Her research is at the intersection of epistemology and moral philosophy with connections to psychology. In particular, she investigates how social and political factors, like social power and authority, can impact the way that people reason, and asks what we can do about it. Her teaching interests at Duke Kunshan include ethics and leadership, U.S. studies, philosophy and psychology.
McWilliams has a B.A. (summa cum laude) in philosophy, linguistics and psychology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University. In 2016-17, she was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2017-18 she was the Nancy Schaenen Endowed Visiting Scholar of Ethics at the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University.
She received several certificates for distinction in teaching at Harvard. She also previously taught English for academic purposes in Vietnam and Wuhan, China.
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