that mean? Is the question of whether mental disorders are brain disorders one to be decided by the philosophy of mind or by practical considerations such as for example ‘what kind of treatments work best for this kind of illness’?
For further research, please see my list of publications.
Before starting at Cardiff University in September 2019, I worked at the University of Birmingham, first on the ,Costs and Benefits of Optimism' project with Lisa Bortolotti, then as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. My project during the Early Career Fellowship was entitled 'Mental Disorders, Brain Disorders and Moral Responsibility'.
After completing my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at the Research Centre Jülich, Germany.
I received my MPhil and PhD from King's College London.
I gained my Magister Artium from the Heinrich Heine Universitaet Duesseldorf and completed training as secondary school teacher for Philosophy and English in Duesseldorf, Germany.
Articles and Book Chapters
Jefferson, A. 2019: Instrumentalism about Moral Responsibility Revisited.The Philosophical Quarterly 69:276, 555-573
Bortolotti, L. and Jefferson, A. 2019: The Power of Stories: Responsibility for the Use of Autobiographical Stories in Mental Health Debates. Diametros 16:60, 18-33
Jefferson, A. forthcoming: Confabulation, Rationalisation and Morality. Topoi (online first)
Jefferson, A. and Sifferd, K. 2018: Are psychopaths legally insane? European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14:1, 79-96
Jefferson, A. forthcoming: What does it take to be brain disorder? Synthese (online first)Jefferson, A. 2017: Born to be Biased? Unrealistic Optimism and Error Management Theory. Philosophical Psychology 30:8, 1159-1175
Godman, M. and Jefferson, A. 2017: On Blaming and Punishing Psychopaths. Journal of Criminal Law and Philosophy 11:1, 127-142
Jefferson, A., Bortolotti, L. and Kuzmanovic, B. 2017: What is unrealistic Optimism? Consciousness and Cognition 50, 3-11
Heinrichs, J.H. and Jefferson, A. 2016: Moralischer Zufall (Moral Luck) In: M. Kühler, M. Rüther (eds.) Handbuch
Handlungstheorie (Handbook Theory of Action). Stuttgart: Metzler, 228-235
Kuzmanovic, B., Jefferson, A. and Vogeley, K. 2016: The Role of the neural reward circuitry in self-referential optimistic belief updates. Neuroimage 133, 151-162
Kuzmanovic, B., Jefferson, A., and Vogeley, K. 2015: Self-Specific Optimism Bias is Associated with high Trait Optimism. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 28:3, 281-293
Jefferson, A. 2014: Slippery Slope Arguments. Philosophy Compass. 9:10, 672-680 doi: 10.1111/phc3.12161
Jefferson, A. 2014: Mental Disorders, Brain Disorders and Values. Frontiers in Psychology 5, 1-3doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00130.
Kuzmanovic, B., Jefferson, A., Vogeley, K. and Bente, G 2013: Affective and Motivational Influences in Person Perception. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience 7: 266 doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00266