Kathleen Murphy-Hollies

Photo of Kathleen Murphy-Hollies

Department of Philosophy
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Is Confabulation a Concern for the Virtuous Agent?
Supervisors: Dr Lisa Bortolotti,  Dr Iain Law, and Professor Quassim Cassam
PhD Philosophy


  • BA Philosophy
  • MA Philosophy


  • I have taught small group seminars on the following modules: Problems of Philosophy LC, Reasoning, Propaganda and Public Discourse LC, Moral Problems LC, Moral and Political Philosophy LC and Philosophy and Ethics of Mental Health and Well-being LM.
  • I have also co-supervised Masters dissertations on the Ethics of Early Intervention in Mental Health
  • I have achieved Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy


My PhD research considers how self-perceptions, self-narratives and explanations of our own behaviour affect our ability to embody various moral virtues. We sometimes confabulate, employing false and ill-grounded claims when justifying ourselves and our behaviour. Nonetheless, I argue that when agents have certain skills and are in certain circumstances, this can ultimately contribute to forming sensitivities and ongoing motivations for demonstrating moral virtues.

For full information on me and my work, please see my website: https://kathleenmurphyhollies.weebly.com/.

Other activities


  •  ‘When a Hybrid Account of Disorder are not enough; the Case of Gender Dysphoria’:
    Open Sessions at Joint Session 2020
    Women-In-Philosophy group at UoB

  • ‘The Vulnerability of Virtuous Behaviour to Everyday Confabulation’
    Open Sessions at Joint Session 2021
    European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP), August 2021

  • ‘Exceptionalism at the time of COVID-19: where nationalism meets irrationality’
    ‘Cognitive Distortions and Democratic Failings’ at University of Piemonte Orientale, May 2021
  • ‘The Aretaic Value of Self-Know-How’

     ‘Understanding Value’ in Sheffield, July 2021
     ‘Reasons, rationality and culture’ workshop at Tilburg University, October 2021

•  I organise PG workshops for research students to present their work, and a moral psychology reading group.


Sole authored:

  • 'When a Hybrid Account of Disorder is not enough: The Case of Gender Dysphoria' (2021) in European Journal of Analytic Philosophy. Available here: https://eujap.uniri.hr/when-a-hybrid-account-of-disorder-is-not-enough-the-case-of-gender-dysphoria/
  • ‘Political Confabulation and Self-Regulation’, (forthcoming 2022), in Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, Issue 92: Values and Virtues for a Challenging World, (eds) Jefferson, A., Palermos, O., Paris, P., & Webber, J, Cambridge University Press


  • L Bortolotti and K Murphy-Hollies (forthcoming). 'Exceptionalism at the time of COVID-19: where nationalism meets irrationality', in the Danish Yearbook of Philosophy.
  • K Murphy-Hollies and L Bortolotti (2021). Stories as Evidence. Memory, Mind & Media 1, E3. doi:10.1017/mem.2021.5

For a general audience: