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Alison Duncan Kerr

Assistant Professor


Alison Duncan Kerr is a feminist philosopher, whose research focuses on emotion theory and the many ways in which emotions contribute to our overall rationality. Kerr also has research interests in gender, love and sex, logic, and artificial intelligence. 

Prior to starting at the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Autumn 2023, Kerr worked at The Work Inclusion Project, where she contributed to groundbreaking equality work in Higher Education. Prior to that, Kerr was the Founding Director of The St Andrews Institute for Gender Studies and its related Master's Programme, as a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews.
Kerr received her PhD from The Ohio State University, writing a dissertation entitled “Affective Rationality” under the supervision of Professor Justin D’Arms (chair), and Professor William CunninghamProfessor Richard Samuels, and Professor Sigrún Svavarsdóttir. Before that, she received her MA from University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, writing a thesis entitled “Beyond the Meaning of ‘Meaning’: Rigidity and Semantic Externalism.” And, before that she spent two years at the University of Oregon and then transferred and got her undergraduate degree from Smith College.

Research Interests

Feminist Philosophy

Theory of Emotions

Gender, Love, and Sex


Theories of Rationality

Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Assistant Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives

Recent Publications

Kerr, A. D., & Jiggens, R. (2022). Regulation, Resistance and Resurrection. In M. J. Bennett, J. H. Shadrack, & G. Levy (Eds.), Embodying the Music and Death Nexus: Consolations, Salvations and Transformations (pp. 125-141). Emerald Group Publishing Ltd..

Kerr, A. D., & Scharp, K. (2022). The End of Vagueness: Technological Epistemicism, Surveillance Capitalism, and Explainable Artificial Intelligence. Minds and Machines, 32(3), 585-611.

Kerr, A. D. (2022). To Envy an Algorithm. In S. Protasi (Ed.), The Moral Psychology of Envy (Moral Psychology of the Emotions). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Kerr, A. D. (2021). A Plea for KR. Synthese, 198(4), 3047-3071.

Kerr, A. D. (2021). Artificial Intelligence, Gender, and Oppression. In W. L. Filho, A. M. Azul, L. Brandli, A. L. Salvia, & T. Wall (Eds.), Gender Equality (pp. 54-64). (Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals). Springer.

View all publications on Illinois Experts