There is an old story about someone who found a treasure on a plot of land, who then sold all their possessions to buy the land and get the treasure. I remembered this story one Saturday after midnight, on Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta in the summer of 2016, while standing in the back of a club that is almost never open and perceiving some fundamental connection between morality and being. At the time, it seemed to me that this idea was a treasure. I am still in the process of excavating my Edgewood vision.
In 2020, I left my position as a lecturer in Clemson University's Department of English and moved back to Atlanta. Currently, I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory University's Oxford College.
Beal, Bree. "The Nonmoral Conditions of Moral Cognition." Philosophical Psychology, 2021.
Consciousness and Cognition
Beal, Bree and Guga Gogia. "Cognition in Moral Space: A Minimal Model." Consciousness and Cognition, 2021, 92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2021.103134.
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Beal, Bree. “What are the Irreducible Basic Elements of Morality? A Critique of the Debate over Monism and Pluralism in Moral Psychology.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2020, 15(2), pp. 273-290. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619867106
Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Beal, Bree, and Philippe Rochat. “Innate Valuation, Existential Framing, and One Head for Multiple Moral Hats.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 41, 2018, p. e38., doi:10.1017/S0140525X17000632.
EDUCATION + EXPERIENCE
Institute for the Liberal Arts
I earned my PhD from Emory University's Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA) in 2018. My dissertation was a "Dostoevskyan" model of moral psychology. While at Emory, I also did some cognitive neuroscience research in the Dilks Lab.
Master of Arts
Arizona State University
I earned my Masters of Arts, with a focus on Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Literature, from Arizona State University's New College in Decemer, 2011.
Bachelor of Music
Grand Canyon State University
I earned a bachelor's of music, vocal performance, in 2004.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
The Polyphony Principle
A commentary on José Bermúdez's "rational framing effects" is in press with Behavioral and Brain Sciences. In this work, I develop a principle explaining the origins not only of Bermúdez's proposed effects, but also of a wide class of related phenomena. The described "polyphony principle" is a central feature of my model of moral cognition, currently in development.
Two Distinctions in "Methodological Bracketing"
In an article in press at Current Anthropology, I analyze Nadya Pohran's proposal for a new methodology in cultural anthropology--Belief Inclusive Research, which is proposed as an alternative to "methodological bracketing." I argue that this approach is already consistent with the dominant forms of methodological bracketing, when these approaches are properly characterized.
The Case Against Morality as Cooperation
I'm currently working on a systematic refutation of the popular view that morality can be defined scientifically in terms of the function of cooperation.