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.

Other activities

Papers and talks:

  •  ‘When Hybrid Accounts of Disorder are not enough; the Case of Gender Dysphoria’:
    Presented for the Open Sessions at Joint Session 2020
    Presented for the Women-In-Philosophy group at UoB
    Under review
  • ‘The Vulnerability of Virtuous Behaviour to Everyday Confabulation’
    Presenting for the Open Sessions at Joint Session 2021
    Presenting at European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP), August 2021

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

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

  • ‘The Political Value of Self-Know-How’
    Presenting at ‘Values and Virtues in a Changing World’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Philosophy Festival in Cardiff (Sept 2021) and writing up for an edited volume

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


  • ‘Exceptionalism in the time of Covid-19: A Case of Hypocrisy?’ with Professor Lisa Bortolotti for IAI news

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