Developing Moral Character: On Automaticity, Agency, and Responsibility
My research at the UiO concerns the moral psychological phenomenon called ‘automaticity’, which concerns empirical psychological data that is taken to show that most of people's moral behaviour is driven by automatic and unconscious cognitive processes (e.g. implicit racial biases, unconscious sexist stereotypes, and classist intuitions). Automaticity poses a challenge to the concept of a person with 'agency' over their behaviour through conscious, rational deliberation. Through philosophical conceptual analysis and data analysis I explore a novel, alternative approach to the automaticity challenge by proposing a 'tripartite model of moral agency' that focuses on an agent developing one's own 'moral character' over time. Building on this moral psychology, I explore a 'developmentalist' account of moral responsibility, centralising the cognitive capacities and environmental circumstances that allow an agent to engage with developing one's character.
Related to my main research focus, I also work more directly on various intersectional egalitarianist issues concerning class, race, gender, and queer sexualities. This includes, for example, the philosophy of sexuality, dealing with matters such as the understanding and evaluation of BDSM (e.g. the development and ethics of fetishes), and the moral status of sexual preferences (e.g. "I do not fancy Black or fat people").
Moral psychology, metaethics, moral responsibility, moral cognition, moral reasoning, moral development, moral education, moral agency, the nature of normativity, Aristotle, virtue ethics, sexual ethics.
History of education
Philosophy (PhD Visiting Scholar: Moral psychology & metaethics), University of Edinburgh, UK.
Philosophy (MA: Metaethics, philosophy of psychology & biology), King’s College London, UK.
Empirical Ethics (MA: Moral psychology), OZSW VU University Amsterdam, NL.
Philosophy (BA Honours: Metaethics, virtue ethics), University of Edinburgh, UK.
Moral Psychology (BA: Moral cognition), Leiden University, NL.
Philosophy (BA: Metaethics, neurophilosophy, antique ethics), University of Amsterdam, NL.
Literature (BA: Ancient Greek, Russian), University of Amsterdam, NL.
Fine Arts (BA: Writing, drawing, dialectics), ArtEZ Academy for Art & Design, Arnhem, NL.
Classical Philosophy BA (Leiden University, NL)
Research and teaching assistant, Prof. Dr. F.A.J. De Haas
OPTIMUS Schooling Community (Den Bosch, NL)
Reorienting Educational Values (Innovation stipend of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation).
Het Nieuwe Trivium/SCN (Amsterdam, NL)
Socratic dialogue leader and trainer, in companies and schools.
Felix Meritis, Felix & Sofie (Amsterdam, NL)
Organisation and moderation philosophical debates.
Selected publications and orations
Rijnders, J. (2013/02) The Explanatory Reach of Neuroscience, Cimedart, University of Amsterdam.
Rijnders, J. (2012/10) A Banal Realist Culture, Felix Meritis, Amsterdam, NL
Rijnders, J. (2012/05) Moving beyond Subjectivism, even/especially in arts, De Volkskrant.
Rijnders, J. (2011/04) Schooling is questioning: “What is of Value?”, Cimedart, University of Amsterdam.
Rijnders, J. (2011/02) From Human Nature to a Humane Society, Nait Soez'n, Royal University Groningen.
Rijnders, J. (2011/02) Perspectives on & from Economic Servitude, Cimedart, University of Amsterdam.
Rijnders, J. (2010/05) Global Identitycrisis, 21Rozendaal/All About Art Magazine.
Rijnders, J. (2009/06) On Art Business & Art Education, Luxity Magazine.