James Fritz

Philosophy

Term Assistant Professor

Virginia Commonwealth University

You can call me Jamie.

About me

I am Term Assistant Professor in Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Philosophy. I received my Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, and I received my BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Most of my research concerns connections between ethics and epistemology. One of my main research projects argues for the view that epistemic norms are sensitive to morality. (This commitment is sometimes called moral encroachment in epistemology.) I have also written on the epistemology of moral disagreement, and on the ethics of disapproval and disagreement. See more about my research below.

I am passionate about teaching philosophy, and I received the Ohio State Philosophy Department's Graduate Teaching Associate Award in 2018. Courses that I have taught as a lead instructor include Social and Political Philosophy, Engineering Ethics, and Asian Philosophies. I also helped to design, and have served as lead instructor for, Ohio State's Philosophy and Critical Thinking (P.A.C.T.) summer camp for high-schoolers. See more about my teaching below.

 

Papers

Publications and Works in Progress

Publications

 

"Belief, Credence, and Moral Encroachment" (with Elizabeth Jackson), Synthese (forthcoming)

"Akrasia and Epistemic Impurism," Journal of the American Philosophical Association (forthcoming)

 

"Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action," Erkenntnis (forthcoming)

"Ethics and Epistemic Hopelessness," Inquiry (forthcoming)

"Moral Encroachment and Reasons of the Wrong Kind," Philosophical Studies (2020).

"Moral Steadfastness and Metaethics" (with Tristram McPherson), American Philosophical Quarterly (2019)

"Conciliationism and Moral Spinelessness," Episteme (2018)

"What Pessimism about Moral Deference Means for Disagreement," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (2018)

"Pragmatic Encroachment and Moral Encroachment," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (2017)

 

Research

Publications and Works in Progress

under review

To preserve the anonymity of the review process, I redact names for the papers below. If you are interested in learning more about any of these projects, please feel free to contact me!

  • A paper regarding theories of subjectively fitting emotion. I raise an underappreciated question for these theories: when does the absence of emotion violate these norms? I argue against the view that the absence of emotion never violates these norms, and show how some more demanding views can survive recent criticism.

  • A paper concerning the epistemic conditions on rational hope and worry. I argue that rationally hoping or worrying about requires being in a position to rationally suspend judgment about p. I further show how this proposal enables us to deflate a recent argument claiming to show that only infallibilists about knowledge can account for the epistemic conditions on hope. 

  • A paper arguing for a tension in practices of communicating moral disapproval. I argue that, given certain facts about human psychology in the face of highly public disapproval, any shared practice of moral disapproval will fall short of at least one important moral goal.

Teaching

 

undergraduate Teaching

Courses taught as lead instructor:

Asian Philosophies

Critical Thinking about Moral Problems

Engineering Ethics

Introduction to Logic

Introduction to Philosophy

Social and Political Philosophy

Seminar: The Ethics of Belief

Student testimonials, drawn from anonymous feedback: ​​

  • "It is great to look back on a class and reflect on what you have learned so much in, all because the instructor was passionate and wanted you as the class to truly learn by coming to class prepared and never making you feel 'small' for not knowing an answer."

  • "Mr. Fritz is an elite professor that possesses an uncanny ability to convey his key points effortlessly in a way that we all understand with absolute precision. His conduct and attention to detail is prodigious. He is a rising star, the best professor I have ever had, and I am not sure it is even close."

  • "Though I enrolled in engineering ethics because of the general education requirements of my major, I genuinely enjoyed the material and teaching style. Professor Fritz obviously has a passion for philosophy (and teaching) that inspires me to find a career that I am equally passionate about."

  • "Professor Fritz was one of the best educators I've ever met. Perfectly balanced on a knife's edge between lecturing and having the class engage in discussion."

  • "He was always well prepared for the discussions that we were having in class. The enthusiasm that he taught with made the class extremely enjoyable. In my 3 years of undergrad I haven't had a professor that is more personable and genuinely excited to teach than Jamie was every day. Even though the content discussed in class was challenging
    material, he communicated it very well to the entire class. Overall Jamie was a great instructor who created a welcoming learning environment that put his students in a great position to succeed."

Philosophy and Critical thinking (P.A.C.T.) Summer Camp for high schoolers

In 2017, I co-founded Ohio State's first-ever philosophy-themed summer camp for high school students. For the next two summers, I took a leadership role in designing, advertising, and implementing an engaging and thought-provoking curriculum designed around a simple theme. The camp has grown each year, and continues to thrive; it has welcomed over 100 students over three years, many of whom have since enrolled in undergraduate programs with the intent to study philosophy.

Here is an example schedule for the camp.

Contact

jamie (dot) c (dot) fritz (at) gmail (dot) com

Starke Hall, Room 209

915 W Franklin St

Richmond, VA 23284

 
 

Curriculum Vitae

You can find a copy of my CV here.

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