Iskra Fileva
Associate Professor • Associate Director, Center for Values and Social Policy

Professor Fileva is on sabbatical AY23-24.


Iskra Fileva (Ph.D., Boston University, 2009). Professor Fileva joined the department in Fall 2014. Prior to coming to the University of Colorado, Boulder, she taught at several universities, most recently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Professor Fileva specializes in moral psychology and issues at the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and psychiatry. She also does work in aesthetics and epistemology. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophers' Imprint, Philosophical Studies, and Synthese.    

Professor Fileva is currently working on a book manuscript provisionally entitled: "Character and Values". In this manuscript, she develops a novel conception of character and uses that conception to tackle various problems in the philosophy of character such as character fragmentation, the role of brute psychological facts in the constitution of character, and the boundary between flawed characters and psychiatric conditions such as such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. She is also the editor of Questions of Character, an interdisciplinary volume of essays featuring work by leading philosophers, psychologists, and social scientists, published by Oxford University Press in 2016: View the anthology's contents page here: Read the preface. Order the collection at a 30% discount.

Professor Fileva also writes for a broad audience. In 2013, her NYTimes essay "Character and its Discontents" won the Character Project's Essay Award. Read her essay here. In 2022, her NYTimes essay "What Do We Owe the Dead?" received a Public Philosophy Op-Ed prize from the American Philosophical Association. Read that essay here: Listen to interviews about character with her here and here, about why we seek closure here, and to one about whether we really want authenticity here.

Professor Fileva hosts The Philosopher's Diaries blog at Psychology Today:

For more information on Professor Fileva's teaching and research, including a list of publications, see her CV.

A few representative publications:

"My Delicate Taste: Aesthetic Deference Revisited," forthcoming in Philosophers' Imprint

"Moral Testimony and Collective Moral Governance," in Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

"You Disgust Me. Or Do You? On the Very Idea of Moral Disgust" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

"Just Another Article on Moore's Paradox, But We Don't Believe That" in Synthese (co-authored with Linda Brakel.)

"The Gender Puzzles" in European Journal of Philosophy.

"Historical Inaccuracy in Fiction" in American Philosophical Quarterly.

"Two Senses of 'Why': Traits and Reasons in the Explanation of Action" in Questions of Character, edited by Iskra Fileva (OUP, 2017).

"Playing with Fire: Art and the Seductive Power of Pain" in Suffering Art Gladly, edited by Jerrold Levinson (Palgrave, 2013).