I am an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

My primary areas of research are in the philosophy of psychology, epistemology, and the ethics of belief. I have also published in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language.

For many years now, I have been working on a book on motivated reasoning (cognitive dissonance, rationalization, self-deception, etc.) with a particular focus on the role it plays in especially reflective, critical, and intelligent thinkers. All considerations point to the conclusion that its role is substantial and consequential, and cannot be ignored. I focus especially on its social and ethical implications.

Jonathan Ellis

I am also the founding director of UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Public Philosophy , which aims to foster effective dialogue and deliberation in the general public, especially on contentious issues; to encourage engagement with relevant, accessible areas of ethics and critical thinking; and to celebrate the value of philosophy for the world beyond higher education. We do this through community programming, student fieldwork, research, public events, and media production.

Here is a recent example of our work:

email: jellis at ucsc dot edu